“At the end of the day, this is a partnership, you know, we are different stakeholders. This is a large chain of, of actors that have to be in sync.”

Kevin Carvajal, In-Kind Logistics Officer at Salesian Missions


Humanitarian work – and, more specifically, humanitarian logistics – is a highly specialized practice. There is always uncertainty and unpredictability that must be overcome in the process of meeting global needs. The goal in most cases is to find creative ways to meet short term needs while also contributing to sustainable transformations that improve living conditions for the long-term.

Kevin Carvajal, In-Kind Logistics Officer at Salesian Missions, the second largest order in the Catholic Church, which has been serving the needs of orphans and vulnerable children since it was founded by Italian Catholic priest Don Bosco in 1859. Like many humanitarian organizations, they have seen the need for support grow and change in the months following the COVID-19 outbreak.

In this conversation, Kevin tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

  • How he has learned to combine his expertise in logistics and supply chain with local knowledge of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of what each community needs
  • The power of storytelling in his efforts to convince NGOs and corporate America to support the Salesian Missions through funding and in-kind donations
  • The complexity involved with managing shipments to 20 different countries in alignment with all local rules and regulations

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 morning. And Scott Luton with you here on supply chain. Now welcome back to today’s show. Hey, on today’s episode, we’re continuing our logistics with purpose series, where we focus on organizations that are saving the world and changing the world in one way, shape or form powered by our friends over at vector global logistics. Greg, I saw you wanting to go ahead and say hello. So Greg white, you’re one of our, we have a full staff, a cohost today, Greg, how are you doing? I’m doing great. I’m looking forward to this. I love this series. So, and I really appreciate, and wreaking team and vector bringing this to us. That’s right. It’s one of our favorites. So Greg white is our first cohost here. He’s a serious supply chain tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor. Joining Greg here in our virtual studios, Enrique Alvarez, managing director with vector global logistics and Rica.

Enrique Alvarez (01:17):

How you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you, Scott. Greg Kevin. It’s a pleasure to be here with you guys. And I’m really excited about the show today, Kevin, thanks for doing this. It’s awesome. And we admire everything you guys do. Uh, and I’m sure like the listeners are going to get a better sense of why we admire them so much after the show, too. Absolutely. And Enrique is doing little foreshadowing in terms of our featured guests, which we’re going to get to totally forgot about that. I’ve been doing this for so long. I should know better. It’s okay. There’s plenty of Kevin. So you still can we’re off script already. We don’t know which Kevin you’re talking about. Oh boy. All right. We’re going to allow the crowd this more for that. No, you’re fine. Fine. If that’s the worst mistake we make all day, we’ll be just joining.

Scott Luton (02:01):

Enrique is Elisa Rodriguez sales associate with vector global logistics, Elisa. How are you doing? Hi. Everything’s great. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here with us podcast. Agreed quick programming before we bring in the illustrious feature guests that we’re all excited to talk more about is if you enjoy today’s episode of this, this installment of logistics with purpose and check us out and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from, we publish Monday through Friday as a supply chain. Now team works hard to cover global supply chain, which is a tall order for sure. Okay. Want to welcome in our featured guests here today? You’ve you’ve heard us all already referenced some just off stage Kevin Carvel hall in con logistics officer for the office for international programs at seletion missions. Kevin, how you doing? I just got morning. All great. I’ve got please correct my pronunciation of your last name that I butchered that terribly. Uh,

Kevin Carvajal (03:02):

Of course, but, uh, no, it’s, uh, it’s it’s I mean, let’s say the, uh, the Anglo version of it would be, you know, it would be carbo carbo hall.

Scott Luton (03:12):

All right. Give us, give us your version. Come on, let us hear it kind of a hot, there we go. Okay. So, uh, I appreciate your explanation of that. And we’re going to strive to get that right throughout the interview. I’ve been known to mispronounce my kids’ names to be fair and transparent, but regardless, I really appreciate you spending some time out with us here today. Obviously the vector team speaks very highly. Your ears have been burning and we’re looking forward to diving in more about who you are and what you do. And of course, what solution missions is doing. So Kevin upfront, before we get into kind of talking shop, I would love to learn more about you and where you’re from. And you’ve got to give us a couple of stories from you.

