Supply Chain Now
Episode 354

Episode Summary

“The slowdown in certain business activities [in response to the coronavirus pandemic] has shed a light on what things might look like in a less carbon-intensive world, which is certainly interesting.”

– Eric Kane, Senior Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence

 

Companies are increasingly interested in improving their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strength, but in order to do so, they need information to fuel their decisions. Bloomberg has a well-established reputation for providing business intelligence of all kinds, but their ESG unit has been growing steadily in recent years. One key to this demand for data is that they provide complete transparency into the sources of their data.

In this conversation, Eric shares with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton how companies are investing in and tracking their ESG programs:

  • Using tools to benchmark where they are in terms of current emissions and to make plans to decarbonize going forward
  • The implications of recent changes in business activity across all industries for the environment and the climate
  • Standardized ESG procedures and best practices that are trickling down through supply chains and across industries

Episode Transcript

Intro – Amanda Luton (00:05):

It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia, heard around the world. Supply chain now spotlights the best in all things, supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

Scott Luton (00:28):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you in supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. Today’s episode, we’re speaking with one of the leading news providers in the world. In fact, they provide the first word in business news. This interview is part of our continuing collaboration with the automotive industry action group. In fact, today’s guest is one of the speakers at the AIAG corporate responsibility summit, so stay tuned as we look to increase your supply chain acute quick programming note. Before we get started, if you enjoyed today’s conversation, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. We’ll welcome in my fearless cohost on today’s show. Once again, Greg white, serial supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor. Hey Greg, how are you doing? I’m doing well. This has been a busy day. It’s been a busy day, busy day, and a busy series.

Scott Luton (01:19):

All the content we’ve been putting together for what all accounts has been a home run corporate responsibility summit. Yeah, we got to talk with Alan. Let’s see Deidre today as well. And everyone’s going to get to see their performance. Let’s call it a performance. What do you say? And it’s been great talking with uh, everyone who is, um, doing or facilitating or pleading for like initiatives that we talked about with today. So, um, look, this is a good cause. Glad to see it happen. Of course. Glad to have, um, you know, folks who, who care about contributing to this, this, uh, corporate responsibility initiative. That’s right. Lots of action focused leaders that are making things happen. So welcome in our featured guests for this segment, Mr. Eric Kane, senior ESG analysts with Bloomberg intelligence. Eric, good afternoon. Good afternoon. Thank you so much for having me. We appreciate it.

Scott Luton (02:20):

Great to connect with you. I’m sure you’ve got several full plates right now. Uh, tackling the world as seemingly changes hour by hour, if not minute by minute. So thanks for carving some time out with us. It’s my pleasure. So, uh, you know, Greg, we’re gonna, we want to get, get to know Eric A. Little better like we typically do with, with each of these episodes. So for starters, Eric, before we kinda dive into the world of Bloomberg and, and, and what you do, tell us more about who you are and where you’re from and, and maybe give us a reader’s digest version of your journey leading up to your Bloomberg role. I’d be happy to. I’ve been working in ESG

Eric Kane (03:00):

space for over a decade now. Um, I started my ESG journey, if you will, with, um, a startup at the time, uh, called innovate strategic value advisors. Uh, the company was one of the pioneers in the ESG research and rating, uh, space. It was ultimately acquired by risk metrics and then, um, ultimately by MSEI. So the work that we were doing there kind of forms the backbone of, of some of the MSEI work. Um, from there, uh, actually, uh, left the ESG sustainability space for a little while. Um, but then we emerged, uh, to help the sustainability accounting standards board, uh, get off the ground, was one of the first employees that are on the research side and, uh, initiated coverage, uh, for healthcare and financials and, and help that organization kind of develop, uh, their, their research platform, um, and was with them for, for several years. Um, and then ultimately joined Bloomberg intelligence, uh, in the fall of 2018 and I’ve been there for about a year and a half now. And my focus continues to be on ESG and I, you know, extremely happy to be in the role that I’m in now.

