Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the U.S., meaning that schools and many businesses are closed for the day in recognition of all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We have the opportunity to thank our Veterans and attend local ceremonies to mark the occasion, but what does Veterans Day mean to Veterans?
In this special Veterans Day livestream episode of Veteran Voices, co-hosts Mary Kate Soliva and Scott Luton were joined by Zach Knight, U.S. Army Veteran and Marketing Chair with VETLANTA, and Marina Rabinek, U.S. Navy Veteran and Founder and President of the Military Women’s Collective.
Zach, Marina, Scott, and Mary Kate took this opportunity to discuss:
• What Veterans Day means to them personally and why
• Why their service didn’t stop just because they stopped wearing an active-duty uniform
• Veterans’ communities and causes that continue to need investment and support
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 talk 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 morning, good afternoon, good evening, Scott Luton and Mary Kate Soliva here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome today’s live stream, Mary Kate. How you doing? Great,
Mary Kate Soliva (00:57):
Scott. Happy Veterans Day to you.
Scott Luton (00:59):
Happy Veterans Day to you as well. Appreciate all that you do and continue to do. And Mary Kay, we have got an outstanding Veteran’s Day live stream. Yes. Teed up here today, right?
Mary Kate Soliva (01:10):
I’m super pumped up. I, I mean, you asked me who we should have on the show. I’m just really excited who we have teed up today.
Scott Luton (01:17):
I’m with you. Uh, I think I’ve got, I wear Zach and Marina under Roof when I’m not wearing my Mary Kate under. So, uh,
Mary Kate Soliva (01:25):
Scott Luton (01:26):
<laugh> got a great discussion up here today. But hey, whether you’re viewing us on Veteran Voices programming, or if you’re viewing us on supply chain now, social channels, hey, we’re here to all celebrate what these special veterans are doing. These veteran leaders are doing, both serving the veteran community and what they’re doing from an entrepreneurial and a business standpoint, non-profit standpoint. You name it, Dynamo is here today. So, Mary Kate, any before we bring on our guests here today, again, I wanna celebrate all that you do. We’re gonna, we’re gonna learn more about that soon, but really love what you’re leading and doing with our Veteran Voices podcast. What’s your favorite part about those conversations? Kind of putting you on the spot a little bit, but, you know, folks can find that wherever they get their podcast. What’s your favorite part about all the shows that you’re, uh, discussions you’re leading?
Mary Kate Soliva (02:08):
You know, Scott, one of the things with Veteran Voices and the whole reason why when you, you asked me to take it on, it was the fact that I’m able to amplify the voices of veterans who are serving beyond the uniform. I mean, it’s, it’s, we, we talk about veterans who have served, but we have so many veterans who are continuing to serve. They hung up that uniform years ago and for some, even within a few months ago. And they are knocking it out of the park post-transition and just being able to amplify what they’re doing, whether that’s helping kids, focusing on veteran issues, you name it. We got vets out there doing incredible things, and I’m, I’m happy to be part of that.
Scott Luton (02:45):
Uh, so true so many different levels and, you know, our supply chain now family is, we’re honored to continue investing and supporting our veterans community. It’s really important to all of us here and on this big day, which is dedicated to celebrate and all that our veterans do for us. We’re, uh, really tickled to have our guests here and, and talk about some things you may know about and plenty of things you may not know about. Um, one last note. Mary Kay, I wanna say hello to a few folks here. We’ve got a lot of special people in the audience, such as, uh, Old Clay Phillips is tuned in. Appreciate what Diesel does all the time. We’ve got Jonathan Philippe, I think I said that right, Jonathan, Jonathan Hell’s from Louisiana doing some big things in supply chain down there. Look, look, Marina, she is a, she is a machine. She’s the chat. She’s, she’s be sharing her perspective with us.
Mary Kate Soliva (03:31):
I’m trying to keep up with this up. But thanks for joining us today, everybody.
Scott Luton (03:38):
That is right, Right. Happy Veteran’s Day. Raymond is with us here today. Great to see you, Omar. Great to see you as well. And one final note, Mary Kate, you know, given you know our love for all things supply chain veterans, if you’re tuned in, if you’re catching a portion of this here today, don’t sleep on all the career opportunities that Global Supply Chain offers. Right? And if you have any questions on those regards, drop ’em here. We may not be able to get to them today. We’ll try to follow up at a later time. And, uh, it just offers logistics, manufacturing, transportation, you name it. Offers so much. Procurement offers so much for, uh, our veterans. Okay. So, Mary Kate, we’ve said hello to a few folks, Are you ready? I’m, I’m gonna introduce our two guest speakers and we’re gonna swoosh ’em in. Are you ready for them to join?
Mary Kate Soliva (04:21):
I’m so ready, and please keep that feed coming with comments. We’d love to hear from you all where you’re tuning in from and, and what y’all are doing today to celebrate Veteran’s Day.
Scott Luton (04:30):
So true. That’s right. So Mary Kay is asking, Hey, where are you tuned in from and how are you celebrating, uh, Veteran’s Day, It’s a great call out there. Okay, so with no further ado, my dear friend Mary Kate, uh, I wanna welcome in Zach Knight, Marketing Chair with Vett Atlanta and US Army Veteran and Marina Raddick, founder and president of the Military Women’s Collective, and a US Navy veteran. Hey, hey, Zach, How you doing?
Marina Rabinek (04:56):
How’s it going? Everybody? Appreciate you having me.
Scott Luton (04:58):
You bet. And Marina, how are you doing?
Marina Rabinek (05:00):
I’m doing great. Thanks for having me as a guest today, y’all.
Scott Luton (05:04):
You’re well. Hey, you know what, Marina, we love our repeat guests and you and Mary Kay and Matt crushes so much. You’ve been with us I think three or four times, but y’all crush every time. Right? And Zach, uh, as you know, as a fellow digital content entrepreneur, someone that values that, great to have you for the first time here officially on Veteran Voices and Supply Chain now. So welcome. Appreciate it, man. All right. So Mary Kate, with these two dynamos here, uh, I think the first thing we wanna do is kind of go around the horn and get to know them a little better. I just get a quick shout out. Hey, Don Long, who’s doing some great work is also tuned in. Uh, Donna Fellow Atlanta. Really, really enjoy your mountain climbing each weekend, challenging folks to do more and more. And Mary Kay, you know, Dr. Dr. Luke mc McLeans, right?
Mary Kate Soliva (05:48):
Kay, Luke, Oh, that’s my brother right there.
Scott Luton (05:50):
That’s right. That’s right. And then Monica from Seattle. Great to have you here, Monica, via LinkedIn. Okay. So let’s go around the horn and we wanna pose two questions. And Mary, Kate, I’m gonna pose these to you as well. We wanna learn a little more about your military service first. And we’ll go around a horn first there, and then I’m gonna circle back with all the cool things y’all up to now, because as Mary Kate alluded to, man, a uniform might come off, but the service just doesn’t stop. And, and all three of y’all are great examples of that. So Marina, you’re gonna be our lead off hitter today. Give us a little bit of information about your military background.
Marina Rabinek (06:22):
Oh, okay. Um, 24 year Navy veteran, uh, retired last year. Yeah, that’s me in a nutshell. I served in all over. I, she knew I was gonna do No, go, go Army, Zach. How dare you. You know what you say, go army. But have you ever seen that hilarious picture where it says bean taby?