Kevin Carvajal (03:51):

Well, you know, I think it, you know, I’ve, I can say, uh, you know, I had a pretty, you know, I guess a traditional type upbringing or in a raised, you know, in New York, suburban New York. I had a, my parents, um, my sibling older sister, pretty much my parents immigrated from, um, from South America, from Ecuador, when they were teenagers over the years, it was always, you know, having that connection affinity with their birthplace Ecuador throughout the years, I had several interactions with some family that was still remaining over there and, and whatnot, and the opportunity to, to, to, to travel there quite frequently, anecdotally speaking, I can give you several stories, but one that really sticks with me and something that kinda can transfer to, you know, even now in my professional demeanor right now, is the opportunity once they had to, it was probably, I was around 12 or so.

Kevin Carvajal (04:45):

Sister was, uh, finishing high school. Uh, she had to do some community service hours. So we both went to a center, a home for street children, and it was a center that really, uh, coincidentally now is actually part of solutions to Salesian congregation, Don Bosco, you know, over there it’s, uh, and in most cases it’s considered, uh, you know, Don Bosco schools and centers where, you know, the most vulnerable, you know, reside. Um, in this case it was the center for school street children. Where was this center at? Again? This center was in, in Quito Ecuador. It was called [inaudible] [inaudible].

Kevin Carvajal (05:22):

And, uh, it was, it was a wonderful opportunity there that we had, uh, just to interact with these wonderful, uh, you know, children pretty much playing with them, having the opportunity to just hear them, listen to them, play a, you know, kick the ball around with them, the soccer ball. Um, so that was a, you know, one of the, I guess, fondest memories that I have primarily of Ecuador that pretty much over the course of those years, I guess really had, I became what I started to have a great affinity for, for traveling, for being in Ecuador, learning the culture. And until, you know, it was until probably my junior year of high school that really decided to, uh, convince my parents and work with them to see if I can do at least a year abroad in high school, you know, study abroad there.

Kevin Carvajal (06:05):

I was, uh, with some friends and family that I had over there, we, uh, were able to locate a, uh, an American school, the American school of Quito there. It would say a fully accredited school, a us school there that was, um, had, that had been there for well over a hundred years. So, you know, it took, it took a lot of convincing if it’s my parents work with them to, to see if, you know, they wanted to send me there, even though that obviously they weren’t going to be there. I would probably be in under the care of a, of an uncle of mine and his family, but it was, it was a great opportunity they gave in and, and, uh, yeah, yeah. So they, yeah, that was my junior year of high school later on. I mean, it was great opportunity there that I met a whole bunch of people from different walks of life, different places around the world.

Kevin Carvajal (06:50):

That’s where I really became culturally sensitized, I think to a great extent. And I decided, uh, you know, with my parents after, after sitting down with them, seeing how that first year involved, uh, you know, we made the choice to, for me to, uh, to, you know, to continue my studies there and basically finished high school there. Um, so that was a, you know, that was really a unique, like I say, a change for me, a change for my family in general and something, you know, we’re, you know, my parents had opted out to leave Ecuador and no longer be there at that time. You said, well, years ago, but you know, their son that was, uh, born and raised, you know, in New York, decided to go back to their Homeland and, uh, finish up high school there. So that was a, you know, that’s a great story for me. Yeah. Yeah.

Scott Luton (07:33):

That is awesome. Hey, real quick, before Alisa asked you about your, your more of your professional journey, it seems like early on you cultivated a sense of purpose around serving others. Uh, you’re talking to, especially, I heard it loud and clear as you were talking about you and your sister in the center that down in, in, in Quito Ecuador, and, and kind of how much you value those interactions, where you’re giving those children hope, sounded like to me, at least some attention and some engagement now what they are maybe lacking is that sense of service. Was that started in your formative years there?