Scott Luton (04:22):

Hmm. So you’ve been a trouble Lazer of sorts in many ways, uh, helping organizations, it sounds like, um, you know, develop their own approach and, and this ESG space, which we should define, uh, you know, we love our acronyms and business and certainly in supply chain, ESG is environmental, social and governance. Is that right?

Eric Kane (04:44):

That is correct. Yes. And I have been very fortunate to be at a lot of great organizations, um, you know, kind of at the beginning of their journey. So I do feel like I’ve had an opportunity to, to kind of blaze a trail a little bit. Um, and you know, it’s, it’s been an exciting time. Obviously there’s a tremendous amount of growth that’s happened over the last decade or so in terms of, uh, ESG, not only in terms of the amount of information that’s available, but you know, how that information is viewed and who it’s skewed by. So it’s an extremely exciting time and I’m very fortunate to be part of the conversation.

Greg White (05:22):

Yep. So what you do is a part of Bloomberg intelligence, which is also a part of Bloomberg professional services, I think is that those two are related, correct? That is correct, yes. Yeah. And you work with a lot of companies in a lot of countries. So tell us a little bit about that, the scale of your work and then a little bit about, um, you know, what it is that specifically that you do, um, you know, and how do companies consume or

Eric Kane (05:58):

use what you provide. Sure. Happy to. So perhaps I’ll take a little bit of a step back and give a overview of Bloomberg intelligence. Um, and then can you talk about what the, what the role that the ESG team provides within that? So Bloomberg intelligence or BI as we typically refer to it as, you know, provides in depth research and data on industries and companies as well as the government ESG, uh, credit and mitigation factors. And the idea of course is that all of this information, um, is, is useful and that we’re defining really what, what can impact business decisions. So we cover over 135 industries, um, over 1900 companies. And our work is backed by over 303rd party data providers. We’re extremely fortunate and that our overall team is made up of, of over 280 research professionals. Uh, so it’s, it’s a really strong and globally oriented team.

Eric Kane (07:04):

And, and of course, as you suggested, our, our research is available, uh, to Bloomberg clients, um, on the Bloomberg terminal. Within that, uh, the ESG team really focuses on a couple kind of key areas. We develop, uh, industry specific analysis where we look at a given industry, we’ll identify issues that we ultimately think are material or impact business and we’ll provide a research on that. The research really highlights, uh, you know, what we think investors should know, um, information that we believe to be decision useful. We also look at a lot of, um, themes that we think are impacting the market. So you could think of certain examples that perhaps aren’t specific to a given, uh, industry such as, uh, you know, decarbonization and something that of course we continue to look at across multiple industries. And we also provide our clients with a sense of what’s driving, um, the ESG markets and how they’re performing.

Eric Kane (08:15):

So we do a lot of research on different ESG ETFs, for example, and compare how they’re doing well to, to their, their non ESG variance. And I think it’s important to note that the team has grown significantly in the last 18 months since I’ve been part of it. We were two when I started with five now and we continue to expand. So there’s really a lot of, um, you know, interests not only within the company but on the part of our clients. And we continue to build new data sets and new analysis and research to, to meet the demands of our clients. I see that you guys provide dashboard

Greg White (08:56):

and I know we’ve talked to several folks who have similar data. I wonder if they use your data, um, like, uh, Bruno Sarda, um, and his organization. Do they do, you know, um, so how, how do these companies use this data? I mean, it sounds like there might be a use for some of the facilitators of change as well as the companies who hope to know where they stand or know where they’re headed or, um, where to target their efforts.

Eric Kane (09:31):

Absolutely. We really see the service and the data that we provide and the research that we provide us, uh, being useful for, you know, all the parties that you just alluded to. So investors, um, and, and also, uh, you know, the, the corporates themselves who may be looking at you suggested to see how they rank, you know, relative to peers. And what some key issues they might want to focus on are. And of course there are a number of other parties, you know, everyone from, from academics to um, NGOs who utilize our data as well. So I can’t speak directly to specific clients who use the data, but in general, um, our ESG data covers, um, about 500 or so different data points, uh, for several thousand companies. So we really do think that it’s, you know, one of the most comprehensive, it’s not the most comprehensive sources of ESG data, um, available.

