Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 146

Supply Chain Now Radio, Episode 146
“Jordana Crow with Spend Management Experts: Role Models, Reinvention, & Resilience”
The Full Access Series on Supply Chain Now Radio
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Jordana Crow serves as Director of Strategic Alliances & Community Affairs for Spend Management Experts (SME), a firm that provides strategic guidance, cost modeling technology and deep market intelligence to help companies optimize their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. In her role, Jordana brings more than 20 years of marketing experience to SME where she is responsible for managing the company’s philanthropic endeavors, local business outreach, and conference and event participation. Previously, Jordana spent nearly a decade with the Cartoon Network in the Strategic Marketing and Partnerships group. In her role, she led a team responsible for more than 60 on-air, online and on package promotions each year, working with major kids brands such as Lego, Nintendo and Warner Bros. Prior to her time at Cartoon Network, she held account management posts at Career Sports and Entertainment and began her career in sports and entertainment marketing successfully registering more than 10,000 athletes and 5,000 team officials at the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta. Crow holds a BA from Emory University. Learn more about Spend Management Experts here:


Scott W. Luton is the founder of Supply Chain Now Radio. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott currently serves as a board member with APICS Atlanta and was recently named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and serves on the advisory board for the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about SCNR here:

In this episode in our Full Access Series, Scott welcomes Director of Strategic Alliances & Community Affairs for Spend Management Experts, Jordana Crow.  They discuss her role models, her career path, reinvention, and resilience.

 [00:00:05] It’s time for a supply chain. Now radio broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia. Supply chain. Now radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain. The people, the companies, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. Now here are your hosts.


[00:00:36] All right. Good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you live on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. We are coming to you today from Vector Global Logistics, a company that’s providing world class logistics services, all while deeply investing into the communities that they serve. Based in Atlanta, but with an international reach. This company is on the move. You can learn more at Vector GSL dot com. On today’s episode, we’re continuing our Full Access series where we interview exceptional female leaders from across industry. And for our audience, you’re in store. We’ve got a great guess in store today, one that I’ve enjoyed getting to know and networking with and learning from. And we’re gonna share some of her feedback and insights with you here on a quick programming note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, where and wherever else you find your podcasts. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss anything. Supply Chain Now Radio is also brought to you by a variety of sponsors, including the effective syndicate VeriSign A picks Atlanta supply chain, real estate, dot com and several other leading organizations. Be sure to check out the show notes to learn more about our valuable sponsors. OK, so no further ado. Let’s welcome our featured guest today, Jordan Crow, director, strategic alliances and community affairs with spin management export experts. Jordan, how are you doing?


[00:02:04] I’m doing great, Scott. Thanks so much for having me. Appreciate it.


[00:02:07] We are so glad that you were here today and looking forward to gaining some of your insights and your perspective. So with that said, we’re gonna dive right in. Sounds good. Okay. All right. So let’s move back in time a little bit less. Let’s talk about where you grew up.


[00:02:24] So I am born and raised in New York, born in Queens, lived there for four years and moved out to Long Island. I lived there really my entire sort of formative years, up to up to college. Small Watertown, about 35 minutes outside the city. So, OK, small town feel but a big city vibe because everybody, including my father, worked in New York City. We spent a lot of time going into the city, experiencing culture and the arts and theater and then coming home and, you know, having our sort of small town feel, which was really nice.


[00:02:59] So how can you go back? You go back a lot.


[00:03:02] I do. You know, interestingly, I’ve been here for a very long time and I still call New York home. There’s something about the place where I grew up. And I now have friends that have cycled back and are raising their families in the town where we grew up. So I do try to get back several times a year. It’s more and more difficult with, you know, kids as they get older for us to all go. But I do my best to get there several times a year because, you know, family is important and kind of get back to your roots is also really nice.


[00:03:32] Absolutely. You got me ready to go. I want to go to New York today. You’re ready to head down to Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport and hop a plane. Let’s roll. So while you’re growing up, you test list this little bit. What were some of your early hobbies?


[00:03:46] I was really into I tried a lot of different things. You know, I dabbled in gymnastics and art and, you know, maybe a little acting classes and things like that. But really in middle school and high school was called junior high back. And actually in middle school and high school, I really was into sports. I played you around middle school. I played field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball. Then I dropped one for high school and played volleyball, basketball and softball. Most of my high school career and then was involved in the school with other things. I was involved in student government and, you know, some other well-rounded activities. Yeah, I tried to be tried to be. My mother would say I was too into the sports. But, you know, it’s what I loved and it kept me busy and out of trouble.


[00:04:33] Sure. So what softball position did you play?


[00:04:37] I was a pitcher, a really windmill southpaw.


[00:04:40] Oh, man. OK. Is that only any other infielder outfielder?


[00:04:46] You know, I don’t know how I even decided that I wanted to do that when I started playing softball. But I didn’t really I really only pitched in back then. It’s like we had three girls that pitch and we went to a whole high school season, which would, you know, sort of never happen now. Right. But I don’t know. I just kind of had a knack for it and enjoyed it and was comfortable on the mound.


[00:05:10] More importantly, with all those sports you played and the teamwork aspect to that was that big, important dynamic of your your kind of your grow at your development years and not.


[00:05:23] Yeah, I definitely think so. What one of the things that was really important that was preached to me at home and that I really preach now is that, you know, it’s not about you. You make a commitment. You follow it. Especially when you’re on a team, because, you know, if you say you’re going to do something and then you’re not there, you’re letting other people down. So actually, when my kids get in trouble, I never take away their athletics, because when I take that away for them, I’m really hurting other people. And so I want them to know, you know, you commit to something, you follow it through. Whether you’re not interested anymore or it’s just tough and and you don’t love it or you don’t love the teammates or the coaching rhetoric, you know, that’s what life’s about. You’re not always gonna love everything you do and everybody you’re with. So if you can learn to work through that and also understanding that, you know, on your very best day, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be the winner. And I think that’s a really important life lesson to understand that, like, you can give it your all. It still may not work out the way you want it to or thought it should. But, you know, that’s what life. That’s what happens in life, love. So you got to carry that forward.