Kevin Carvajal (08:05):

Yeah, I definitely think so. Uh, I definitely think so. Cause I think, you know, after, after that experience and obviously in high school and, and also committing to certain hours of service there also, um, you know, in high school in Quito, you know, I think it later transpired into my later time. They’re also both finishing, you know, some of my school and my schooling, they’re also undergrad level. And then beginning to work professionally there in Ecuador, you know, it was always attempted to have that sort of connection, you know, with, uh, with service as well. I think, um, you know, in our life we can’t set aside the fact that, you know, we may work for whether it’s a for profit, um, industry or not-for-profit, but we, you know, there always has to be a sense of purpose and a connection, I guess, with the local community and to attempt to, you know, hopefully build more, um, uh, strive for better, um, outcomes. And I think, you know, if we have the opportunity to do that as a person, um, and to interact with those folks that probably are more vulnerable than I think, you know, it just, it’s, it’s an opportunity for everyone to just embrace that sense of empathy and, you know, solidary with others.

Speaker 4 (09:12):

Well put, wow. Okay. All right. Elisa, let’s dive into Kevin’s profession.

Speaker 5 (09:17):

Okay. Can mean, could you please tell us about your professional journey prior to grin role? How do you shape your,

Kevin Carvajal (09:27):

Is this a, you know, this journey, I guess it started part of the, like I said, with the anecdotal references of, of Quito of Ecuador, um, I think a lot of it has to do with, you know, my, uh, my stint and time there and, you know, Ecuador had the opportunity when I was probably in my, uh, last year of undergrad work, uh, in Ecuador, I was, uh, you know, doing, um, I undergrad, I double majored in business administration and marketing. I, um, took a, a post job in, um, for a cosmetics company, the manufacturer and the role was primarily, it was a, uh, inventory control assistant there for, uh, for the cosmetics company that had a, uh, that was pretty much all their logistics. You know, their supply chain was managed by a three PL and, you know, just learning the nuts and bolts, you know, from inbound, outbound, personal logistics, it was kind of just the plethora of, of all the different components that, you know, any commercial supply chain has, you know, that, that exposure that I had really kind of segwayed and I guess implanted, I would say more, more so implanted meet a, a, you know, a sense of, you know, what, what else can I do with the logistics or supply chain?

Kevin Carvajal (10:37):

Um, I said, you know, I really want to professionalize my, uh, you know, this, uh, my skills and this, you know, take it from, you know, from having this extreme experience of working with, uh, you know, this company to, uh, you know, hopefully transition to something larger. So I said, you know, it’s time for me to, uh, pursue some activity and, um, pursue a, a, a master’s degree in, uh, in logistics. Uh, I went to, uh, for close to a year and a half, uh, to Barcelona, Spain, uh, to pursue that, um, that activity. So once I had that in place, you know, it was pretty much, it was kind of at the cusp of, you know, the, the recession year, the recession here that we had around, you know, the 2009, 2010 era. And, you know, when I was coming back, I thought I was, uh, you know, you kind of are naively think that you’ll just find a job, uh, would be able to work, you know, and put all my, uh, those skills to work.

Kevin Carvajal (11:31):

But, um, you know, it was, it was vastly, um, you know, uh, challenging during that time to, to find something here in the States. So I, uh, had some friends that had some, um, uh, whatnot, you know, and other people that told me, Hey, at the time, the recession really didn’t afflict so much or impact, you know, Latin America, Latin America on the contrary was kind of striving, was the, you know, things were going over there. So there was a lot of growth opportunity. So I decided to head back over there and, and pretty much do that, you know, and, and start working on my own in different entrepreneurial activities. At the same time, I took another post as a, as a logistics coordinator for a civil engineering company that was doing a lot of civil works with the government and other local municipalities. And, uh, you know, that’s basically how everything just came about with learning more about logistics, getting into the, you know, the nuts and bolts of it. You know, that’s a, that’s something that really, uh, has stuck with me and, and really, you know, continues to, uh, to really keep me active,

Speaker 6 (12:31):

Man. That’s a fantastic story. First of all, the breadth of your education, some in the States, some in Ecuador, some in, in Spain, and then coming back to the U S and then back to South America. And at that time, Kevin, I wish I knew you. I had a technology company, we did a ton of business in Latin America and, uh, spent a lot of time in Ecuador and Bolivia and Columbia and Chile and Peru down there. And man, we could have used somebody like you and right around that time too, but all right. So somehow, somehow we got you back to the States. So tell us about how you wound up at Salesian missions and what the company is about.