Eric Kane (10:34):

And you know, that’s tremendously powerful. And of course, one of the things that kind of separates our work from, from perhaps that of others is, you know, we provide full transparency behind, uh, the data. So if someone is looking at the data available on, um, terminal, you can kind of click right through that data to the source document. So we do know that, you know, historically ESG data has kind of varied in terms of quality and compare ability. So having that sort of transparency to the source is certainly extremely useful and ensuring that that is accurate. And, and also looking to, to what the contexts around that data might be.

Greg White (11:15):

Yeah. So a particular company can determine how useful or how pointed it it as it is that their particular concern or problem or curiosity. Right,

Eric Kane (11:27):

absolutely. And they can look to see that they could identify peers and look to see where their peers are with respect to a certain issue. Um, you know, just to name one that I mentioned earlier, which relates of course to climate change. We know that’s a big area of interest, um, kind of across autos and other, um, industries. So certainly we provide a useful tool for companies to benchmark where they are, um, not only in terms of current emissions but also historic emissions and also setting targets to, to decarbonize going forward.

Greg White (12:02):

Yeah, I see that. I see where you can, uh, you can rank them against their peers and rank them against themselves historically. And it, it’s pretty simple. I mean, when you look at it, it’s pretty simple to tell where you stand and, and whether you’re progressing or regressing.

Eric Kane (12:20):

Absolutely. Yup. Yeah,

Scott Luton (12:22):

that’s useful. So let’s, um, speaking of the 500 data points, uh, for several thousand companies, gosh, I can only imagine the wealth of information that your teams grow. You’re growing team’s fingertips. So, so let’s broaden out a little bit more. So when you’re looking, you know, obviously it goes without saying, these are challenging times for so many people economically, um, health-wise, um, certainly the, the supply chain industry and, and, uh, and, and, and all of its many facets. Uh, these have been really challenging times. With that backdrop, what is in particular an issue or a news story or development, one or two of them that you and your team have been tracking more than others here in recent weeks?

Eric Kane (13:09):

Sure. I think the Corona virus, um, you know, has, has kind of taken over, uh, recently. Um, you know, that’s something obviously with its impact on, on the markets, uh, we’ve been looking to see how ESG investments, um, kind of fairing and in this market. Um, and then we of course also then looking to see how, um, the change in kind of business activity across all businesses has impacted, uh, things like greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Just to get a sense of, of, you know, what the kind of physical changes are and how that has implications for the environment. So that really relates of course to our ongoing, um, examination of, of climate and, and the risks and opportunities there.

Scott Luton (14:03):

Well, um, so we’ve been surprised and, and through a variety of, of interviews on our shows and, and over the last 45 days or so, uh, Greg, it seems like there’s been a, uh, a common thread of, of organizations and leaders and investment firms not being overly opportunistic, but finding opportunity and, and deals and invest in solid investments despite the environment. Is that kind of what you’ve been seeing as well, Greg?

Greg White (14:32):

Yeah, no doubt. I mean, I think if I, if I think about the theme we’ve seen evolving, um, this, first of all, this has given people, um, recognition of the impact we do have on the environment. Because, um, you know, no planes flying over w we talked without Hildreth and he was talking about the, the canals in Venice being clean enough to swim in. Um, and I, I think people can see the impact that we have on the environment every day, but also, um, companies are, you know, are seeing opportunity. I mean, there are still investments being made if you’re in the right type of industry and there are opportunities where, um, you know, companies can join together and, and advance the economic condition of both. And also companies are using this time to become really, really aware of their, um, environmental impact. And I think that, you know, this isn’t strangely an opportune time for this particular conference, this summit to be going on. Um, with everyone having everyone. I think having a new found awareness of, of environmental impact.