[00:06:31] I love that. All right. So let’s let’s kind of stay along those those early years. What were one or two of your earliest role models that you really drew inspiration from?


[00:06:42] So I guess I have two. One is a little later on and it’s out of my first job.


[00:06:48] Mike can do that. No, I’m kidding. Okay. We want. We want here both. OK. All right.


[00:06:52] So my earliest role models, I mean, look, my mom, my dad, my dad was a really hardworking guy and he didn’t say much and he was gone a lot working. But now when I look back at everything he did, he was all about his family.


[00:07:08] He worked really hard for us. And he actually gave me the best piece of it. I think the best piece of advice I ever got, I was thinking about that as a sort of thinking about today is I used to. He used to work in the basement like a separate office in the basement, which was for like paying bills and budgeting and all this other stuff. And and. I went down there one time and I would say, oh, what are you doing? And he’d say, I’m paying the bills. Never put anything on the credit card. You cannot afford to pay at the end of the month. And I thought, well, okay. And I went to college and they offered me a bunch of credit cards and I got a credit card. And I used my credit card as my father had told me, which was if I didn’t think I could pay it off at the end of the month, I didn’t buy it. And it seems silly now. But at the end of the day, looking back when I graduated college, I was sit around a table with a bunch of my friends and they were talking about their debt. Why went on the ski trip and this and that and had all this debt. And they said, what about you? I said, Oh, how many debt? Do you have any credit cards? I said, Yes, I do, but this is how I was raised. And I think what what that really taught me and gave me was, you know, some more financial freedom. Young in my career when I wasn’t making a ton of money. But because I wasn’t overspending, I still was able to manage completely for myself, which was really important for me. So that was, you know, my most important piece of advice. Now, looking back and my dad, you know, he just was a hardworking guy, still loves his family. Its most important thing, too. What do you do? My dad was a corporate attorney.


[00:08:44] So that was your first that was one of two role models. You mentioned that played a critical role. Your dad was earlier. Yeah. What was the one later?


[00:08:52] My first job out of college, I ended up being lucky enough to work for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and have actually started as I had an internship my second semester of my senior year of college with the Cultural Olympiad here in Atlanta. I signed up with the temp agency that following for that summer, which was the year before the games here in Atlanta, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. In 1995. Yes. Thank you for that.


[00:09:18] Sure. Oh, no, no. Anybody knows how old I am. I know I mentioned that in case some of our audience does not know what year the Olympics came. Yes. And also, 1995 was a year the Braves won the World Series. Yes. So these are important milestone. Absolutely.


[00:09:34] Absolutely. So I’d signed up with a temp agency, which was Ronstadt at the time, thinking, you know, maybe I’ll get some jobs over the summer and figure out what I want to do next. They had testing events that summer here in Atlanta. I was called in for a temp assignment, registering, working in the registration platform for the athletes are coming for the test events because it’s a huge test for the following year for the Olympics. So I came in there was doing my job on the temp assignment and, you know, there were eight of us. And then all of a sudden there were six of us. And all of a sudden there were four of us. And, you know, all of a sudden I was there and they were offering me an opportunity. The woman that was sort of running that for testing a her name was Suzanne Duncan is student Suzanne Duncan, who should have been my boss for that year of the Olympic Games. And I think what I learned from her is that she she was so smart, she was so talented. She was very sharp and organized, but she was very collaborative. She pushed everybody in of she was very warm and kind. And I started to see and realized that that really can get you far, being collaborative, being kind. You know, smiling at somebody who might be having a tough day and just seeing how she was so professional, how she conducted herself in really stressful situations, stressful year. And I just thought to myself, if I can be like her in my career, I think it’ll all go, you know, go well. I mean, she’s she just was great. She and she was a great mentor to me. She was very supportive of me in that role.


[00:11:08] Sound like she embraced.


[00:11:10] Being a mentor, having the battle, right? Absolutely. Absolutely. And it was really good. I always think back to like should show the greatest smile. I think that that people gravitated toward her because of that, because they knew wasn’t to be confrontational. We’re going to talk about whatever the issue is. We’re going to collaborate, move forward, make things happen.


[00:11:28] I like that. There’s a lot of parallels with what’s going on. And in many ways. And then supply chain. You know, the progressive collaboration is taking place. A lot of the four walls and the silos still exist in many places, but some of the most successful companies are many of those are very progressive, forward looking, collaborative organizations. And really, Suzanne Duncan is like a we’re kind of projecting her personality across industry. But that that’s really as you describe, that that’s what I think of some of the really needs newest partnerships and approaches we’re seeing. So a word, as our audience can tell, we’re in the thick of things. We’re here, but Vector Global Logistics our studio and that is a real car taking shipments, getting ready party for the upcoming retail season right in the background probably happened 10 or 12 times a day. That’s that’s where we are moving into one of the busiest and best times of year in spots. Okay. So getting back, sorry for that. That little right turn there. Let’s let’s go back and Jourdan. Let’s talk about your formal education. So. So where did you go to school, would you, Matron?


[00:12:39] So I came from New York and I came down here to Atlanta to Emory University. It was literally the school that I knew I wanted to be at. So I have a brother two years older. I did a lot of college touring with him. He didn’t know where he wanted to be at. Emory was actually not even on his list, but for some reason I just said, I want to go there. Hadn’t even visited here yet. When I felt that I knew I wanted to go here. Came down, fell in love with it, and was fortunate enough to be accepted early decision. So I don’t even have to go down the route of applying to other schools and have a liberal arts degree. A bachelors in sociology. OK.