Kevin Carvajal (13:15):

I love that question cause it’s, um, you know, it’s very personal and at the same time, you know, it’s something that, uh, you know, is also very professional. You know, it was, it was basically the driver, there was contrary to what was happening 2008, 2009, 2010. And in Ecuador in Latin America, you know, come to this time, uh, was about 2013. Things were going sour, you know, in Ecuador, you had all the, you know, a lot of these, uh, the governments, uh, leftist government, socialist governments, uh, you know, pretty much enforcing a lot of things. They, they drain these countries and then the economy put their priorities above people’s priorities work was, uh, you know, growth really wasn’t there. The country was in shambles at the time I was with my fiance. Um, you know, we decided, okay, this is an opportunity I think, for us to look for new horizons.

Kevin Carvajal (14:04):

So we, uh, decided, okay, we’ll get married, but I will go first head back to the States and see what, what happens now. So I found a temporary gig working with a nonprofit in, uh, in New York city. Um, and that’s pretty much where I said, Hey, you know, there could be something more to this, you know, I was doing, you know, I’ve, I’ve always been focused. I always thought I was going to be in the, for profit business, working supply chain for, for profit enterprise. And, uh, I said, well, why not pursue something that, you know, my passions, uh, you know, culture learning about, you know, uh, international perspectives, uh, you know, supply chain logistics, what else can be done. So I really just started using those key words and, you know, different search engines, search engines, you know, LinkedIn and whatnot. And lo and behold solution missions had a post, uh, had a, had a vacancy.

Kevin Carvajal (14:54):

Um, it was for, um, at the time it was property and logistics associates. So, uh, yeah, that was something I, uh, I definitely jumped on. I saw that I had that connection with it. I remember, you know, back to my head, I was thinking, Hey, so lesions, I really didn’t make that connection yet. You know, what happened several years ago when I was 12 years old at a Don Bosco center in Quito, that there was a connection there, it didn’t happen probably until I actually, uh, had the opportunity to meet with the folks, you know? So these are mission folks and discuss this and just begin to know that solutions, this congregation of the solution congregation was in fact their, you know, their direct beneficiary. Right. Um, so that’s, um, that’s something that really, like, I can say that that’s basically how, uh, you know, that’s the evolution of, I guess my professional career.

Speaker 6 (15:41):

That’s awesome. I have to tell you, I have family in Argentina and I don’t know how you feel about this, but every time, every time you leave, you feel at once privileged to be able to get out when the getting is good. And, you know, Argentina is as volatile as any Latin American country. And at the same time, you feel guilty to have the privilege to get out and somewhat, I don’t know what to say, sad for the people who have to stay, but somehow they manage. I think that is a Testament to people’s resiliency to be able to manage through those frequent unfortunately times of crisis and in South America in particular, that was mostly a personal statement. Kevin, you get some of those on this show, right? Greg, I wonder if you have some of those moments as you went and left Ecuador, first of all, but then also tell us about Don Bosco and tell us about Salesian missions and that connection. First of all, so people have a frame of reference and then tell us about, you know, what the organization does.

Kevin Carvajal (16:44):

Yes, I do have those, uh, you know, those instances were definitely, I might have some sort of remorse or I would say, you know, you feel sometimes guilty for leaving, you know, and not necessarily being, um, you know, there to kind of roll with the punches, but like you said, it’s a Testament I think, of, of the people that I should remain and stay there. And I think if it’s something that truly sees, you know, the human condition of being resilient at the end of the day, I know that they can basically take and weather the storm. And I think, you know, we’re all living in now with Kobe, the pandemic and what not. So those are different things that really, you know, in my work now with the solutions of Don Bosco and solution missions, you know, that’s where we really begin to see those, how these different components kind of connect, you know, the connections that exist where Salesian missions is basically the development branch of the solution congregation.

Kevin Carvajal (17:37):

So lesion congregations and second largest Catholic order, uh, in the world. So lesion missionaries are, uh, you know, basically priests brothers that are in over 105 countries around the world. Our main focus is, uh, you know, teaching, um, and you know, their main focus primarily is, you know, to, to teach and work with the most vulnerable at risk youth. They got in the court. So that’s, you know, and how they make those, their programming is primarily with technical, vocational education and training T that centers, you know, where they, uh, give those, help those youth change skills, both hard skills and those soft skills necessary to become active and hopefully productive citizens. That’s where sleazy emissions basically comes into place. Uh, how do they, how are they able to achieve that? They’re able to achieve that obviously with some, uh, support from an organization and NGO like a Salesian missions that I trust to source funding opportunities for them, or for them to implement though that their program on the ground, we have to, uh, primarily within the office for international programs, there’s two verticals, one being the Gibson kind of vertical.