Scott Luton (06:50):
Marina Rabinek (06:51):
Yes. It’s not beat navy. It says bean taby. Um, I, you know, in different places in California, I served in Florida, Japan’s where my daughter was born, and I met my husband. So yeah, been all over the world. And
Scott Luton (07:07):
Marina, one quick follow up question. Uh, cause I saw your, um, you had a great meme where you were celebrating the Marines birthday party, and it said, I signed your favorite Uber service and a picture of the aircraft carrier. Yes. I love that.
Marina Rabinek (07:20):
It’s Happy Birthday Marines from your favorite Uber driver. <laugh>. Yes.
Scott Luton (07:24):
Thank you. So what’s one, one of your favorite vessels you served on?
Marina Rabinek (07:28):
Oh, definitely that one. So the one in the picture is the same class as the one that, that I served on, which is in amphibious ship. Um, it’s a WASP class, l h d it was called the USS Essex, which we finally like to call the steaming Dee <laugh>, I thought was hilarious. Um, cause it’s a, it’s one of the, like very last steam Howard, like, it has boilers, believe it or not. So, yeah,
Scott Luton (07:56):
Man. Okay. All right. So Zach, that’s gonna be tough to top, but tell us about your, your military background. Totally.
Zack Knight (08:03):
Sorry, I’m over here, like typing comments about this terrible navy that we’re highlighting right now, man. The Uber xxl. I love it. Now, <laugh>. Um, obviously I’m an Army guy, so go army. I got in a little bit late. I joined at 28, went through basic training, ocs infantry School, did a that whole piece of things a little bit non traditionally. And then I deployed with Green Bras in 2019, but actually just getting medically discharged, got injured over there, um, and going through a medical discharge process. So not too long, about six years of service total so
Scott Luton (08:31):
Far. Oh man. So much. So what was, um, of all the places, it sounds like you, you deployed, obviously went to Afghanistan. What’s one thing about deploying that maybe a lot of folks that haven’t ever served, or maybe maybe folks that served that didn’t deploy very often. They may not know Zach
Zack Knight (08:47):
Food is way better over there than what they did with over here. <laugh>, man, lemme tell you, the Army feds really well over there, man. But you go to like Fort Ben or Fort Polk Food’s terrible.
Scott Luton (08:58):
Zack Knight (08:59):
Scott Luton (09:00):
<laugh>, I’m, I’m about to get some texts for some from some cafeteria managers and supply chain leaders. We’ll see. Well,
Zack Knight (09:06):
To be fair, where I was, we didn’t get surf and turf like on the Air Force base.
Scott Luton (09:10):
Zack Knight (09:11):
That’s so great.
Marina Rabinek (09:13):
Course. It’s so spoiled. That’s why we call y’all Chair Force
Scott Luton (09:17):
<laugh>. I deserve that. I deserve, ok. Right. So, and, and, and they really close the loop here with some of our listeners that may not know. So, Marina Navy, Zach and Marie, uh, Mary Kate both served in the Army and I served in the Air Force one as a date analyst, just about a three and a half year stint. Okay, So couple quick comments. Mary Kay, I’m gonna ask you about yours. James is tuned in from Jacksonville, Florida. He says hello to everybody. Sorry. Hi, Navy. I love Zach. Zach and Marina’s, uh, uh, uh, battle, uh, and rivalry battle. It continues in the comments. Y’all check that out. All right. So Mary Kate, tell us about your military service.
Mary Kate Soliva (09:59):
Yeah, so gosh, I should just be like, that’s it. Like Rena did. I was waiting for her to throw out some French out there. She’s flut y’all. But no, I, I have, uh, 12 years active service. And I was, I was an arm medic and now a psychological operation soldier, still serving now in the Army Reserves. Uh, but I spent time, so I was Southeast Asia focused. So time in the Philippines, do a little time in South Korea. Just really incredible. And that’s why, you know, I, I tell people like, you always have a couch to, to bu off of because we have brothers and sisters that are just living all over the place that I can just hop on a flight, just go to random city stones, throw away, I could run into another veteran. And it’s just incredible how that instant camaraderie and that trust is, is just built so quickly with others who have served.
Scott Luton (10:46):
Oh, I could, man, that is, that’s like Shakespeare and it’s so true. Mary Kay. Thank you for sharing, really. And I’ll tell y’all, for folks that may be tuned in from the supply chain now side, maybe, maybe you’re new to the, um, you know, kind the veteran experience. If you can’t tell, there’s a ton of rivalry and good nature ribbing between the services, right? For, for example, Don, my fellow Air Force veteran says, Hey, Scott, we should acknowledge that the Air Force took that trophy from Army. No one cares about that.
Mary Kate Soliva (11:15):
Scott Luton (11:16):
<laugh>, y’all keep it coming. Okay. I wanna circle back through to, uh, Marina, let’s talk about, there’s so much y’all doing, and I’ll tell you, you’re three, the three of y’all are such a great epitome for that. You know, the uniform may come off, man, the service and leadership just doesn’t stop. So, Marina, for the time we’ve got, tell us a little bit about what you’re up to now.
Marina Rabinek (11:35):
Oh, okay. So not only do I work for a nonprofit, but I also started my own. So I work for the nonprofit four block. Uh, we do an 11 week program that is a career readiness program for active duty military veterans. And then there’s also a military spouse, a separate military spouse program. And that’s gonna be starting up again here in February of next year for the spring. And then my passion, you know, hence my teal light here is Military Women’s Collective. I focus on the women’s side of getting out of the military. I have two different things that I do, which is help with homelessness and food insecurity here in Southern California. And then I also do networking events with active duty and veteran women.
Scott Luton (12:26):
Man, incredible. Uh, I’ll tell you what, And we drop the, uh, the URL for the military women’s collective.org there in the chat. I’ll check that out. All right. So Zach, tell us some of the things you’re up to.
Zack Knight (12:36):
Yeah, so overall, um, I just opened my seventh business in October. It’s actually a 5 0 1 C for better business owners. Uh, that’s my primary focus. I’m also the chair, uh, marketing chair as mentioned for Atlanta. I’ve doing a lot of great things in collaborative pieces there, but honestly, my main focus is, uh, business ownership, uh, for myself, but as a business coach consultant in the bucket arena of Atlanta, but also, uh, now moving more into the veteran business owner space. Um, and then just released my first book. It launched today this morning, and it is a number one new release on Amazon. So, pretty exciting day. And super side note, just for the selfish plug, I’m on the cover of the AJC this morning. I got a nice feature on the ajc man. So lots of very cool things happening in the vet space here in Atlanta.
Scott Luton (13:18):
Now, a handful of folks may not be local to one of the coolest cities in all of the world. Atlanta, that’s the Atlanta Journal constitution, which is one of the, the country’s biggest newspapers. And you’ll find Zach a knight on the front page. That is incredible. And we also dropped, uh, I’m imagining, uh, Zach, that if folks go to zach a.com, which we do out in the comments, they can find a lot of those things you’ve already mentioned. Is that right?
Zack Knight (13:41):
Yeah, I tried to make it easy. Instead of dropping a bunch of links, I was trying to play with the team in the background and hey, here’s 13 links to share, but now everything’s on zach a.com, it links over to all the other pieces.
Scott Luton (13:52):
Wonderful. Okay. So Mary Kate, I want get you to, uh, share some of the cool things you’re up to as well. But, you know, we, we didn’t mention know, we conduct our Veteran Voices programming in partnership with our great firstname.lastname@example.org, I believe, right? Is that right? Mary kate.org.