[00:13:17] So what? Emory, how cool is that going to school? I mean, once I heard that the college heard of the university and obviously huge economic impact here in metro Atlanta. But did you live on campus? Did you live in area? Well, what was it like living and going to school? Emory University?


[00:13:36] Sure. I want to say I definitely had like a real, I thought, traditional college experience, less the big time sports and football, which now when I look back, I go, how did I end up not at a place where the big time college football program like Clemson, again, that component that was the good.


[00:13:53] That was for Cathy in South Carolina.


[00:13:56] But, you know, I think what drew me to Atlanta is, one, I want to get out of the cold. I wanted to come to a city. I wanted to be at a school where I didn’t have to jump. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. And I didn’t want to go to a school where I had to apply into, let’s say, like the business program to start. What if I hated it right now? What if it wasn’t for me? So a lot of things that appealed to me about Emory was, one, being able to get out and be independent again, having that opportunity. If you want to go to the business school at Emory, that was sort of apply in junior year to opportunity. So give you some time to figure out who you are and what you wanted to do. I lived on campus is a beautiful campus, which literally has been completely redone. Now, I was over there recently. My dorm is gone. Most of the dorms that I lived in are gone. Allow the buildings are updated. But, you know, beautiful school, wonderful facilities, incredible professors. Small enough, but big enough. You know, it is definitely a smaller size school. And I think, you know, it had the city so it had it had big time sports, it had NFL football and it had the Braves and it had the Hawks. So I could still get those things that I enjoyed, because up north, you really watch big time college football. It was the Yankees and the Yankees and the more Giants. But it was the college basketball. Oh, yeah, that’s right. Yeah, that’s St. John, Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown. So I didn’t think about college football then as I do now. Having lived here for so long. But it really had it offered all those things from a city standpoint. It was warm weather. And I think I even looked toward, you know, it’s a place that city I could after I graduate, there’s something I could do here, even though I didn’t know what it was I wanted to do.


[00:15:42] So looking back in the future to give first year college student Georgina Crowe some advice or some feedback or suggestions, what would that be?


[00:15:55] Get a little more sleep. Don’t don’t have a class at 8:00. That’s a bad idea. But but truly, I think it’s really important, too. Especially now. College is so expensive now. Certainly it’s always been expensive, but it just seems that the costs are rising so incredibly. And I think that there is this feeling like you got to go in knowing what you want to do and you gotta do something that maybe recoup the investment. For me, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and I stayed true to that, actually. You know, I chose a liberal arts degree in sociology because it was interesting to me. I liked what was happening in the classes. I think it’s really I think it would be important to say, you know, stay true to who you are and what you think you want. It’s very easy to go with the flow. Right. And go with what everybody else is doing. But, you know, if there’s something you’re you really enjoy and you’re really passionate about, pursue it and take the opportunity to do things and make mistakes, because you still can, you know, at that age. And it’s important to learn what you like and and don’t like. And I also think it’s important to find something you really enjoy, because as we all know, when you get out and you start working and it’s everyday, all of a sudden, you know, when I graduated college and I hit Christmas time, there was no six week break. I went, oh, wow, I’m really in it now. And so I think you really want to love what you do or get something from it that drives you every day, because there will be those days where you don’t want to be there. And so you got to be passionate about it. You got to enjoy it. You’ve got to love it. So I think going into college, look at things that, you know, you enjoy, try new things, meet new people, come out of your comfort zone.


[00:17:34] That’s what helps with the stick to stick to it in this. Right, when that’s when it when you get the bad days, even if you’re doing something you love, the bad days aren’t quite as bad as if you’re doing something otherwise and not chasing your passion. So you’ve already talked about one of the things I wanna ask you about is your first job. And I think you’re touched on that, working with Suzanne Duncan. And I use like asking people, you know, that critical lesson learned from that first job. And you’ve also touched on that. But if you if you had expound on anything else or if you think about any other big Eureka moment or key takeaway, that that early work, that first work experience provided with anything that’s come to mind.


[00:18:15] Yeah, you know, for me, it’s always put your best foot forward, always give it your all arm, let people know you’re there to work with them, you’re not working against them or trying to necessarily get something from them, but not give anything in return, because I think they’re much more willing to be open and collaborate and work with you and problem solve in challenging times. And look. I spent one year and it was like in one year we are running out of time and the Olympics will happen. That’s where we are now going to register all of these athletes and all these team officials. And, you know, it will happen.


[00:18:47] So we drop dead date.


[00:18:49] So we have to get it done. So to me, it was I don’t ever want anybody to think that I’m not here to work hard and to get it done. And they understand that I’m here to work with. Work hard with them and collaborate. I mean, that is huge for me. Like grit, determination, sticking with what you say you’re going to do and finishing out to the end, you know, and then whatever happens, happens. You definitely learn something from it.


[00:19:14] Absolutely. OK. So what was one of your early promotions? And if you can also speak to, you know, how you accomplished it.


[00:19:25] Sure. So after I worked, I worked for the Olympics and I parlayed that through networking into sports marketing job. And then I ended up over at Turner Broadcasting Cartoon Network. And I started on the sales side as like a sales coordinator with actually our current president of sales and marketing at spend management experts. I had met him at his son and daughter in law’s wedding.


[00:19:50] And I ended up he had taken, you know, been promoted and had a new position at Cartoon Network. I ended up going to there. I was just kind of ready for a change after my sports marketing job. And I want to make a switch and get into sort of like a larger corporation where I thought there might be some, you know, long term opportunities for growth. So I ended up meeting him at the wedding. I ended up getting you. We had a great conversation and I’m going in for an interview. Working over there on the sales coordinators side. So on the sales side, liaison with the network for the sales team assisting, you know, the EVP and GM sales there at the time. After a couple of years, I knew that I was sort of ready for something new and there was a position on the other side of the network. Promotions manager position. And I really wanted to go for it. And I felt that I had the capabilities. I had the, you know, the the client management skills, the project management skills. And the best thing that could have happened to me as it was moving to the network and then liaison with the sales team and doing those promotions. And I was really fortunate and blessed that because of the work I’d been doing with them on the same team, I was championed by the the senior vice president, New York, who ran the promotions marketing group and by my boss, who is now my boss.


