The innovation we saw play out in the development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines was evidence of the power of modern medicine when combined with the determination of the human spirit. Global collaboration plus investment plus information sharing compressed the time from start to finish from 10-15 years to just one year.
But now that the smoke has started to clear, questions are beginning to arise about the IP associated with those vaccines. How can the world ensure equitable access to vaccines and treatments now and into the future?
In May of 2022, a draft proposal leaked from a few member countries in the World Trade Organization: United States, European Union, India, and South Africa. If the proposal is presented to other member companies on July 7-9 (it has already been delayed form a planned vote on June 9th), we will have the opportunity to see the official wording as well as the response it gets from the rest of the world.
In this week’s Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner reviews the interesting complexities surrounding this leaked proposal:
• Whether equitable access to vaccines and other medical treatments is really at the heart of the proposal, or whether there are other motives at play
• Why the WTO TRIPS agreement (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) isn’t being invoked even though it contains appropriate allowances for temporary, local IP access in the case of “extreme urgency”
• What the implications of inconsistently applied IP protections might be for global innovation – in medicine and beyond
Welcome to dial P for procurement, a show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates, the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement.
Kelly Barner (00:31):
The world faced a lot of hardship during the COVID 19 pandemic, there was of course, tragic loss of life. There was sickness, and then there was the isolation of everyone being sent home to live on their own for so long. Now we also know there were a lot of business closures, especially in localized service sectors like restaurants and gyms. And then of course, anybody in this audience knows well that there were so many supply chain disruptions. There were also product shortages. And a lot of it was actually in response to new consumer patterns of demand. But all of those things aside, there were also some silver linings. And what we’re going to talk about in this episode is sort of an interesting offshoot from one of those silver linings. The invention of the COVID 19 vaccine was an amazing human and scientific accomplishment. Just one year after the virus was first identified, the Pfizer vaccine became the first to receive emergency youth’s authorization from the FDA.
Kelly Barner (01:47):
Now, according to the publication medical news today, typically this process would take 10 to 15 years and part of how they accelerated that so much was through collaboration. Researchers worked together and they shared information, so that progress could be made in parallel operation warp speed in the United States brought together the national institutes of health Emma centers for disease control and prevention or CDC. And the same thing was happening abroad. The European union supported research and the UK vaccine task force helped fund and create the AstraZeneca vaccine Pfizer. And Moderna were the first mRNA vaccines that humans received outside of clinical trials. So we have all of this incredible innovation that’s taken place. And of course the follow on question is who owns it and how can it be protected? How do we as a human race balance the calls for equitable access to cutting edge medicines and treatments with the very real concerns private companies have about investing in future research and production.
Kelly Barner (03:10):
I’m Kelly Barner, I’m the co-founder and managing director at buyers meeting point. I’m a partner at art of procurement, and I am your host for dial P here on supply chain. Now I am constantly scanning the news for interesting complex articles to discuss. And of course the goal is always to see what we can learn. I have a quick favor to ask we’re building out dial P’s independent following. So if you like, what you hear, please give us a review, give us a few stars, a share a like we’re grateful for you taking your time to listen to these audio episodes. Okay. Now, where were we? This episode of dial P was inspired by an early may article that ran in the Boston Herald. It was titled threat to global innovation now brewing at the WTO, and it was written by James pulley, former deputy director of the United nations world intellectual property organization, and a member of the center for intellectual property.
Kelly Barner (04:17):
Understanding I was instantly grabbed by the idea of this article and it gave me something to go and research. Now whether each individual person chooses to get it or not. We’re not getting into that here. The COVID vaccine was a miracle of modern research, production and logistics, but on the global stage, there are very different vaccination rates by country. According to the Brookings Institute in low income countries, fewer than 10% of people have received at least one dose of a vaccine that compares with about 80% in high income countries. And as with anything real, there are of course, multiple factors influencing these numbers. There are local manufacturing capabilities, the availability of transportation networks. We know this vaccine has to be stored cold and then on a human level, people are going to make the choices they’re going to make. There are varying levels of willingness to be vaccinated.