Kevin Carvajal (18:52):

The other one is the development, vertical development. Vertical is the one that pursued, you know, that, uh, works with the field and producing competitive proposals and submit those to potential funders here in the U S the other one is obviously gifts in kind to one program. That specific component variable that I oversee is probably pretty much the same thing. It’s also sourcing those goods and working on the logistics of those goods from point a to point B. And in between that is obviously the whole intricacy of working with our partners, our field partners, our distribution partners that are primarily, obviously those that’s the Salesian missionaries on the ground doing the work. And then in the midst of all the gunk, the poor and vulnerable, and they’re the ones that pretty much are our subject matter experts. You know, they are the ones that know the nuts and bolts they know, and have heard the needs of those, those communities and know what exactly is needed. So they are primarily are our source of, of information of knowledge. So we can basically find those, you know, because that are required.

Speaker 6 (19:55):

So your title is in kind logistics and you mentioned in kind right. And Scott reminded me, we were talking to an African organization that said, no product, no program. It really comes down to something that simple. So tell us about what your role is and the part that you play in getting the necessary goods or whatever, to the subject matter experts or to the recipients of your, of your programs and that sort of thing.

Kevin Carvajal (20:25):

One of it has to be definitely, there’s a lot of cultivation cultivation working directly with our donors, primarily other NGOs, corporate America, you know, just working with them and cultivating a process primarily before that probably prospecting, cultivating these relationships, putting the solution missions brand, or in this case, the Salesian outbound bicycle brand, before them, it’s telling them more about programs that we have on the ground, what this lesions and Bombas are doing for, you know, the young and the poor, and, you know, just, just telling those stories, uh, that they can hear that they will want to hear, and that will hopefully compel them to, uh, to partner and collaborate with us. That’s a good portion of, of, of, uh, you know, the role of a portion of the responsibility of this role. And then it’s a matter of obviously working, uh, with the field, the field to, uh, to really delve deep into that, to use whatever we’re sending.

Kevin Carvajal (21:19):

Obviously it’s been, it’s hard commodities. I mean, these are commodities that we’re sending that for many. And, you know, in most instances are lifesaving commodities, food medicine, you know, to really, to, to see that it’s strategically it’s intentional and that it really needs an end. Um, you know, that it’s not just, it just doesn’t stay there. It’s just not an immediate relief, whether it could be maybe on the rapid onset of a crisis. Yes. Um, but traditionally what we want this is to really invoke, you know, a sense of, uh, of change of transformation. Um, like, you know, with the word that we’re kind of hearing, you know, in this, in this, uh, in this cast is a lot about resilience. So we want to basically also kind of have these communities and these populations, vulnerable populations to also become more self reliant as well.

Kevin Carvajal (22:06):

So that’s where basically this all interconnects the role with, uh, also our development team that makes run, uh, that makes, uh, you know, produces those proposals. Submits those proposals for funding is to basically use gifts in kind or in kind donations as a practice, you know, for, for development, for change. And then with that, like I said, is also the logistics aspect where we obviously need the help of, and regained. We need the help of a vector, you know, to move product from point a to point B. Um, and that’s basically where that falls into place, where we rely heavily on those partnerships with, with freight forwarders to really it’s really move these commodities. Cause it’s, it’s very distinctive. I mean, the, the, the, I think the, the approach and also, uh, the treatment of, uh, of these movements is very unique and it’s very different than a commercial, uh, logistics.