[00:21:08] Also, it’s been management experts who said, you know, she can do it. You know, this is somebody we’d love to continue working with and watch her grow her career. So I ended up I mean, it was a very rigorous. They really put me through it, even though I was already in the company, very rigorous interview process and I got the job. And that’s really where my career at Turner, I would say that I spent the last eight years there of my first two years on the sale side, my last eight years on the network side. And I just loved what I did. It was so much fun. I loved working with the sales team. I love working with our clients. I love working with all these incredibly creative individuals on the network side. And I was able to move to that position because of the time, effort and energy in the commitment I showed on the other side. So, you know, it pays off. Put your best foot forward all the time.


[00:21:58] I love that. So. The problem with that promotion at Turner. What? Well, the door I mean, clearly one of the doors open is your is your present position, right? Because there is a commonality with with with your colleagues and stuff. But what other doors than any any other thing that you can think about, other opportunities that that your success they’re afforded you because you really were leaning in you following your passion. You were doing a lot of things. You mentioned, you know, doing what you said. You’re going to put your best foot forward, collaborate, give and take, not just be a taker. I can see that you have more interactions. This is kind of what I’ve seen and observed in other doors that that you feel that this early success opened for you.


[00:22:46] Well, I think it really gave me within a corporate structure. It really did give me a lot of opportunity because I was proving myself to be that type of hard work. I had people that, you know, then I was able to mentor and worked under me, which I really loved. And I worked with some incredible. Most of them on my team were were women. And they just incredible. They have moved on to do incredible things. Some are still there. I had a great when I moved over to the network side. A phenomenal boss that we are not just colleagues, but very dear friends. And we, I think, both appreciate and respect each other’s skill sets and strengths. But it really afforded me the opportunity to grow other individuals to also help to teach them to learn from some of the things that were my mistakes leaning in all the time, but not setting boundaries. I had a really hard time at the end of the day, putting it down because I was like, well, I just need to finish this one last thing. And so I would really try to advise them to say, like, I see you and you are doing great work. But also it’s very important to set, you know, like if you’re bowling and you put those bumper lanes where your bumpers. You know what? What’s your point of critical mass? Because it is hard to get out. Get yourself off that hamster wheel. And then the opportunity when I have my children, I did works some from home, which was like an unheard of thing. Sure. And I sort of earned that right. I was very, very proud of that. And then when I retired, I retired.


[00:24:20] Yes. I had I had a two year old son when I had identical twins. And I hung in for two years. And then one day, literally, it just it just became so much. So when I retired, I had the opportunity about a year and a couple of years later to come back in on, you know, just a part time basis to fill in for somebody. And I think. The OP, the work I did there and the way I did my work afforded me those opportunities to say, hey, if we call her, she’ll come and she’ll do it and she’ll do it well. And it’s like a reputation. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’m very proud of the reputation I built there. And when I came back, it really because when I left and I retired, I said I was leaving because I was so exhausted and three young kids and of any family in town. And and I couldn’t keep doing it all. And I kept trying to figure out how everybody could do it all. And what I realized when I decided to give my notice and step away for a few years was that these people that looked like they were doing it all. Something is giving. You know, if he you know, maybe they were the one working and some and their husband was at home or they had a full time nanny or live in it. You know, something is not everything is perfect. Right. What you see of other people is not always perfect. And I just needed some time to step away and kind of figure that out for myself and be with my family because there is a give and take.


[00:25:45] Yeah, yeah, absolutely.


[00:25:47] And everyone faces those choices. And I like how you put it there, because, you know, we all see it. We see. But then there’s always some below the surface level that that, you know, these tradeoffs impact. So so. And one other observation, I think was I heard you describe your your time and advancement Turner and some of the things you were doing and and then some of the give back you were doing. I can’t imagine the confidence that you built. Like a lot of early in my career, mid, mid career professionals find, you know, when I went out, jumped into the industry at a college, you know, college graduate, hadn’t done any things. And I hadn’t proven to myself what I was able to do. As I heard you kind of progressed through and progressed through all those different roles and then build teams and then mentor back it. I think to lean into mentorship roles and to end to really be an effective, successful mentor, you’ve got to believe that you’ve got something to give. And that’s what I heard as you were kind of explaining that.


[00:26:47] Yeah, I think that’s fair to say. I think one of the things when I left was when he left turn. When I left Turner, I stepped away for a few years. My kids were very young. My twins were two. My son was four. And what was happening is my husband and I were sort of running parallel and neither one of us was really able to just like shoot for the moon as it was. I have a shoot. Well, I’ve got to travel. I’ll move my trip to the next week. We’ll I’ll do this. So I needed that that time and that break. And when I left, I didn’t feel that way. It was when I had the opportunity to go back in and I walked into that space that I had been in for eight years. And people said, it is so great to have you here. We really miss you. We know you’re going to sort of take care of business like that was validating and rewarding. And I lost that for a little bit of time. And I think stepping away and then being able to come back and help me realize my value and my worth and what I had actually done, I liked that.