Kelly Barner (05:26):
Now, where does the world trade organization come into this? They exist to establish the rules of trade between nations. There are 164 member states who represent over 98% of global trade and global GDP. So effectively we are talking about all global business, the WTO oversees trade disputes, and they provide for intellectual property protections. Now in early may of this year, when the article I originally read, came out, the United States, European union, India and South Africa had just finalized a proposal to waive intellectual property protections for the COVID 19 vaccines. There was supposed to be a vote of all member states on June 9th, but that has been postponed to early July. So we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out exactly what’s going to happen with this proposal. In the meantime, we can consider what it would mean if it passed now, according to when Shia and that’s spelled X I E.
Kelly Barner (06:41):
If you wanna go research any of this, she’s a partner at global IP counselors. And here’s what she said. Quote, if this goes through member countries have the option to make use, sell, or import COVID 19 vaccines without the authorization of the patent holder, which is saying that the vaccine makers can’t raise a big fuss and take anyone to court on the grounds that their patents are being infringed. So this is where I stop and think. But wait a minute, we’re talking about trading selling. Is this really about equal access to medical care and treatments? Or is there something else going on now? We know that intellectual property protections is part of what the WTO does and they already have what’s called the trips agreement. T R I P S. This is the agreement on trade related aspects of intellectual property rights. It was established in 1995, right when the world trade organization began operating and it lays out the minimum standards for requiring member states to respect and protect each other’s patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights.
Kelly Barner (08:02):
Here’s the interesting thing that we don’t often think about when it comes to intellectual property, those rights, those laws, and then of course enforcement, they vary by country. The trips agreement is supposed to open trade by providing assurances and protections so that if you have a trademark or a patent on something in the United States or in Canada or in the UK, or in France, that even though technically it is legally only protected in the country of origin or where the patent was filed, that there is reciprocal acknowledgement of that elsewhere, knowing that these protections are in place is what allows a lot of the cross border selling exports imports, availability of innovations worldwide. There is no such thing as a global or WTO based patent. So instead there’s this notion through trips, that agreement that countries will respect the IP based in other countries. And we’ve already established that 98% of global business is subject to the world trade organization.
Kelly Barner (09:21):
So truthfully everyone worldwide should be respecting everyone else’s intellectual property laws. Now this becomes more and more important as an increasing percentage of global trade is based on IP driven products. Now, trips does have a provision that allows for emergency situations, for instance, in response to a public health crisis, like a pandemic. And what it allows for is for localized manufacturers around the world to produce something for which they do not hold the IP in order to help their local population. It allows temporary localized access to IP without violating the rights of the patent or trademark owner. So my first question is why do we need this new proposal? If there’s already a provision on the books that would address the exact situation we find ourselves in with the vaccine. And so as always, we dig into the details here on dial P. So I mentioned there’s four countries where I guess four trading blocks, if you will, because we’ve got the European union in there, the us European union, South Africa and India, those are the four countries or trading blocks that have signed on to this proposal.
Kelly Barner (10:44):
South Africa and India are both hubs of generic drug manufacturing, and they have global markets. Remember trips, emergency exception only allows you to use others’ IP to take care of your own local population. It’s an emergency provision. It’s not supposed to be about growing your market. Share the serum Institute of India, which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer actually has stopped making COVID vaccines because there was not enough demand for them. Africa’s centers for disease control and prevention has asked other nations to stop donating vaccines because their issues are not availability. It’s transportation and population hesitancy to receive the vaccine. So once again, we’re left with this question, why do India and South Africa need this exception now? Because this is a question of business. We have to think about the bottom line R and D is very expensive. Most of the well known companies in the pharma space spend about 25% of their revenues on R and D.
Kelly Barner (12:04):
If they lose the incentive to invest that money, because other members of the world trade organization can just choose to ignore their patents. It could actually change the treatments that become available to the people who need them. So is this proposal about access or is it about the ability to trade and profit off of someone else’s IP now naturally there is disagreement around this issue while some countries and leaders argue that the new proposal is a threat to the enforcement of IP rights worldwide. Others argue that it doesn’t go far enough, and here’s what they say. They say for now. It only covers vaccine, not the broader treatments that would actually be covered by a trip’s exception as set out in the current rules. And yet they do allow for the possibility that it would be expanded over time now, because this type of topic, business and healthcare, though, it might be, is so close to politics.