Scott Luton (15:50):

Hey Eric, I want to get you to kind of respond to that initially. And then I’ve got one follow up question for you related to the, the, the wide realm of ESG. So, so from a, um, any insights on from an investment, a deal-making? Um, anything Greg just shared there?

Eric Kane (16:09):

Sure. I think it’s absolutely right that the slowdown in certain business activities has kind of shed a light on, um, on what things look like, um, perhaps in a, in a less kind of carbon intensive world, which is certainly interesting. That of course has implications for a variety of different issues that we cover, whether it’s, you know, the future of carbon pricing. Um, we, we of course see an impact on oil prices, uh, which is, you know, interesting when we start to think about how different companies are transitioning away from oil and towards, you know, less carbon intensive forms of energy and perhaps how these sorts of markets, uh, factors might ultimately kind of drive that change perhaps a little faster than we anticipated. So there’s certainly a lot to to follow and I think it’s going to be, uh, an interesting several months, if not years, to, to see what these impacts really kind of play out to be over the longterm.

Scott Luton (17:20):

Agreed. Agreed. So within the ESG space that in entails so much, um, especially in today’s environment, what is, what is one subject or topic or issue or challenge that you’ve, that you like reporting and analyzing the most? Is there one that really sticks out?

Eric Kane (17:42):

There is, and I think that it’s, it really is climate, um, and you know, the efforts towards decarbonization. Um, I think it’s, it’s been a particular interest of mine since I, you know, began in the field over a decade ago and it’s, it’s one that I think has also really kind of captured the most attention within ESG over the last several years. So we’ve worked, uh, extensively on the issue, uh, at, at BI. We developed a new dataset, um, about a year ago where we actually looked to see if we could translate the different greenhouse gas reduction targets that companies state into kind of a common language, if you will, and then forecast performance out to 2030. And that data set covers over 500 companies right now. So it’s something we’re extremely excited about. Um, we actually just updated that data and we’ve had a lot of good response, um, to that data, um, from, from clients and other people.

Eric Kane (18:47):

So it’s certainly a space that continues to evolve and one that continues to attract a lot of attention and it seems like almost on a daily basis, if not a weekly basis, we get, um, you know, more and more companies coming out with really ambitious carbon targets. So just sticking with the oil and gas industry as, as an example, you know, we saw last week that shell came out with a new target and we’ve seen a number of the integrated oil and gas companies, especially in Europe, come out with, with ambitions for carbon neutrality, which really in our mind kind of suggests that they’re looking to really transition their business from a oil, which is obviously carbon intensive to renewable energy and, and, and far less carbon intensive forms of energy. So it’s an extremely exciting time and that’s certainly an initiative that I, that I’ve enjoyed covering

Scott Luton (19:40):

but also seems generally speaking in recent years, excuse me, that, uh, consumers as well as investors have taken a greater and greater interest in ESG related topics. And, uh, of course all three of us know about the triple bottom line and how more and more companies are, are looking at those and how they interplay with each other. Right. Uh, Greg, you made a great point earlier today when we were, uh, interviewing, uh, Lissandra now about how we can make a lot of the change more sustainable by making the financial business case for it, right?

Greg White (20:19):

Yeah. You know, we find that the hurdle for implementing some of the change that we’re talking about here is not insubstantial, but it also has a diminishing cost over time. Just like when you implement, implement any other new technology or new business process or that sort of thing. It, you know, it, it can be cost effective. And to motivate companies which have to make a profit, that’s how companies keep people employed and, and please their shareholders, um, to be economically feasible is it’s the way to get these initiatives working. And I, I really think, and you said earlier today, Scott, the people are figuring that out and you know, rather than demanding instantaneous change without solution, they are working together to find economical way points to get to a solution over time rather than one saying you must and the on the other party saying we want. Right. So, uh, I think we’re seeing a lot of progress in that regard and a lot of recognition, uh, with anyone who cares about these topics,

Scott Luton (21:36):

which should give lot ton of more fodder, Eric, for you and your team to, to digest and analyze and, and stand up new data groups and, and offer even more very valuable insights to the thousands of companies that, that your information is helping guide their decision making.