[00:27:47] Perfect. So let’s now talk so that so folks that so this is we’re interviewing Jordan Crow with spin manager experts as part of our full access series here on Supply Chain Now Radio. And you know, with with this series, everything doesn’t relate perfectly back to Supply Chain Now Radio. We take a very broad approach. I think a lot of what you shared here, Gordana, and one of the biggest aims of this series is we like to spotlight leaders. So that could solve some of the feedback we’ve gotten as we’ve really dug in to this with with both feet and hands over the last five years is is there’s a need to see it so you can believe it. And so folks, to see role models, successful role models and successful leaders so that they can envision themselves. Now, that’s part one of the things we’re after here. So. So let’s talk about your current role with spin management experts. You kind of already alluded to how it came about because some of those mutual connections, if any, additional light. When did you join SMB?


[00:28:49] I’ve been with Sammy maybe seven years in February. OK. And ten years ago, if you would’ve asked me what I’d be doing in 10 years, I certainly don’t think I would have plucked out of the air that I would be working for a company that, you know, helps their clients and partners, you know, optimize their transportation, distribution and fulfillment. Because ten years ago, that was completely foreign to me. My opportunity in here was when Smee was a very young company and my former boss, who is our president of sales and marketing and who is my first boss at Turner, we always kept in touch. And every six months or so he would give me a call. We would check in and see how everybody was doing. And he called me and he said, Hey, what are you doing? Interested in doing a little work, I’m with this new company and we’re kind of looking for somebody to just come in and help sort of on the sales side and with pitch decks and, you know, operational things and basic things because the company was very new and I thought to myself. Well, oh, you know, like, OK. You know, I was actually talking about it with my husband and I said, well, you know, if I wanted to I really whenever I thought about going back to doing what I did before, which was advertiser based promotions, it was really hard to think about diving in because it felt like it really needed to be all in or nothing. Or you’re on a project for three months and then you jump out. Now, if you have young kids and you don’t have family in town, what do you get a nanny for three months and this kind of stuff. So it seemed overwhelming. This was really a wonderful opportunity for me to jump in or, you know, dip my toe in the shallow end, so to speak, and hop in there and see what I could start doing to help out. And I was able to build the role over time. But the best thing about it is I don’t do the, you know, contract optimization.


[00:30:44] And in the analysis, I am working on the marketing and end of things, which is really important absolution these days where there is a ton of of differentiation dollars, we’ll call them coming in the industry to differentiate one one service provider versus another technology platform versus another different service service organization and supply chain. And so it’s a really important skill set, especially, and it seems like in the last 5, 10 years.


[00:31:12] Yeah, I agree. And I think the beauty for me was to be able to come in there and do some marketing, you know, help out with the sales tax and some of the operational things and the project management type things. When you’re in a sort of small and running and gunning and then over time to build it, you know, the opportunity to be able to assist with the things that we do philanthropically to see to help us be placed from an event perspective, you know, to all of our event, partnership and sponsorship execution. I do all anything we do with trade shows. I do all of our in-house events or any external events. I help out marketing and messaging kind of wherever I’m needed and I get to manage the philanthropic side of our business. All those skills came from working and advertiser based promotions or in, you know, as an account executive at a sports marketing agency. And I didn’t know or understand how they were translatable, but they work here and I was able to sort of reinvent myself to do something new that I never even knew was an opportunity for me to do.


[00:32:16] And you had to be okay with that. You had you had to embrace recreating yourself, right?


[00:32:22] Absolutely. You know, to to also realize that for me, it became about having some balance and, you know, am I going to go for it and gun for the for the top of the hill as a marketing executive or promotions executive or I really became okay with saying I can have some balance and be with my family and do for them and then have something on the other side that actually intellectually stimulates me, has me, you know, interacting and interfacing with other individuals, meeting all kinds of incredible people in different industries. And I really love where I’ve sort of ended up at this point.


[00:32:58] Yeah, I can tell. Passion come through. And I mean that that’s a great thing. So and just to recap for our listeners who spend as as Giordano mentioned, spin manager experts leading transportation, distribution and fulfillment spin, manage consultancy. All right. Help. You are helping a lot of companies optimize spin across the supply chain. And you’ve had some pretty impressive numbers. I think your average reduction of cost is like 20 percent, which is incredible. And that if I understand my rubbing elbows with folks in your organization, not only is the experience that you lean on the team, you’ll have a proprietary technology that helps drive the savings as well. I’ve got all that right.


[00:33:40] That that is a very that is a very good assessment.


[00:33:43] Ok, yeah, very good. Did a little more homework. We’re doing homework. Good thing. All right. So. Let’s kind of shift gears from your your personal journey and appreciate what you’re sharing, really. We did a great webinar with Wheel Here Way, which we all around the table know with that marketing and we’ll really spoke on this. Supply chain marketing, which is again, last five or 10 years. This has become so much more important in this space and and going into this interview and it really connect the dots in that regard. But kind of here in your background, no wonder there’s a lot of supply chain firms that would love to have a George Crowe part of the team. So it’s always interesting to see the dots that are connected as you as you go through these podcasts and conversations. OK, so let’s shift from discussing your personal journey and let’s talk more. Let’s pick your brain on some things industry related. So what is one industry trend that you’re tracking more than others right now?


[00:34:40] So I think one of the things that we’ve really seen over time and is very apparent and again, my background is, you know, really outside of supply chain. But what I see happening and what we see happening every day is gone are the days of the annual rate increase where, you know, if you are looking to renegotiate, you know what your annual rate increases. You know, last year and this year, you got to work against that. There are all kinds of rate increases, surcharges, things are impacting bottom lines, all kinds of companies that are happening so much more regularly now. That’s if you’re not following those things and keeping up with them. Then when you get to years down the line, you worry regurgitate shit. You’ve really the level of increases is more significant because you’re being impacted by charges that you didn’t even know were sort of happening. And you know, we track that and we’re on top of that. We do. Incredible. You know, our founder and CEO, John Haber and a number of our delivery folks on the analytical side, tremendous thought leaders in the industry tracking that stuff, following it, commenting on it. And actually, if you look back at the last 18 months, the low, the number of increases in charges or charges, the things that are impacting I mean, it’s every six weeks, eight weeks or something new that may impact you. It may not may be, you know, impacting somebody else. But our team is really going to say to, you know, their clients that that may impact, hey, this is happening, this is going on. Let us help you sort of level set against that. And I think it’s really important to know it’s not business as it used. Business as usual is very different than what it used to be.