Kelly Barner (13:10):
You will always be able to find a source or an opinion holder that agrees with your general worldview, no matter what you will find, someone that agrees with what makes sense to you. My question is, can you read what others feel about this and understand where they’re coming from? One thing everyone does seem to agree about whether they support this proposal or oppose it is that it’s not really about the COVID vaccine IP waiver. That may be the topic of the moment, but that’s not really what’s at the core of the debate. The core of the debate is about the precedent that however, this proposal plays out, ultimately sets up for future IP protections, enforcement abuse. When Shia that I quoted earlier summarized the current status this way, what seems to be really happening with this so-called waiver is a multi-lateral agreement that some developing nations are going to not enforce COVID vaccine patents within their borders and the world trade organization is not going to retaliate.
Kelly Barner (14:22):
Now, one of the things that we definitely know about business in general, and we absolutely know about supply chain more specifically, is that when you’re trying to become more competitive, there are assumptions, there are constraints, and then you run the analysis against it. The more unpredictable a situation is the more difficult it becomes to figure out the right answer. If knowing whether or not IP protections will be offered and violations will be prosecuted. Worldwide becomes a huge question, mark. It changes the overall calculus of companies. Now, if you don’t think this is a big deal, remember pretty much everyone worldwide is a member of the world trade organization. And that includes China. There are currently a number of ongoing complaints against China over their violation of the trips agreement. Now, there are reciprocal complaints against the United States and a number of other countries I’m sure.
Kelly Barner (15:23):
And all of these countries have the option to work through the world trade organization, as well as to proceed unilaterally with their own laws. Of course, the most interesting thing of all about this proposal is that we only know about it because it leaked. So that always complicates things. And I will admit that the fact that the vote has now been delayed on top of this proposal, being leaked suggests that maybe they’re trying to figure out what the actual world temperature around this proposal is going to be before it’s put on the floor and brought to a vote. The language that is voted upon between July 7th and ninth. Now that’s based on the current schedule may or may not eventually have graduated provisions that expand the scope of the waiver. So right now, by the letter of it, it’s literally just the vaccine, but will it be expanded?
Kelly Barner (16:18):
As some people have said, it should be to include treatments as well. Now, global IP issues are not just the business of the world trade organization. This is a much bigger problem on March 7th, 2022 Russia’s government. Believe it or not legalized IP theft from what they call unfriendly countries. Now that’s a quote, those are their words, unfriendly countries. So if we’re gonna stay with that kind of language, you’ve got the one country on earth that pretty much everybody’s mad at right now. And they’re calling pretty much everybody else unfriendly. So who have they called out as unfriendly countries? Yes, of course the United States. We always top that list. Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, the UK, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore Taiwan, and all 27 European union member countries. So everyone is an unfriendly country and they no longer feel that it’s necessary to compensate patent holders. If the patent holders are in those unfriendly countries, world economies are always changing and an awful lot of what we do in the United States and Europe certainly is knowledge based.
Kelly Barner (17:47):
And we’re not just talking about literal knowledge like professional services. We’re talking about technology software, chip design. We’ve certainly spent the last few minutes talking about pharmaceuticals and medicine development, but we’re also talking about physical engineering. If we, and I won’t say as a global economy, but I will say as a global set of national economies gets ourselves into a system where IP rights are enforced in some places, but not others. It is absolutely going to get in the way of global partnerships, global innovation and cross industry advancement. Personally, I’m not one who looks to governments to fix things, but I do think if there are rules already on the books that can address the challenges we’re seeing passing new rules does raise concern about what’s actually at the heart of the call for new, but that’s just my point of view. As I’ve shared others, hold differing opinions.
Kelly Barner (18:52):
You may be listening in and holding a differing opinion yourself. This is a complex issue, which is why it’s worth learning about reading, about talking about and trying to figure out I absolutely, as I do with all of these episodes, welcome you to do your own research. Don’t trust me, do your own reading. Bring your point of view back to the conversation. Let’s talk about it and see if we can figure out what makes the most sense until then. I appreciate you listening in to this episode of dial P for procurement. As I’ve said, don’t just listen, join the conversation and let me and others know what you think. Let’s disagree constructively and work together to figure out the best solution until next time. I’m Kelly Barner, your host for dial P for procurement here on supply chain. Now thank you as always so much for listening and have a great rest of your day.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of dial P for procurement and for being an active part of the supply chain. Now community, please check out all of our shows and firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you follow dial P four procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of dial P four procurement.
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.