Eric Kane (21:55):

Absolutely. And you know, to the point that Greg made a few seconds ago, and one of the exciting developments that we saw last year was the, uh, business round tables revised statement on the purpose of the corporation. So that was something that was signed by over 180 CEOs from different companies, including Amazon city group, Walmart, et cetera, where they essentially said that the purpose of their corporation, um, with it’s should be modified so that it’s clear that, that these companies exist for the benefit of all stakeholders, not just shareholders. So I think that sort of development really does kind of emphasize the point that Greg made and indicate that the companies are taking these issues seriously. They’re, they’re willing to kind of revise their, their mission statements, if you will. And, you know, we’re, we’re continuing to track kind of what that means. Um, not only on, you know, the broad level, but when we look at specific companies within that group, how they’re actually kind of, you know, action in that statement. So it’s an extremely exciting time.

Scott Luton (23:06):

It is, uh, deeds, not words is one of the phrases that we like to say around here. All about action. Don’t give us lip service, go out there and lead. And that’s what we’d like to see. And clearly there’s a lot of action based leadership, both in general. We’re seeing more and more in this space. But you know, going, I hate to belabor a point, but Greg, we’ve seen it in each of these, these conversations we’ve been having. And on that note I should mention in case anyone is tuning into this episode and didn’t check out the earlier one when we referenced, uh, let’s see, Dre and Al, we were talking about Al Hildreth global energy manager at general motors who’s doing some big things in the space as well as Lissandra Welsh, who was a program manager for environmental sustainability with AIAG, which we’re gonna talk about in just a moment. Greg, you’re going to say something.

Greg White (23:57):

I just think it’s, um, you know, it’s important for companies to recognize that their brand identity and their esteem in the marketplace is now based on how they conduct themselves in business. And the, and, and how their business partners conduct themselves in business. You know, if you think about sustainability, fair trade, um, you know, things like, like forced labor, euphemism for slavery, you know, it’s very easy to discover that these things are occurring and brands have to recognize that their stakeholders are not just their shareholders as you said, Eric, and, and that their brand equity is a big part of their overall equity. And in order to maintain it, even if they only do it for selfish reasons, I don’t care just as long as they do it, but, but maintaining that brand equity is important is an important part of, um, producing profit and shareholder value and, and stakeholder esteem,

Scott Luton (25:06):

stakeholder esteem. I love that. Um, alright, so Eric, I want you to appreciate what you’re doing with AIG and looking forward to your comments is part of your keynote there. Um, but talk to the value of getting engaged and participating in AIG.

Eric Kane (25:25):

Sure. I’m very excited to be a part of the virtual conference next week. Um, I think there’s, there’s a tremendous amount of value of course, and engaging in a group like this and then an event like this. I think first and foremost from my standpoint, um, it’s an opportunity for help for us to really help, uh, the attendees understand how some of the ESG data that we, um, look at collect, analyze is ultimately being used to make decisions. And I think, you know, that sort of, uh, insight can ultimately help, you know, folks in the group understand, um, you know, the, the value of, of disclosing the data, the value of making sure that the data is comparable and to understand really how their stakeholders might, might use the data. So it’s, it’s a tremendous opportunity for us. And I think, you know, groups like AIG are essential in this kind of sustainability, uh, journey that many of us aren’t on because the sharing of ideas, uh, the sharing of experiences really kind of is critical in us getting to the point where I think we all want to be where we have, you know, standardized, um, data to evaluate companies.

Eric Kane (26:45):

We have standardized procedures, we have companies sharing best practices and, and you know, seeing those best practices kind of trickled down, uh, throughout supply chains and across industries. So it’s very exciting. And I’m, I’m honored to be a part of it.