[00:36:22] Yeah. I think as you as kind of hearing you speak walk through that, I imagine, you know, eliminate a lot of blind spots and more. We’re talking about below surface level and we all have blind spots. We all don’t know. We don’t know.


[00:36:36] And it seems like that’s one of the great advantages of working with a group like a semi huge core competency and so much experience, you know, stuff that again, I could never think to imagine knowing and understanding at the full depth, breadth and scope of what it to me. Are you. Right. Right. But it’s amazing to work with those individuals and they just know and. Yeah, absolutely. Helping, you know, we’re here to help our clients to to. To opt again, to optimize, to run more smoothly and whatever we can do to help them impact their bottom line in a positive way, we want to do that now.


[00:37:13] And I like John Chambers Twitter handle Haber joysticks.


[00:37:16] I love it. All right.


[00:37:20] So let’s switch gears a little bit here and let’s talk. Clearly, one of the things you bring the table and you’re very active in an asset me is active in is in the community and you are always looking for ways to give back. I know this from first hand experience. So we we had a passion for serving the veteran community. And now you all do stuff in that in that industry, which are that portion of the community which we really are thankful of. And you ask me was one of the earliest. And we did the 20 19 Atlanta clutching awards last year and SMG was one the first group to step up in and help support it and make it happen, which we are a real thing club. And because of yours efforts and all of our other sponsors efforts, we were able. One of the cool things we did is Apex. Atlanta sent two veterans to supply chain certification training at Georgia Tech. One of the best supply chain schools around. That’s fantastic. And gave we the chapter provided there courseware. Georgia Tech took care, helped us. It worked with us to cover tuition. And I think one of the two veterans has already gotten a promotion. So, though, that’s why we do it. We do. And so sorry for that right turn there. But because of groups like ESA, me, that are looking to invest in the community, that’s how things happen. So why is that so important? Why is it in the DNA of the Islamic culture?


[00:38:41] Well, you know, for me personally, when I when my kids were really young and I was working around the clock and I started to feel like I wish I was at least doing something that was really I was doing advertiser based promotions. So I was starting to feel this pull of like wish it was, you know, feeling like a real positive impact like I was giving back. And I think one of the things that, you know, sometimes people don’t think about is every company has a human side. People that have passions, things that they’re interested in. And one of the really big things for John, our founders, you know, really giving back to the community within which we live, work and play. You know, Atlanta is a great city. Hashtag Supply Chain Now Radio again is a great city. You know, we love being here. We want to help Atlanta to grow. We want to help companies within the city of Atlanta grow. But also, more importantly, we want to help those folks that really need the help. So we are involved philanthropically. And interestingly, our approach, especially of late, has been, you know, we’re really partnering with some smaller philanthropies. They’re doing some really amazing things and the level of appreciation that they feel that our impact makes. It’s really it’s a real feel good in particular for me. You mentioned the veterans we partner with the RPF 9/11 race, where everything that they raise goats that the Shepherd Center’s share military initiative, incredible, incredible program that’s helping veterans. We work with a couple of other philanthropies where, you know, we do things like donate unused tickets. When we don’t utilize tickets that we have for the Braves games, we can give these two individuals that may or may not have ever had that opportunity before they got the opportunity to do an experience, something that, you know, who knows, that just may change how they feel about things, what they think of what they want to do in the future.


[00:40:34] You know, who knows? It’s just an experience they haven’t had before. We’ve worked with junior achievement, financial literacy. That is kind of what we use. Absolutely. And that’s, you know, what we do for our clients in some respect in terms of, you know, helping them to optimize. But taking that to a level where we can help young kids and teens understand the the impact of of being knowledgeable for money, financial perspective and how that affects them long term. So we really try to participate in Atlanta and a number of things that we care about are passionate about, you know, children’s health care of Atlanta, junior achievement, this share initiative, working with these smaller philanthropies that are giving back to other smaller agencies to help kids to experience, you know, new and different things. It’s really important and I think it’s important to have that human side because people gravitate toward people. Right. It’s important, you know, being smart and knowing your business are important. But when you sit across the table from somebody. You feel passion, you feel you know, integrity, you feel all of those things. And so I think you have to be full circle nowadays because it completes what you do, spending 12, 10, 12 hours a day working. You want to have that human side that also makes you feel really good at the end of the day.


[00:41:56] And we need more of that because it can be tough in the supply chain world, right. In the business world. All right. So let’s talk about the gender gap in industry and this cliche, but it’s very real. The numbers bear it out. The statistics bear it out. We do have Claire with us with women in trucking and Claire spelled C.L. a r e. You can check out a hashtag. Where’s Claire on Twitter. But I really need awareness campaign that women in trucking does that.


[00:42:25] And that calls attention to the lack of women, not just in trucking, but also logistics and in the supply chain. So let’s talk about the gender gap, especially not just in general, but also levels of leadership. Right. I think it’s been really neat to see in the last couple of weeks some of the new leader, CEO sea level leaders announced, I think the New York Stock Exchange has the first female CEO in history. We just interviewed yesterday the first ESPN 8 picks at the time, but the first ACM female CEO. And, you know, that’s that’s where the percentages are, the smallest rate at the top. Right. But there’s a reason it you know, it’s a cumulative, cumulative effect.