Mary Kate Soliva (14:09):
You, you’re right. That’s, that’s how we got connected, Scott. And that’s how I, I met Marina and many of the folks that are on this call, and yeah, James, we did meet at Four Block, so I love that. You know, Marina, Zach, we’re all connected through, uh, four block in some way or another. So you just know it’s a great plug there for the great things they’re doing. But yeah, that’s industry. Check them out.
Scott Luton (14:30):
Uh, and we have got their url, uh, vets numeral to industry.org, non-profit, say a clearinghouse for resources and opportunities and, and support. You name it, for not just veterans, but also military families. And we’ll touch on that probably on the second half of today’s show. But Mary Kate, uh, so tell us, man, you, I think you’ve got some cl I think all three of of y’all have some clones, Uh, but Mary Kay, you’ve got a, I don’t know, a project or 17 going on here lately here. Tell us.
Mary Kate Soliva (14:57):
Oh, yeah. So, and, and I will note that, you know, when Marina, I met through Vets Industry a couple years ago now, it was in the middle of a pandemic. She was getting ready to retire. I was getting ready to transition off of active duty. And there was just, um, it, it just, that struggle of like, what’s next, Which I think a lot of service members veterans can reflect on that time of the transition. And, but I think there was something innately that Maureen and I instantly connected on was connectedness. We, we took our gout strengths test, found that our top one was connectedness. Were very much people that want to go out and give back, continue to serve beyond the uniform. So we knew that there was something out there that we wanted to do. And, uh, earlier this year, I co-founded the org with one of my closest dearest friends from, uh, graduate school, Erica Anderson, soon to be PhD, Dr. Erica Anderson, uh, the Guam Human Rights Initiative. So looking to, uh, bring together, uh, brilliant minds, people much smarter than me to focus on, uh, research on human rights issues in Guam and the region. So looking at my focus, passion of mine is, uh, encountering human trafficking. Uh, but I have a lot of other folks in my network that are focused on other incredible issues. So really bringing them to the forefront.
Scott Luton (16:08):
Love that. Uh, okay. So folks, as we’ve talked about, Initiative Driven leadership, Mary Kate, Zach, and Marina Haven Spades, they’ve got so many different projects. I wanna make sure I hit all these. So, circling back to Marina, we talked about Four Block, we talked about the Military Women’s Collective, and dropped that link. What is the San Diego Women’s Week strategy work that you’re doing? Marina?
Marina Rabinek (16:29):
Oh, wow. That’s a, that’s a, a, a left field question. <laugh>. So, <laugh>, the <laugh>, I, I’ve o oddly enough. So here, hold on.
Scott Luton (16:39):
Mary Kate Soliva (16:41):
<crosstalk>. Its, you’re the office kit. Love
Marina Rabinek (16:44):
It. Yeah, no, I just got this. So if you see up here at the top, it says the North San Diego Business Chamber. They are the ones that run not only the San Diego Women’s Week, but also the San Diego Military Summit. And so I joined them this year because I loved all the work that Business Chamber does for the San Diego. And I’m up in Riverside County, which is the next county up. But they do such amazing work that I wanted to join one that wasn’t even in my county
Scott Luton (17:16):
<laugh>. There’s not gonna be a geography quiz later about California counties. Cause I’m as Amanda, Amanda Catherine behind the scenes as they’ll tell you I am, uh, horrible at geography. So, uh,
Marina Rabinek (17:27):
I can help.
Scott Luton (17:30):
So you telling us about, uh, the Chamber out there and looks like they recognize your non-profit, right?
Marina Rabinek (17:35):
Yes, they do. Yeah. I mean, I only became a non-profit, well, not, I became a non, but my non-profit only got its 5 0 1 c three status last October. So we, it’s only been about a year since I actually got that. And I, I just wanted to continue, like you said, to be of service to others. And women’s issues are different, you know, coming out of the military than the way than men’s are. Right? And so that’s why I started Military Women’s Collective.
Scott Luton (18:06):
All right. So we’re gonna dive into some of the issues, uh, in just a moment. Zach, I wanna circle back to you as well. Talked about several businesses you began, including, you got Battle, be a tactical leader. You got nightly productions. Atlanta, one of our, we’re big fans of Atlanta. What they’re doing here. In fact, there should be a aland organization in every city, every, especially all the NFL cities, coast to coast. And this new book, I’m not sure if you mentioned this, uh, all You Are Too Humble, The Legacy, Love, a Journey of Self Mastery. It’s number one on Amazon that is released today. Amazing. Uh, so Zach, that is really cool. Before I, uh, circle back to Mary Kate, what is one, So what inspired you to write that book, Zach?
Zack Knight (18:45):
And I’m gonna make the, the plug here cuz you’re not gonna say it’s Scott. It’s amazing because the book, and a lot of what I’m doing on the Atlanta side, the veteran’s side here in Atlanta is really about community. And the transition piece, when about a year and a half ago, I went through a really dark spot. Um, I was about to become a statistic pistol in my mouth of a doc. And had, I thought that was rock bottom and it really wasn’t. And at the end of it, about a week later, there was a whole piece that I went through that’s in the book about how I recognized I couldn’t love myself anymore. Cause I was losing the uniform. I didn’t wanna lose uniform, losing the community. And it was a different piece where I realized I had to build a different community. And obviously I go into a lot of depth, uh, Veteran’s Voices chain.
Zack Knight (19:22):
Now, y’all just this past Saturday sponsored a great event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium that was able to host a workout at the stadium here in Atlanta. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, had 60 people show up to it. And for me, the book, the community events, it’s all about trying to find what we have beyond the uniform, finding things that we love about ourselves. Again, it’s difficult because I had prior to military as a cop, so I had a uniform for 15 years. I know a lot of us transition really difficult. Uh, it’s really difficult for a lot of us. So the fact that y’all are supporting in so many amazing ways and, and the book is one of those that is really trying to drive that forward. That there’s hope for all of us to love ourselves outside
Scott Luton (19:55):
Of, Okay, man, uh, Catherine and Amanda, first all thank y’all for what you do help make production happen here. If we can find the link, the direct link to that book, and let’s drop that in the comments if we could as well. Yes. Okay. And yes, pseudo scientists, I say circle back way too much. So I, that’s all I feel like I go back throughout the hour, laugh,
Mary Kate Soliva (20:13):
Went laugh with Scott, the force to look busy.
Scott Luton (20:17):
That’s right. So Anne, we also mentioned coming back to Mary Kate here, that gu hri.org, that’s the nonprofit that she found. Y’all check that out. It can definitely use your support as well. So, Mary Kate, one last thing I wanna touch on with you before we move into some other, um, some other topics is you’re also, uh, spend some time with the Project Management Institute. And, you know, project management is, is huge as folks are trying to digest change in this era, regardless of supply chain business, it doesn’t matter matter. And I love a lot of the great work y’all are doing to support veterans and, and helping them gain some credentials to get better employment. So, Mary Kay, if you could touch on that really quick. And then the baton is yours to move us forward with where we’re going next with Marina and Zach.