Kevin Carvajal (22:59):

And, uh, that’s where really, I think we pick a keen, you know, a keen eye on who we’re working with. We want them to also have a sense of, of, of intentionality, of really wanting to work with, you know, organizations like our, like ours that are, you know, both in international development and relief where we, you know, can work together and collaboratively work to, you know, to, to achieve a good outcome. Right. Um, cause you know, at the end of the day, this is a partnership, you know, we are different stakeholders. This is a large chain of, of actors that really have to be, you know, in sync

Speaker 6 (23:33):

Your job essentially is to almost sell these potential in kind organizations to help this organization, to coordinate those shipments with what’s on the ground in your

Speaker 7 (23:46):

Various areas. Is that, I mean, is that a summation or is it, I know it’s a lot more than that.

Kevin Carvajal (23:52):

No, that, uh, you know, in a nutshell, yes, it’s, it’s basically, you know, I like to think of myself as over in, in general. I think the Gibson kind of vertical is a lot about being a matchmaker, you know, just being that intermediary of just matchmaking. Um, and, and, and it really takes those, uh, you know, a certain level of ability and capability to, to just, you know, make those connections and everything else in between that is just, you know, it’s just a matter of finding the right fit. Um, and I think it’s a matter of finding the right fit, the right donor, the right, uh, organization that’s, you know, also inclined. And it has like, it thinks quite, um, similar to, you know, and has a similar interest and that’s leisure missions has, and slim kind of congregation has. And all those actors in between that we also kind of, you know, are, uh, are on the same page,

Speaker 7 (24:42):

Real quick, 135 locations. You’ve got supply chain managers with tons of resources, paid internal resources that have their hands full with four or five, 10 locations, right. To manage that 135 global locations. And really it be where you’re serving others. You’re changing lives. You’re doing, this is a noble mission. Kevin, I don’t know how you’re getting, you must have some clones because you must have several full plates managing this massive global supply chain, doing the matchmaking, managing all the partners and making sure that as these as shipments go that to your point, they are taken care of and, and folks are intentionally protecting so that when that product hits the ground, as Greg alluded to, you know, without good product, certainly without no product, but without good product, there’s no program. So Kevin, you’re doing, you’re doing some, some yeoman’s work here.

Kevin Carvajal (25:38):

And I think the caveat to all of that is, uh, you know, and I can’t just put it all on on me. And I think, uh, you know, there is, we do have support here at Salesian missions, you know, uh, there is another, uh, you know, another position there that also has an associate position that also backstops a lot of the, uh, kind of deals more with the nuts and bolts, the minutia of the workflow, you know, as far as, you know, the internal dealings with, uh, with arranging shipments and everything. Um, so we do have help. And then obviously the, what we have is, you know, the, on the ground help and, you know, while I would love to be able to say that, you know, we ship to all 135 countries, uh, you know, that’s not, you know, I don’t think that’s humanly possible.

Kevin Carvajal (26:19):

Uh, you know, like I said, we do have to be intentional. And, uh, obviously with that being said, you know, there is also, you know, the, the challenges of, uh, you know, uh, moving goods to certain countries, uh, you know, obviously with the different regulations and customs requirements, obviously kind of prohibit maybe the, those, uh, those sort of activities. So, um, you know, we actively shoot on average probably to at least 20 countries, you know, obviously trying every day and every year to kind of bolster that, you know, kind of, uh, bring in you potential consignee partners on the ground that we can definitely include in that pool. But, you know, it’s increasingly, you know, it’s become, it’s become a challenge. Like I said, I mean, primarily speaking, it’s those, uh, you know, the, the situation, the, I would say, you know, the, uh, enabling environments that we’re have to deal with, right. And the distinct and the different countries.

Scott Luton (27:13):

So Kevin, for reference, I was wondering if you could give a little bit more reference about which countries are your top countries that you currently serve. And then also, uh, and I think it’s a interesting question. Like which countries would you like to be able to serve, but like for whatever recent regulations, contacts, uh, top logistics up, which countries would you like to ship to, but you haven’t been able to because of regulations

Kevin Carvajal (27:37):

Our priority. Um, you know, I guess our institutional priority here at, at, uh, solution missions is to, uh, is to, uh, put Africa, you know, as, as, as a, as a destination Africa, the continent in general. Uh, so we do have a lot of, uh, a lot of shipments are going to places, uh, primarily landlocked countries, uh, Uganda, Zambia, the DRC Burundi. Those are kind of the key areas where containers are going. Uh, there are primarily food, food assistance, uh, is going there. Um, you know, where we would, and, and to some extent we’ve maybe had at some point, um, you know, done shipping too, but now for whatever reason, you know, like in Rica alluded to tough logistics, you know, the enabling environment there, uh, was, uh, you know, has been like, uh, South Sudan, Central African Republic. Those are two places where we’ve, we, we know there’s a need, um, without a doubt, there’s a need.