[00:43:10] Right. Of why we see, you know, 97 percent all monolithic. There’s a party’s leadership. So first question, two part question, the gender gap here. Any experiences that you can share from your career where, you know, they were lessons learned may maybe examples of how meaning in a meaningful way or unintentional way or intentional way that you’re like, man, that this doesn’t sound right. That wasn’t the best approach. And maybe if, you know, if you haven’t experienced something, that’s a perfect, shareable moment. I’d love to pick your brain on how we can better move the needle to ensure in our efforts that there’s opportunities for all across the budget.


[00:43:54] Well, one of the things I learned about being, you know, I was a working mom, I am a working mom now. And I stepped away for a few years. And one of the things that I realized was profound to me is women are apologetic and I’m going to my son’s kindergarten singalong. But I came in early and I’m going to stay late. And I have my BlackBerry. So I’m dating myself here. I have my have my BlackBerry and I’m reachable if you need me. And my husband would say, I’m going to my son’s kindergarten singalong, I’ll be back later. You know, so apologizing for having that other side of things that it’s you know, again, let’s be there. Definitely stay at home dads. And I think that is amazing. And I think we’re seeing more of that. But, you know, is that the woman would take the step back. You know, that was a lot of times the assumption because they may be making less or their husband might have a greater, you know, OP runway to to really shoot for the moon, so to speak. And so I was I was and apologize about everything I did when it didn’t relate to my work and had to happen in the work day. And my son has an ear infection. I’m so sorry. I can’t be at work today.


[00:45:03] And so I think learning to be OK with the fact that your dual roles and I think it’s changed over time because I think, you know, most households and many households are dual income. You know, my dad was very uninvolved with my brother and I in terms of our child rearing, it’s much more involved now. So I think that tide is turning and changing. But one of the things that I love to see, and it was my favorite thing at the last GLAAD that we did was that women’s panel. Yes. And supply chain. And I I soaked up every minute of that because to see those women at the top of their game, you got to see them to know that you can get there and you have to have somebody to tell you it’s okay, it’s okay. It’s okay for you to go home and be with your sick child or whatever. It’s not going to set you back. Right. And so I think learning to not be so apologetic was a big thing for me. Yeah. But also seeing those women at the top of the heap really doing what they love and advocating for other women. And also, I think just promoting supply chain in general, a lot of what we hear at GLSEN, a lot of these other conferences.


[00:46:17] And just real quick, feel less for our audience. George, logistics, some ass.


[00:46:21] Yeah. All right. Georgia Logistics.


[00:46:22] Sam Giordano was on the executive committee for that 2018. And you may have been part of it last year as well.


[00:46:29] Several years. Yeah. Oh, sorry. Okay. Three, I think, three years running. So make sure I’m given proper recognition that government takes a team, takes it can be a village. Yeah, exactly, things like that.


[00:46:39] But I think seeing, you know, seeing it to see that you can achieve it. And I think now also that supply chain is, you know, again, ten years ago, I didn’t know what that was. It’s, um, it’s a major there’s a very you know, it’s a major in a lot of colleges and universities now. Over 500. Yeah. That a U.S. and. And there’s this big, big push for STEM women in STEM, girls in STEM robotics, things like that. So, you know, on this side of things, I think as all that happens earlier and earlier and earlier, it sort of feeds that pipeline. And I think there is such a conscious effort now to put those women in a space in place where people can see them and hear them. And if you can see them and hear them, you know, you can become them.


[00:47:24] Absolutely. You made the point so much more eloquently than I did 10 minutes ago, because that’s what that’s really what that’s one of the biggest reasons we’re trying to do this. You get so many stories. You know, this is the this is the first time I’ve really here. Don’t be apologetic. And that makes so much sense to me. Right. And the pressure you’re talking earlier about, you know, the runway and different income and maybe the pressure to allow the other side to follow their career. All these different factors which, you know, we’re all human and it’s it’s natural in many ways. And then some of the other things that we haven’t really touched on, which is, you know, some of the organizational policies that don’t the traditional organizational policies that that don’t help us in this effort to move the needle when it comes to the gender gap. But there is a lot of great news. There’s a lot been there has been a lot of progress. It seems there’s still a lot more work to do. But I really admire what you were just sharing there, especially with hey, folks, coming up, whether they’re in grade school or in college or tech school or, you know, early career in industry or whatever, they’ve got to be able to identify to see and identify and relate to those folks are making it happen.


[00:48:46] And in order for that to happen, these folks that. There needs to be opportunities for all to be promoted and succeed and hold these top level positions, right?


[00:48:57] Absolutely. Look, I have a son and I have two daughters and an identical twin. And, you know, I tell them every day you can be anything you want to be. And my mom, she was told, you know, she won’t. She said she rolls back. She was a teacher, incredible teacher. And that is an incredible profession. But she used a rollback for me and say if I had been able to do what I wanted to do, I maybe would have gone to medical school. But back then, it was you were a nurse, a secretary or a teacher. And they were lucky. She was lucky. She got to go to college. And I had the opportunity to go where I wanted to go, where I was gonna be happy because I had worked hard. And I tell all my kids, I told them, you know, three of my kids, you know, you’re only limited by what you think you can and can’t do. So don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not capable of achieving something because that because if you work hard, you’ll get there. You know, it looks different for everybody.


[00:49:51] Absolutely. What you’re just sharing there reminds me of the movie Hidden Figures you’ll see in this movie.


[00:49:59] I cried like a baby. It’s one of my absolute favorite movies.


[00:50:03] It’s a wonderful movie. We were fortunate. I’m not sure if the movie spawned the awards program or the awards program was already in place.


[00:50:11] But in different cities, they have hidden figures, awards where they recognize folks that have achieved special women that have achieved. And we interviewed a recent winner. A couple months ago. And it’s such a shame that you haven’t met someone yet that hasn’t identified with and liked that movie, disliked some of the things that it that it illustrates. You know, some of the the ways that were but a great movie.