Mary Kate Soliva (21:02):
Yeah, thank you. So yes, I, part of my transition, you know, shout out to the incredible woman, uh, Corey Burton, but she scooped me up from LinkedIn and that was the power of network and connecting with other veterans and volunteer work and everything because it wasn’t my resume that was handed over to pmi Project Management Institute. It was literally Corey snatching me up, taking me under a wing. She didn’t know me from Adam, but she saw me, my LinkedIn, my content, and she reached out two days later after I took off the uniform. I started with PMI and I’m spearheading the military veteran program, uh, for PMI for North America. So Canada and the us. Uh, today’s also Remembrance Day up in Canada. So, uh, a big thank you to our brothers and sisters and Alice to the north. And, uh, just incredible opportunity to work with our, uh, chapters across the United States. We have like over 60 chapters that have military programs and they are helping folks enter the project management profession. So you can check us out more at at pmi.org/military and you can learn more about resources that are available to spouses as well on how to upskill
Scott Luton (22:12):
Mary Kate Soliva (22:12):
Scott Luton (22:13):
Love that. Uh, okay, really quick, I wanna share a couple quick things here. Either Amanda or Catherine pulled this out. This is great, Zach. Hope for us to love ourselves outside the uniform. So good there. Thank you. Yes. Doing some Dunking Donuts in that back parking lot. Uh, pseudo says he just bug and appreciates the stream. Yeah, I appreciate that too. Uh, we dropped the link to that best seller already in day one, so y’all check that out. I bet. It’s a fascinating story We can all learn from regardless if you’re ever worn a uniform or not.
Mary Kate Soliva (22:42):
Congratulations. That’s incredible, honestly. So, yeah,
Marina Rabinek (22:46):
Mary Kate Soliva (22:47):
For being vulnerable and sharing your story.
Scott Luton (22:48):
So, so many others will be able to avoid some of the, uh, the faith you implied that so many of our brothers and sisters are, um, have, have been, have fallen to. So, all right. So Mary Kay, moving right along. Where are we going next with Marina and Zach? Yeah,
Mary Kate Soliva (23:02):
This is where I wanna, and you know, now I get to do that plug to, to you, Scott, and turn now on. You as, as a veteran, but wanna start with you Marina sister over there. Uh, what does Veterans Day mean to you? Yeah, I know we’ve had many Veterans days, but, uh,
Marina Rabinek (23:18):
Yeah. What does Veterans Day mean to me? You know, it’s about honoring all those who serve, um, whether they’re so with, so whether they’re, they’re not, Cause I think some people get Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, Confused Memorial Day is to of course, honor and remember those that we’ve lost. But Veteran’s Day to really just say thank you to everyone that has served their country, whether it was for a day or, you know, 35, 36 years, you know, some of these generals and admirals got some serious time in right. So yeah, that’s, that’s what it means to me. It just means to, to be incredibly thankful and to honor them.
Mary Kate Soliva (23:59):
I thank you sis. Thank you so much. And, and Zach, same question for you. What is, what does Veterans Day mean for you?
Zack Knight (24:06):
Yeah, it’s a big one. My dad. Um, I make fun of the Navy. My dad was a Navy vet in Vietnam. What’s funny is he told me that the Navy never taught him how to swim. And the goal was to stay on the boat so you didn’t have to swim, right? That’s the goal. So, you know, it’s funny, my dad being a vet last Friday, I hosted a, a Vietnam Day, sorry, a Veteran’s Day celebration. I was able to feature another veteran, Jim Bacom, he’s on the board of the Shepherd Center here in Atlanta. Um, does amazing things. But he went from West Point directly into Vietnam, left Vietnam two months later, went into Harvard, graduated Harvard, and then took a company from three to multi nine figures and then sold it in the 90. And talk about like cherishing what veterans are capable of. Holy cow. My dad taught me what it is to be a man. Gem showed that we can do so much more beyond from the lessons learned in the military. Um, so be able to, same as Marina, cherish that community, cherish those that have come before us, that have done some amazing things and serve on top of that, and then continue to keep serving after.
Mary Kate Soliva (25:04):
Oh, I love that. Thank you so much. And, and you really hit the nail on the head. I see you as a veteran too. You talk about the seven businesses, but I think that it’s just innately in us right? To continue that service in some capacity. But Scott, look at you doing a million things too. Talk about, I’m trying to get as many hats as you mean to you, Scott.
Scott Luton (25:25):
Oh, you know, I love this question cause I think there’s some common threads amongst all of us, right? And what, in terms of what it means. But then we have some very unique things. And for me it’s always a day of reflection, right? I think back, it’s been 30 years since 20 years since I exit Air Force, 30 years since I first entered. And I think of all the people I that I serve with that helped me out and picked me up on those really tough days when I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. You know, or had, you know, the curve balls that life throws at you. So I think of all of that, I think of as being a non-com vet, I think of how different of a journey that all of our fellow brothers and sisters have, including the trials and tribulations that stem from their combat.
Scott Luton (26:02):
You know, Zach touched on that. Yeah. You know, they had it so much tougher than I ever could dream of, right? And so I think of, you know, what does that mean? What can we do now? Right? What’s, what’s that debt of gratitude look like, both personally and as a, as a government or as a country? And then of course, I think a couple of y’all mentioned the family ties. You know, my dad served over 30 years and between the Army and the Army National Guard and my grandfather served course, their family served cuz they support, you know, all the military families and sacrifices they make always come to mind on Veterans Day. I think that’s kind of unfortunately kind of under the radar. So it can really, I don’t know about y’all, but it can be overwhelming, just immense sacrifice that, that not just the veterans but their families make so that we can all sit around and say what we want to, you know, in front of a camera or in a, in a microphone and, uh, do what we wanna do. So Mary Kay, that’s what it means, uh, for me. Well,
Mary Kate Soliva (26:52):
I I love that Scott, and especially the family ties that y’all have shared, but Scott, you know, with this comment on your hair, I just have to say, you said 30 years, I can’t believe that you still have all your hair. You talk about
Zack Knight (27:02):
That. Oh man. I’m like,
Mary Kate Soliva (27:04):
You’re doing, you’re
Zack Knight (27:05):
The ball’s the new beautiful.
Mary Kate Soliva (27:06):
I didn’t know you were
Marina Rabinek (27:09):
That comment or not. I’m glad you
Zack Knight (27:11):
God, I wanted the new beautiful, but that man, hes force right there. I love that
Marina Rabinek (27:16):
Mary Kate Soliva (27:17):
Years. And I’m like, incredible of hair. Incredible. Some of us, you know, this is, I’m just kidding. But it was just, so this is just great, great infor um, your backstory, sharing what is important to you. And I think it, it, its those stories, those personal stories, those ties to our families, those close to us, our brother and sisters that serve, that make us highlight the issues that are happening to veterans today. And I really love to, to touch on that sys Marina, I know you mentioned some of the, the things that are happening in California, but just even across the country, uh, it’s for women veterans. But what, there are some issues that you see that are topic that needs more visibility in the veterans space?
Marina Rabinek (27:55):
Oh, that’s a great question. Focusing on military women, like I do for, for military women’s collective, it’s really the housing and food insecurity that I’m worried about the most. I mean, Texas and California have the largest homeless population of all the states, California’s one, Texas is two and it’s getting cold. Like I, this morning I woke up and it was 38 degrees and I live, you know, in Temecula, which is about an hour north of, of San Diego and about an hour east of, of LA And I cannot imagine how anybody that’s homeless right now in anywhere in the US is feeling cuz it’s, it’s getting really cold, right? And, and it just, it pains me, you know, it hurts my heart to see anybody that’s suffering. And all I wanna do as a person and as a nonprofit is to be of assistance, you know, to support anyone that needs it.