Kevin Carvajal (28:31):

Um, but it’s just the environments there just make it to, uh, really, really make it, uh, a challenge for us to really ship there. Um, you know, to keep safe to also at the same point, you know, when we doing our shipments to make, maintain ourselves intentional and, and kind of find a strike a balance between those the needs on the ground and also the needs and requirements of our donors. Um, and when we really can’t make those things work, um, you know, in line and, and be balanced then, um, that, that just really, isn’t a good deal for us. And we just can’t, we can’t really just go on doing something like that, boy shipping, something that we just can’t have control over. So that, that is, uh, that’s something that, you know, looking forward. I mean, that’s something that we would like to, uh, hopefully, you know, pin down and find a way to, uh, successfully, uh, um, move cargo there.

Speaker 7 (29:19):

So I’ll interpret a little bit for Kevin, so he doesn’t have to say it when he says enabling environment, what he means is corrupt and oppressive governments that don’t allow the gifts and the goods to get to the people who really need it. So he doesn’t have to say that not knowing that based on the, some of the countries you’ve named there.

Scott Luton (29:38):

And it’s so true, Greg, cause it’s not only, um, frustrating for him and his organization and some of us as well, but it’s just, it requires a, it’s a completely different component, right? You can have the donors, you can have the people in the ground, you can have the logistics, you can have everything set up and then you still have to deal with this completely random request or regulations that are preventing people to help each other basically. Right. So it doesn’t make any sense to a lot of Boston. So I guess that kind of speaks even higher on, on Kevin’s kind of character and patients and, and just the whole team, like how strategic they are and how they think about impact and which one, which has the best return on the investment basically. And, and yeah, hopefully if, uh, some of those countries are listening to us right now,

Speaker 7 (30:27):

It really goes to the spirit of the organization and frankly, to Kevin’s spirit that he so diplomatically positions it, right? Because it’s a frustrating situation, even when you’re not in the middle of it, even when you just observe it, it’s very frustrating to watch. And, and for them to have Kevin, you and Salesian, to have that spirit of just continuing to try and make progress to do what you can to enable it, to accommodate it, to whatever extent you can, so that it helps to improve the environment for the people you intend to help. I think that’s commendable in a major way. You know, what it reminds me of, uh, Greg and Enrique and we’re all everyone, but Greg and Enrique were at been privy to these conversations with Jasmine and gooder. And Greg, one of your favorite quotes that w we’ve been talking about religiously is that in terms of hunger, it’s a logistics issue.

Speaker 7 (31:23):

And, and, and by logistics, I would, I would throw in the regulatory, these cross border issues, all that stuff, uh, for the sake of that, we can do this, but we gotta have folks working together, going back to what Kevin was talking about, you know, that sense of purpose and connection with the local community in each of these local communities, acknowledging there’s a problem and let’s work together and get, we’ve got plenty of product. We’ve got plenty of food, we’ve got plenty of supplies, but man has gotta be, it’s gotta be a willingness to get it to the folks in the, and it’s more than that. This is not a lack of willingness or bureaucracy. This is in as intentional as Kevin and the folks at Salesian are about getting goods and assistance to people. These governments are as intentional in, co-opting basically stealing and, and using it for themselves or trying to sell it to these people.

Speaker 7 (32:16):

So that’s frankly as something that’s not news, if you follow a lot of charitable organizations around the world, but that’s something that it’s difficult for a group like Salesian to get past that I don’t know how you do it other than to just endure it, which it sounds like, is, like I said, it’s a great spirit of you to be able to do that. So in Enrique look, um, we talked about probably the toughest topic that Kevin has to face, right? And I know, I know that, and I know your com you and your company’s affinity for getting goods to people in need the fact that you donate every time you move a container and that sort of thing. So tell us a little bit about what makes you such a big fan, why you wanted us to meet Kevin, why you wanted us to hear about Salesian missions and what you admire most about the organization,