[00:50:42] And we do have to figure out, like you said, how can we make it easier and more common sensical? That’s a word. And and know ultimately they get more much more diversity in the technical side, the technology side, the steam, the engineering. You know, we’ve got to really open that up because that that that is one of that one of the factors that, you know, again, factoring into the promotional system as it is. OK. So from a leadership standpoint, to kind of wrap up here, talking with Jordan Crow, with spin management experts here at Supply Chain Now Radio leadership standpoint. So what some a year and really I’ve been to I’ve taken about a page, a half a note. So I think I’ve already gotten some of your favorite advice. But from a leadership standpoint, any other of your favorite advice that you’ve gotten gotten or that you have you like to share?


[00:51:35] I think, you know, when I was thinking about today. OK. This is what I’ll share leadership. But I think throughout, as I’ve been listening to myself speak as well, I think it’s come out through everything that I’ve done over time. I’ve been told over time. The biggest thing I think is don’t be apologetic, you know, advocate for yourself. I think that’s incredibly important if you have the work to back up what you are saying. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to ask for more, to put yourself out there. You know, you got to. You have to work hard. You have to be a team player. You can’t give up. I say never quit. I will never let my kids quit anything. They’ve got to stick it out because in life, you got to stick things out and you’ve got to learn from those things that may be impacting you in a negative way. It helps you to figure out for future what you want to do differently. When I stepped away, when my kids were 2 and 4 and I stepped away for what I had to get off, that I was on the hamster wheel, I couldn’t think about what was next. And I stepped away. I gave myself some time to take a breath and say, what do I want and what do I need going forward? I’m very, very blessed that I’d spend management at experts. Oh, my God, I can’t even say the name.


[00:52:58] But we might this afternoon. Coffee. That’s all.


[00:53:01] Spend management experts has really offered me the opportunity to have the balance that I was striving for and and to feel valued and have forth and to be part of a great team. It’s a very familial lot and a lot of ways and working with some incredible people. But I think you’ve got to figure out what you want and what you need and where your boundaries are.


[00:53:22] Yes, absolutely right. And, you know, one takeaways just from this conversation. Hopefully, you know, as someone who has spent a lot of my career in the sales and marketing space. Right. That you really spend a lot of time in the manufacturing sector, you know, hearing your interview today. I’m hoping that there are students and there are some other folks are newer to that, to the career, their career, field or industry in general. And hopefully the light bulbs going off that that the supply chain industry needs folks with the sales and marketing leadership skills that that you bring to the table. And then that doesn’t do justice for everything, because I think, you know, when I think of the division, the strategy side, the positioning, the strategic alliances, you know that there’s a lot of get that goes into that sales and marketing part. Right. But there is such a wonderful there’s so many wonderful opportunities for folks with those types of skill sets in across and in supply chain. So, Georgianna, how can folks learn more about SMB?


[00:54:32] So if you look around, we are often there’s a lot of thought leadership that’s coming out from folks. That’s me. But generally, you go to our Web site and spend M.G. empty dot com. BW ever you spend and not spend AM GMT dot com.


[00:54:51] You can find us on LinkedIn. You can see what we’re doing and saying on Twitter, which is at spend underscore M GMT, capital S, capital M. Those are, I think the best ways to to, you know, to find out what we’re doing and where we’re at and what we have to say.


[00:55:10] And a fantastic honor to be here that I really appreciated it so much.


[00:55:15] This has been fun and this is it. I’ve learned again, you you give a great interview, by the way. We’re gonna make lots of T-shirts for this interview. Lots of great advice. I mean, practical and that’s I love practical and grounded in interviews where folks at that, obviously they’re in that they’re not preaching conceptual, you know, be attitude or. I don’t know about that. That might not be the right word, but practical advice. Been there, done it less than this and you’re gone to great. And that’s kind of what this interview really seemed like to me. So Jordan Crow with spin management experts. Thanks again. I really appreciate you being here today and appreciate what ACB does out in the industry, in the community. Thank you. Appreciate it. All right. So we’re going to wrap up here today on just a couple of final items. First off, come check out Supply Chain Now Radio in person. We have a variety of events out, an industry that we’re going to be broadcasting law from that we partner with. First one coming up, September 12th and 13th and beautiful, North Charleston, South Carolina. We’re going to be at the 2019 Automotive Industry Action Group and South Carolina Automotive Council Supply Chain Equality Conference. It’s gonna be all about, you guessed it, the world of automotive. We’re sponsored by the. Syndicate and we’ll be there broadcasting LA both days. Registration still open. Come out and check out this event. That’s really focused on a very vibrant and robust sector being the automotive sector. Proud partners of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance were back here in Atlanta on October 9th at the Georgia Manufacturing Summit will leading a panel session and Broadcasting Lab..


[00:56:57] You can learn more at Georgia Manufacturing Alliance dot com. We’re proud media partners of the 2019 Logistics CIO Forum in Austin, Texas, hosted by our Friends at Offer Transport EMT November 7th through the 8th, 2019 again in Austin. Come join us there. And an event promises. I mean, when you when you combine technology and and logistics, there’s gonna be a lot of outstanding key takeaways and best practices shared there. And then you flip the calendar to 2020. And we’re slated right now to be the Reverse Logistics Association conference and expo in Las Vegas and of course, Moto X in 2020, which is back here in Atlanta in March. In fact, Mode X and be hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards. You can learn more about Mode X, which is when the largest supply chain trade shows in North America. You can learn more at Mode X show dot com. All right. Big thanks to our guest here again today on Supply Chain Now Radio. We enjoyed speaking with Georgiana Crowe, director, strategic alliances and Community Affairs, again with spend management experts and to our audience. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, the replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can find some Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, all of leading sites where podcasts can be found. Be sure to subscribe to almost anything on behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team. This is Scott Luton, wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio.


[00:58:29] Thanks for coming.

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