Marina Rabinek (28:56):
And that’s really the main one that I’m trying to help with, is to make sure that we don’t have more people. You know, Zach, I mean, you said you were that close. I have somebody in my life that I lost during Covid and, and it broke my heart. You know, it, so what I, I do what I do because I don’t want that statistic to keep getting higher. And I do what I do because like you said, Scott, being of service is just something I’ve been doing now. I think I’ve been doing it all my life, but obviously in the military you, it’s more pronounced. And now that I’m out of the military, I just wanna continue to be of service and it’s my purpose, you know, It, it, it it’s my purpose.
Mary Kate Soliva (29:41):
Yeah. It shines through this. I I mean, you’re so, you’re so loved and I remember at that time when that happened, but you, if, if for those who haven’t listened to the episode, Veteran Voices with Marina, uh, she goes to talk about the story that helped her ended up launching Military women’s Collective and just an incredible, powerful story. And just thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing what’s happened and being able to amplify that the voices of those who aren’t able to speak for themselves or aren’t ready to. Yeah.
Scott Luton (30:12):
Mary Kate, if I can put in, that was a outstanding conversation and I’m hoping that our team can drop the direct link to that. So you can hear Mary Kate and Marina’s, uh, conversation around some of the things that Marina shared. The visibility and the awareness, the conversations like that create are so critical. Much like Zach’s book, There’s some things I think Mary Kate and Zach and Marina, I think there’s some things, not just veterans, you know, other segments of global population probably do it too, but, but we repress certain things, right? And we don’t want to, we don’t want to be vulnerable, right? We don’t wanna show weakness, you know, we wanna pack it up and keep going on. And really, we, we hurt ourselves time and time again by doing, not saying we’re trained to do that, but it’s just, it’s kind of part of the mentality. So, thank y’all. I wanna echo what Mary Kate said. Thank y’all both for being brave and courageous to share so that others can avoid and be more aware of what’s out there that could harm them. Mary Kate. So, uh, we wanna keep driving with Zach on the same question, you think?
Mary Kate Soliva (31:06):
Oh, absolutely Zach. And I wish we had more time too cause I, I could, I know we could go so much deeper in these topics, but Zach, what, what’s a topic you think that needs more visibility in, in the veterans space?
Zack Knight (31:17):
Passing the book. I, I’m on month 19 of a medical discharge. I, I’m tired of seeing, um, and we all know the issues with certain organizations, I won’t name ’em, but you know, you get told to go talk to this person and this person and this person and this person. I see a lot of other organizations doing the same thing. Um, and outside of the government space, right? That are here to support veterans. And they get tied in and they tell you to go talk to this person, this person, this person, this person. And, and nothing ever happens. One of the biggest issues I have in this marina hit on the head with starting a non-profit, the reason I started my five, oh literally last month finally got the incorporation papers, um, it’s called ATL Vets Advancing the Line for Veterans. Our biggest piece is we are going to show granularly how we are moving the needle and eventually line for each veteran business owner and beyond that.
Zack Knight (32:06):
But starting with veteran business owners, how are we actually moving the needle on a project based accomplishment for veterans? So me, the six businesses, five countries, and I hated myself through the whole process. I just buried myself into work. Veterans have a tendency to do that and ourselves into the next thing to ignore the skeletons in the closet, right? Eventually, a lot of what happens is similar to what happened with me, they, they caught up and when the door came open, it crashed open. So I want to help veterans, not only that are business owners that are doing that, but help with that mindset piece and help go beyond that, which is the reason behind the book, right? It’s all the mindset of the personal life fed into business and vice versa. And I wreck the marriage in the process, which a lot of us have done similar things, right? Personalized personal relationships were terrible. Um, and then it all got even worse and worse and worse, but it was like everybody wanted to pass the, and I’m tired of that. So I want to be that piece that actually accomplishes things for a lot of really awesome, amazing people here in
Mary Kate Soliva (33:04):
Atlanta. Wow. I love that, Zach. I think you took the, the first step in just being open about it cuz we are so good at containing and driving on, and like you said, advancing that, that line, but it’s taking that, taking that knee and that self care and self love and just reaching out to folks. I see folks even on LinkedIn that are sharing their stories and there’s some days where I’m like, I wish I was braver that I could, you know, share some of my demons. But it was one of those things where it does help to know that there’s other people out there who have been where you’re at and there’s resources available. What do you think, Scott? Wow. Right?
Scott Luton (33:38):
Twin Marina and Zach and, and what they’re, they’re sharing with us. It goes back to being overwhelming, right? Because there’s so many issues. There’s so many things we gotta get done, especially after 20 years of war, right? We’re gonna see we’re, we’re seeing just the tip of iceberg in terms of, of the work we must do as a country to serve our veteran community that went out and did what they had to do, what they were ordered to do. So I think a couple thoughts. I think, um, Marina shared some wonderful numbers that she alluded to on social earlier today, and I think they were from national today. And I’m not sure if our team can find that really quick, but I latched on to a couple of these. And by the way, if you’re not following Mary Kay, Zach and Marina across social, you’re missing out veterans, non veterans, good stuff, leadership, you name it.
Scott Luton (34:20):
So make sure y’all do that. Then we got their links, uh, in the, in the, um, episode notes. So 11% of veterans, the whole veterans community are experiencing or have experiencing have experienced homelessness. And then 50% of that 11%, I believe I had that right, also live with a mental illness, you know, and it’s additional challenges there. It’s the onus is on us to do something about that. And to Zach’s point, we can’t pass the buck. We can’t, they deserve to be treated with respect and to be taken care of. And then I think secondly, when I think of veterans topics that need more visibility, for me, it goes back to military families. In my first stint in the Air Force, uh, in the mid nineties as a, a single airman, what our eureka moments was seeing all the folks that were married, and then I’d see their kids when I’d go cut grass or something.
Scott Luton (35:08):
And all of them do what they do. They deploy, they leave kids at home or spouses or you name it. And that impact, right? That impact of, especially in this era where you’ve got a ton of deployments, right? We’ve got a, we’ve gotta be mindful of that and, and find better ways. Um, and if nothing else, recognize the service that these families are doing and talk more about it and figure out how we can better support amongst all the other, you know, support that, uh, that we should be delivering. So, Mary Kay, those are a few things I think that are too, too often below the radar.
Mary Kate Soliva (35:42):
Oh, I really, I, I definitely echo that with the family piece. Um, I mean, just even more in recent months, I had, uh, lost a dear uncle mine who served Navy veteran, uh, but what my aunt, his surviving widow has had to go through to get benefits turned back on and to get the resources and support needed, you know, and just having to navigate that process, just seeing her go through that, it’s one of those things that I don’t think is highlighted enough or very often. Uh, just the families that get left behind. And so just being, again, to sh to show support for them and to know there’s people out here that are, are ready to, that are standing by ready to help them.
Scott Luton (36:19):
So I’m so sorry for your loss and it’s a tra it really is not, not trying to be dramatic, but it’s a travesty that some of the red tape that, that folks have to get through to access the benefits that they deserve. So, uh, Mary Kay, hopefully your aunt is able to tap into that nexus set with much more ease in the weeks ahead. One last thing and, uh, look, Veterans Day is a day that we, we do celebrate, right? And we lift up our fellow veterans and the current military members and what they’re doing. But just like, you know, there’s two sides to every coin. It comes with all of these other issues and right, and, and the journeys that others are still having that are impacted cause of either having one or someone they’ve loved worn the uniform. I wanna share a couple quick things.