Speaker 5 (27:01):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (27:01):

Outstanding. We are too. We are too, uh, automotive industry action group. And as Greg said earlier today, uh, action be the operative word. Uh, and, and love that. Uh, Greg, any follow up points about AIG based on what Eric just shared there?

Greg White (27:19):

You know, I’m thinking about the fact that a lot of people will listen to a lot of these episodes and they’ll probably hear me say this over and over again, but this is a really timely initiative by AIG. And I think also an example of leadership in terms of switching from a physical event to a virtual event and then making the event free to all, maybe a free for all, but certainly free to all. Um, and you know, that to me that is one of their many actions that speaks volumes.

Speaker 5 (27:55):

[inaudible]

Scott Luton (27:55):

agreed. Absolutely. And, and looking forward to, you know, uh, as one of the followups, Eric and Greg, uh, coming out of the, uh, corporate responsibility summit, we’re gonna be featuring a member of the AIG or to, to share some of the key takeaways for all of these, you know, these thought leaders are getting together and not only sharing best practices for what’s working in their neck of the woods, but you know, sharing and, and probably, uh, debating some of the topics. You know, as we’ve talked about through a lot of these conversations are a lot of these episodes you’ve got to have the passionate at and at times, um, uh, disagreeable conversations and move the whole industry forward. That’s how, that’s how it happened. So, um, alright, so Eric, we want to make sure that our listeners know how to connect with you in case they want to compare notes or check out, um, some of your work and some of your new projects and of course, how they can learn more about Bloomberg intelligence.

Speaker 5 (28:53):

[inaudible]

Eric Kane (28:53):

sure. Uh, certainly happy to hear from, from listeners. Uh, we’re always excited to engage on these topics. Um, our research is available of course on the Bloomberg terminal. Um, if folks are interested in getting a demo for the terminal, they can find out all the necessary information on bloomberg.com and folks can also reach out to me directly. My email address is, uh, cane in the number nineteen@bloomberg.net.

Speaker 5 (29:23):

[inaudible]

Scott Luton (29:23):

outstanding. Good stuff here. Eric, thanks so much for joining us. I know you’re busy and challenging times for all, but they’re really enjoyed your perspective here. And um, when to say big thanks, Eric Kane, senior ESG analyst with Bloomberg intelligence and don’t, don’t take off just yet as we wrap up here, Greg, a big key takeaway from this conversation.

Greg White (29:47):

You know, this let’s really drive home the point. How pervasive the importance of, um, corporate responsibility, environmental awareness, fair trade, all of those things are. I mean, when you talk to one of the biggest investment media organizations in addition to the largest automaker in the world in the same day, it really lets you know what the scale and scope of this initiative is. And I think that bodes well for the future of our planet.

Scott Luton (30:20):

Agreed. Absolutely. We’re going to leave it there for this episode. Really enjoy talking with Eric Kane, with Bloomberg intelligence, all the best to you, Eric. Looking forward to seeing you at the event coming up here, um, and uh, Greg to our audience. Uh, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership at supply chain now, radio.com find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from on behalf of the entire team, Scott Luton here wishing you a successful week ahead. Stay safe. No this brighter days. Certainly lie ahead. And with that duly noted. We’ll see you next time here on supply chain now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott and Greg welcome AIAG CR Summit speaker, Eric Kane, to Supply Chain Now.

Featured Guests

Eric Kane is a Senior Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, a research platform that provides context on industries, companies, government, litigation and the economy, available on the Bloomberg Professional Services at BI. Mr. Kane’s research focuses on identifying and analyzing current and future trends, including climate change, resource scarcity, and data security, and linking performance to financial value. Mr. Kane also specializes in understanding ESG disclosure and how key metrics can be incorporated in traditional company analysis. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Mr. Kane was the Health Care Sector Analyst at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and a Senior Analyst at Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. Mr. Kane holds a Master of Public Administration from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a degree in political science from Bates College.

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Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porteris VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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