Scott Luton (37:02):
Our team shared the, um, so veterans out there, Hey, talk about your experiences as I bet Marina and Zach and Mary Kay, they’re all kind of speaking to, if you’re in pain, if you’re hurting call, it’s not a sign of weakness. You got 8 7 7 9 2 7 8 3 8 7. It’s 24. Um, a 24 7 hotline there. And then there’s also this other suicide and crisis Lifeline 9 88. Okay? I have no idea. So 9 88, kind of in a similar vein to 9 1 1, it, So suicide and Crisis Lifeline. All right, one last thing and I wanna take it, we’ll go kind of on a, on a lighter note here in a second. But, you know, the power of speaking someone’s name that may not be with us much, much longer or, or any longer, rather. Um, when I first arrived at, I’d like to go around the horn and maybe each of y’all share a name. But when I first arrived at McConnell Air Force Space in Wichita, Kansas, and you know, as any, when you arrive on, on a duty station, gotta kind of get your sea legs and all that stuff, even in the Air Force Marina. Even in the Air Force. And I’ll tell you, <laugh> uh, airmen
Marina Rabinek (38:06):
Is a thing. It’s a real thing. Trust goodness. Cause I never got mine. I have, yeah, I
Mary Kate Soliva (38:12):
Don’t think I’m an airman that had sea legs.
Scott Luton (38:14):
<laugh>. Well, maybe I,
Marina Rabinek (38:16):
Even after 24 years, uh, if you, you still look big guy. If like
Scott Luton (38:19):
It was crab legs, they got crab legs not go. You know what? At the time, Airman, Jeremy Cross helped me. I mean, he took me around, made me feel at home, answered questions. I mean, the guy was just remarkable. Such a great neighbor and friend and colleague. And he is no longer with us. Uh, Tech Sergeant Jeremy Aro, I believe is his middle name. So, uh, Jeremy, wherever you are, Mary Kay, let’s go to you. Let’s go around the horn and then we’ll move on to some resources. Mary Kay, who’s someone that you wanna mention?
Mary Kate Soliva (38:46):
Oh gosh. Um, well, I, I’d like to take this time just recognize all the brothers and sisters that serve out on Wal. I just realized even recent weeks that there’s just so much that people don’t know per capita. Guam actually recruits more in the US military than any of the other states. There’s no skill bridge resources like there, there’s things that they just don’t have out there that we have in the states. So just giving a shout out to all my brothers and sisters. My grandfather served it, just my dad served, family served. I mean, just shout out to them.
Scott Luton (39:15):
Love it. Much, much love Marina.
Marina Rabinek (39:18):
Oh gosh. I mean, for someone who is gone, I would like to shout out my friend Malcolm that I served with on the Essex. He’s the one that I lost, um, a couple years ago. Uh, for someone that is alive, I got a shout out my girl, Mary Kay cuz she is, she’s my sister from another mister. I don’t, honestly you and that’s the industry, you know, there’s just, like Zach was saying, there was dark times, right? And I really, I, I’m so thankful to you and to, you know, Brian and everybody that was at Vet Industry that helped me get started on my nonprofit journey. So yeah, that’s
Mary Kate Soliva (40:01):
Great. Lots of love for you,
Scott Luton (40:02):
Sis. Oh gosh,
Mary Kate Soliva (40:04):
I know all the tears are about to happen. Scott,
Scott Luton (40:08):
My Kleenex folks again, vets to industry.org. So many great people and resources over there. Check it out, Zach, when you think
Marina Rabinek (40:17):
Of networking event on my birthday, ah, or on my birthday, the 19th of November,
Scott Luton (40:21):
You beat me too.
Marina Rabinek (40:22):
That’s the next one.
Scott Luton (40:23):
We’ll see if we can’t drop that link. Our chat’s gonna be like full of resources. We’ll see if we can find that one. Um, Zach, when you think of someone you wanna mention, who would that be?
Zack Knight (40:31):
Definitely my dad. He’s an amazing man, but I’d be doing a disservice. But I didn’t also mention, well, Lindsay and Joey Colette, um, they’re the two that I wear on my wrist every day. The first two I lost. But they’re truly the reason I support the veteran community, their memory and what they gave for us in Afghanistan. Those two, I know it’s not a moral day, but they are the, the highlight of a lot of what I’ve done and moved forward without them being there for us, none of what I’m doing involved with would’ve happened. So those three men are incredible men for
Scott Luton (40:59):
Sure. Thank you for sharing Zach, really appreciate that. Okay, so I wanna segue here, and it’s never gonna do with justice when we talk, we, we leave a subject like that. But y’all bear with me. Cause we wanna, we wanna move to a much lighter spot of the conversation and I think I know exactly how I’m gonna do it. So a lot of our listing audience, uh, especially those again that are, are listing them from the supply chain now side versus the veteran voices side. They may be new to a something that’s really important to military culture. And that is a challenge coin, and I’m gonna define the terms here, but, uh, uh, uh, Marina, So I’m going use my challenge and I’m gonna issue a challenge to Mary Kay, Zach, and Marina. And this was from the good old McConnell force space keeper, the planes. Let’s do this. I kinda brought
Marina Rabinek (41:53):
It up. I can’t even begin to
Scott Luton (41:55):
Tell you. Oh man, I
Scott Luton (41:57):
<laugh>, my gosh, this is why I bring it up. Marina Zach and Mary Kate, you know, so in a nutshell, and y’all, y’all check me, it’s been a while, but in a nutshell, like this coin here, right? Came from my days McConnell. We had an exercise. I, I jumped on it and the full board of our unit stopped by our office. That and, and extended this coin, as you know, to award, you know, my efforts, right? And so using these challenge coins, it’s just a great for de corps, great for recognition. And the cool thing I’ve seen here lately, Marina and Zach and Mary Kate, is I see businesses in the private sector rally around this challenge coin, you know, make their own and use it the same way. And so one last segment about that is, is as, and each service may do it differently every every unit, but basically you gotta carry this thing around wherever you go, at least one of them. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And if you’re at a bar or if you’re at a snack bar or something and someone does a a coin check, a coin challenge. If you don’t have one, you’re picking up on the table. Yeah, that’s right. It’s right. She marina just knocked it in Air Force, we threw it on the ground and had a very distinctive sound to it and whoever didn’t have a coin had to pick up a tab for everyone else. So it’s very <laugh>
Scott Luton (43:12):
Costly. Okay, we got a new guest, New guest in livestream
Marina Rabinek (43:15):
<laugh>. So sorry about that.
Scott Luton (43:17):
No, no, no. It’s our favorite parts. It’s our favorite parts, right? Um,
Marina Rabinek (43:22):
<laugh>, she brought me Veterans Day. Uh, Cinnamons
Zack Knight (43:27):
Hang. Where’s my, tell her
Scott Luton (43:29):
I right over here if she, if she wants to come through there. But hey, so challenge coins. Uh, y’all checked it out. Am I missing anything there? Marina, Zach or Mary Kay? Is there anything that folks should know if they wanna kind of start their own tradition with the challenge coin?
Marina Rabinek (43:43):
No, that was, you had it. I mean, and any time, like you said, if you’re gonna be around veterans and active duty people, make sure you got one of these somewhere stashed. Because if they bust it out and they start knocking, you don’t have it. Just like Zach was saying, you buy the entire round or whatever it is that, you know, they’re, you’re alibi.
Zack Knight (44:07):
Hang on, hang on. There’s an alibi. There are other traditions. <laugh>. It’s actually funny to go further into the challenge point. The police department I was with, we had a coin SWAT team had a coin Army green bes, we all had a coin. Uh, my grandmother found out about this. My grandmother, not military at all, um, but she got me St. Michael coins. So everybody ever trained the police department got a St. Michael coin. All my guys in Afghanistan got a St. Michael coin. Um, so I kinda adopted that as the painted saint of protectors. Um, one time she, uh, St. Michael’s prayer was wrapped around a stack of coins. I have that tattooed, but then she got me. It’s not a coin. I still wear a medallion of St. Michael everywhere I go. So I have my guys have the St. Michael coin always with me. So it might not be a coin, but, and I’ll still buy the first round. But it’s my choice of what the first round is. Sorry, go
Scott Luton (44:56):
<laugh>. I love that. Zach Morning
Mary Kate Soliva (44:58):
People we’re morning people about like the things to do, not to do. I’ve been seeing a lot lately from my sisters out there, sister veterans who when especially typically coming from men, when they go to shake hands and thank veterans, they’ll skip right over the, they’ll even. Or like you parking at
Marina Rabinek (45:16):
Veterans. I’m waiting, waiting. I’m about do it Zach. I’m waiting for the day when someone at Home Depot or Lowe’s or whatever and I’m that spot, I am waiting. Like I just want like come at me bro.
Mary Kate Soliva (45:31):
You’re welcome. I’m just giving you all a warning out there, you know, just don’t me coming at
Marina Rabinek (45:36):
These women were taking down with hands. No. Yes.
Mary Kate Soliva (45:40):
Coming at you. So yeah, just know, you know, that whole, you know, us women, our sisters out there that have served, thank you. Um, but just know, you know, they’re toughen it out there. They’re ton their boots, their boots up everyone too. So just, uh, shout out to them and you’ve been warn <laugh>,
Marina Rabinek (45:56):
I’m the veteran, not the veteran’s wife, right?
Scott Luton (46:00):
That, that that is, you know, we’re laughing and having a little fun with it. But that’s such a great, not even a reminder but just something to call out. Uh, cause
Mary Kate Soliva (46:07):
A serious note
Scott Luton (46:08):
Too, right? All the sacrifice that that all, I mean everyone makes. So I really appreciate that Mary Kate and Marina by the way, we did drop a marina man, I dunno how y’all do it. Marina shared the vets who industry.org, the events page. Um, as we’re moving into one of our final topics, which is great resources that any of our veterans, veteran supporters, veteran advocates, uh, may should check out. This is one this networking circuit they’ve done. I wanna say they’re like 30, 40 events.
Marina Rabinek (46:35):
36 I think is the, is the one that’s coming up. All right,
Scott Luton (46:39):
So this is, you know, one of the challenges for any of our non veterans out there, one of the great challenges that military members that are ex uh, that are exiting service has is a lack of a network, right? Yes. They don’t have all those connections, especially the enlisted side, right? So what groups like vets to industry do is they provide these forums where not only veterans can connect with each other, but even better folks that are hiring talent. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, the recruiters jump on there and they plug in. And man, if, if you are a hiring manager and your listings conversation and you don’t have a real deliberate actionable, effective strategy of hiring veteran talent, you are missing out and you’re acting like it’s 1981. You gotta get with the times you’re missing out on big talent. So thank you for sharing that link, Marina. And that’s open and it’s free for I think anyone? Yep.
Marina Rabinek (47:27):
It’s free for anybody. And like you said, like we want recruiters, I say we cuz Mary Kate and I both were are volunteers and uh, it’s recruiters, veteran service organizations, active duty that are transitioning out soon. Veterans, military, spouses, I mean, like you said, anybody can join. Yep.
Scott Luton (47:47):
So let’s stick with you Marina. Uh, when we think about other resources out there that either veterans, veteran advocates, military families, you know, you name it, what, what’s one that maybe doesn’t get enough attention?
Marina Rabinek (47:58):
Ooh, I gotta say four block. And my second favorite after that is probably the Commit foundation. Both of them are phenomenal. One is to help you, you know, get ready to get out with that career readiness program. And the other one helps you to figure out what your purpose is.
Scott Luton (48:16):
Mm. Man, that’s some serious figuring out. I love that. Uh, Marina, Mary, Kate, how about you resource that, uh, you wanna highlight here today? That May doesn’t get enough attention. Maybe.
Mary Kate Soliva (48:26):
Oh, you’re gonna get me in trouble Cause this is just a, Well, I think the two, Maureen and I, we’ve probably been through 30 different organizations. Um, but you know, just specifically for me, like the leader, uh, the leader transitions to with Andy Brock and then going through like the honor Foundation elite meet, uh, American corporate partners. I mean these were all like federal. These were all that really took their hand, reached down when I was in a, a tough spot where I didn’t know what my purpose was post-transition. I was even afraid to just put my name, put myself out there, put my story out there and they really helped me, uh, grow my confidence in that to where I’m at today. So just really, really thanked them a lot. Find a mentor. I mean in all those different, all those VSOs, it wasn’t just, I showed up to an orientation and I said, here I am. It was like, I scheduled a call, I reached out and I was like, Hey, can we, can we talk? Can we have a virtual cup of coffee? And, and go from there. Learn, hear are their stories and, and learn grow from that. Love
Marina Rabinek (49:22):
That. I mean, you said two didn’t you Scott? Sure. Y’all
Scott Luton (49:26):
Make new rules.
Marina Rabinek (49:27):
A couple more than two. Mary Kate. So I’m gonna have to add a couple more myself. <laugh>, I think. I mean, you didn’t mention one that you went through, did you, Did you mention the Hoover Veteran Fellowship Program Program? Um,
Mary Kate Soliva (49:41):
Marina Rabinek (49:41):
I mean, if you wanna talk fellowships,
Mary Kate Soliva (49:44):
Marina Rabinek (49:44):
Got, of course, Hoover, right? You’ve got the Pat Tillman Foundation, <affirmative> that does the, the Tillman Scholars. You’ve got the, uh, Purdue has their a women, So I’ve gone to this one. It’s a woman focused one called Focus Forward Fellowship and their applications and the Tillman Foundation, you know, Tillman Scholar, they’re all open for applications. And there’s one, yeah, there’s one that I’m applying to the, um, the Stan two veteran leadership at the Bush. Yeah, the Bush Institute. Oh, that one’s gonna be amazing. All
Scott Luton (50:19):
Mary Kate Soliva (50:19):
So we don’t, so sucked.
Marina Rabinek (50:22):
Please go. You’re
Scott Luton (50:23):
<laugh>. Zach, what? Say
Zack Knight (50:27):
I’ll keep it super simple and, uh, they’ve named every other one possible except for the one that matters here in Atlanta. Marina Atlanta
Mary Kate Soliva (50:34):
Zack Knight (50:34):
For you. The fourth new marina? Um, no, uh, Atlanta. Huge. Yes. You know, we’re doing a big thing thanks to support with y’all. Um, but also we have some amazing things happening in Atlanta. Uh, we always have free attendances all over our events. Um, now pushed us a little bit more. We have couple virtual events every month. We have, um, at least three or four in person events here in Atlanta, Really trying to grow that piece of it. Mercedes-Benz Stadium this Saturday, thanks to y’all’s support there, of course. And December 7th, we’re having our next summit here in Atlanta at the Atlanta History Center. Where’re, we’re focused. I’m actually running the agenda for, this one’s focused on a lot of what we’re talking about, the Veteran’s Voice, and we’re focusing on getting veteran’s voices out there. Usually we have four or veterans show up to those, but I’d love to see a lot, uh, the capacity to show and show out. So, yeah, we’re a lot of things here in Atlanta. I absolutely love it.
Mary Kate Soliva (51:26):
And that energy on another level, right? Scott? You just Oh yeah. Pumped up when you’re in a room full <laugh>.
Scott Luton (51:31):
Definitely. And, you know, Atlanta’s been around quite some time, uh, and, and really inspiring others of how, uh, veterans and veteran advocates can, can organize with impact. There is,
Zack Knight (51:43):
There is, vets to industry is every one of our things. We always have a, uh, every one of our summits, we always have Brian out there. So huge collaboration across. That’s what we really focus on, is the collaborative piece. So That’s right. If you wanna check out that’s industry, they’ll be there. And hopefully Mary Kate, you know, working the table and like, and wave and smiling something.
Scott Luton (52:01):
Well, so probably
Marina Rabinek (52:02):
Our girl, Martha too is gonna be there. Martha Foss, she,
Zack Knight (52:05):
She’s a part of Atlanta now. We her, she’s ours now. Exactly. Sorry. Yeah. Smart she’ll be
Scott Luton (52:10):
There. So we’ve shared the vet, so vets to industry.org. And then, is it Vet Atlanta? I always get this wrong com. Okay. Atlanta org.org. And again, folks, if you’re, um, not calling you cities out, but if I think of NFL Cities, you know, from Cleveland to Seattle, to Houston, to la, Cincinnati, whatever, you don’t have a group, you know, something like a vet industry or a Atlanta and or missing out, I bet they’ll benchmark with you. Reach out, have that conversation and figure out how you can organize and really support your local veterans community. Okay. So one last point I wanna mention, and then we’re gonna go around and make sure folks know how to connect with each of y’all. This hour has, has flown past as I know it would, I meant to mention this earlier, but, you know, according to military times an article from September, and it’s tough to, uh, triangulate, but unemployment for military spouses hovers around 22%, is what I’m reading.
Scott Luton (53:04):
And, you know, if you think about these, those issues that stay below the surface, you think about a lot of the moving around that military families have, and then how tough it has when you’re not in uniform and you’re there trying to make your roots in that new city or the new base or whatever. It’s really tough to find, you know, a good job. So employers that are listening, uh, that may be new, that topic may be new to you. Find a creative way of, you know, embracing those folks in your community cause they could use your help. So check out can Google military spouse unemployment and see all the facts and figures and challenges associated with it.
Mary Kate Soliva (53:38):
And that same plug, Scott, to just, you know, as far as helping upscale, you know, I’m, I’m happy to have a call with any, anybody, our listeners talking about, if you’re trying to get stuff into the project management profession, get earning certifications there. A lot of our, in a lot of our employers, they got open job openings and they’re looking for those certifications. So happy to have a conversation about that.
Scott Luton (54:01):
Love that. Thank you Mary Kate. So, right, so back where we started, Marina, how can folks, uh, connect with you? What’s the best way?
Marina Rabinek (54:10):
Ooh, best way. Um, probably LinkedIn. I would say. Would you like me to drop my chat? My or my, I’m, I’m quick like that.
Scott Luton (54:24):
I could barely, uh, walk and chew gum at the same time. And, and, and you got 17 things going on, by the way. I think we’ve got it in episode notes. And if you’re listening to this on the replay, it’ll definitely be on the episode notes. But thank you for dropping that. And by the way, James says, military spouses are always in transition, so very, very true. Zach, what’s the easiest way to folks connect with you? Same
Zack Knight (54:42):
Thing. LinkedIn. I’m there all the time. Um, the other social media, I have a team that handles a lot of that, but LinkedIn, ’em on there quite a bit. Um, Zach a Knight, make sure just like it’s on the screen, make sure that a’s in there and, uh, the, and the, and you
Scott Luton (54:58):
That. Thank you Zach. Thank you, Marina Home run both, uh, Dynamos, the two of you are. And then Mary Kate a triumphant, if I said that right of Donna Mos here today. Mary Kate, how can folks connect with you?
Mary Kate Soliva (55:09):
Yeah, to connect with me on, on LinkedIn. I’m happy and I’m, you know, new mentor on AmeriCorps Partners now was better mentor as well. But, uh, you know, I just don’t sell yourself short. You have, you have enough experience now whether you’re two days out of the military to be able to turn around and help the ones coming behind you. So, um, just know to continue to send that information back. But you can connect with me on mk saliva sol iva guri.org or on LinkedIn, and tune into Veteran Voices, right, Scott?
Scott Luton (55:40):
That’s right. Wherever you get your podcast from. Veteran Voices, wherever you get your podcast from. Okay, Big thanks. All three of y’all really. I know we’ve, we’ve heaped a bunch of praise on you, but it comes from a very genuine spot. You know, I, I track three of y’all very regularly and admire all that you give, give, give and help others avoid, you know, pot holes in their journey and, and then some. So thank you for what you do. Marina Ra, thank you very much. Hope you have a great weekend.
Marina Rabinek (56:07):
Thank you, Scott. You too.
Scott Luton (56:08):
And Zach a Knight. Thank you so much. Congrats on the new book.
Zack Knight (56:13):
Yes, Thanks brother. Appreciate y’all.
Scott Luton (56:14):
You bet. And of course, my, uh, partner in crime, Mary Kate Saliva, who hosts our Veteran Voices programming in conjunction with our friends at Bets to Industry. Mary Kay, thanks for all you do.
Mary Kate Soliva (56:24):
Thank you, Scott. Thank you everybody that tuned in today. Happy Veterans
Scott Luton (56:28):
Day, dude. That’s right. Take action. Hey, deeds, not words. Uh, thanks for the great conversation to our listeners, hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as we have here. They’ve had a bla a lot of fun and also tackle some, uh, some not so fun issues that are facing our veteran community. But hey, take action. Lean in, uh, find a practical, outcome driven way of supporting our veteran community. They can, they need your help, right? They need mentorship, they need good jobs, They need a network. Find a way. Uh, you give big, give small as Greg White likes to say, but just give. And on that note, on behalf our entire team here at Supply Chain now and Veteran Voices, Scott Luden challenged you, Be like these three, do good, give forward and be the change.
Marina Rabinek is a teal-haired bilingual super connector, master networker and 24-year Navy veteran. When she isn’t working with her nonprofit, Military Women’s Collective mentoring veterans, military spouses and service members transitioning from the military on Veterati and LinkedIn, she can be found in California taking road trips, playing board/video games and hanging out with her husband, daughter and three cats. Connect with Marina on LinkedIn.
Zack Knight started his leadership journey working in the metro-Atlanta area as a police officer and SWAT Operator. After seven years serving his local community, he transitioned to the role of an Infantry Leader in the U.S. Army and continued to serve during a combat deployment to Afghanistan and locally with the Georgia National Guard. In between time away with the military, Zack has been able to build six businesses ranging from a security consulting firm, a domestic violence awareness non-profit, to an international dance competition he and his business partner grew to over 150 countries in the first year of operation. He now focuses on promoting veterans across the country as the marketing chair for VETLANTA, the founder of ATLVets and through his new book “The Legacy of Love: A Journey of Self-Mastery.” Connect with Zack on Linkedin.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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.