Scott Luton (33:11):

A very traditional organization. They have an incredible history of helping other people, and there’s many, many different things that, that we admire in terms of the programs that they’re offered. They go from like education to homeless, to workforce development, to food security and to shipping aid. So it’s, it’s a very, very well rounded, very strategic cohesive with a, with a huge history kind of organization. So it’s, it’s what I personally admire about them is just they, they want to help children and education is key for solution missions. And I, me personally, and an, I believe vector as a company shares that same notion that do that education is very important. So, uh, so giving children hope, giving children an opportunity I think is going to make the horrible world better. And so I, Kevin runs a tight ship. Uh, we admire his efficiency and the way they handle logistics.

Scott Luton (34:14):

And so our partnership with them is very rewarding because as he kind of put it when we’re shipping containers for them, it’s, it’s really more than just shipping a 20 foot container or a 40 foot container or whatever it might be. It’s really more about just giving medicine or food to people that needed, and people on the ground that have been literally investing their lives to help others in those communities. And so it just really makes us proud to be part of such an amazing costs. So thanks Kevin, for, for, for what you do. And please pass that on to like everyone that’s on the ground. Cause it’s just amazing that people have such love for others, that, that they would dedicate their whole lives to, to supporting kids in other regions and other countries.

Speaker 7 (35:02):

So let’s stick with that. And Enrique let’s broaden the scope a bit and, and this has been surprisingly abroad. I mean, these are some big when you serve 135 countries, but no, we’re curious about what else is between Kevin’s ears really when it comes to global business.

Scott Luton (35:16):

Yeah. So now Kevin, um, in general, I mean with everything that’s going on this year, and it’s been a pretty interesting year for all, like how do you, how are you managing, uh, everything and what kind of like information or what kind of indicators? So you pay closer attention to when it comes to managing an already complex, uh, network on there such kind of challenging and unique circumstances, like the ones that were leaving with a Corona virus and, uh, racial inequality and a lot of other problems that you’re probably facing at the same time as you’re trying to match the donors with the, uh, potential help.

Kevin Carvajal (35:57):

I, I think, uh, you know, in this ever changing environment that we’ve had and that we, you know, we’re faced with, you know, that being depend, demic different aspects of racial tensions and just in general, I think there’s something to be said that has to be said about humanitarian work, humanitarian logistics. And I think is that we’ve always been faced with, with uncertainty without a doubt. And that’s just the nature of the beast for us and, and even more so for the folks on the ground, those subject matter experts that are there day in and day out working with the least of these, you know, working with those that really, uh, are looking to be heard. And, you know, I just feel that, you know, solution missions is just continuously finding a way to just work through that, finding a way to obviously to make their, make everything work in the sense where we can strongly advocate for those needs certainly advocate for what, you know, they have, what they need and what they can, um, definitely, you know, bring long for the longterm.

Kevin Carvajal (36:59):

And I think, you know, some of those, uh, pressing things are definitely, you know, when we’re doing a shipment now, you know, in the past few months, obviously, you know, some of the things, you know, logistically speaking that has, uh, you know, that has given me some, uh, you know, has challenged me is definitely, you know, the, the blank sailings that are happening all across the board with, uh, you know, steamship lines, drivers, truckers, aren’t able to, uh, you know, really aren’t willing to work or just don’t, uh, aren’t able to work for whatever reason, given the situation depend DEMEC and the cross border activities, you know, that are obviously happening, you know, the, that the, uh, the laws, or I say the regulations that are also having there with the different government bodies, you know, that are requiring, you know, truckers to quarantine and whatnot. So obviously that puts a damper on, on the whole, uh, supply chain as well. And obviously that translates to a $2 and that, you know, that for me is, is something that is of grave concern. I’m sure for other humanitarian organizations as well, you know, that, that that’s something that, you know, we’ve, I’ve at least we’ve encountered here at Salesian missions, and I’m sure other folks as well,

Scott Luton (38:08):

No shortage of challenges, uh, whether you’re in the nonprofit space, the, for profit space, 2020, it goes without saying it’s been an incredibly challenging year on a variety of levels, but, you know, really admire you and your team’s focus like, like everyone here has said, you know, to double down on these in these challenging years, I mean, every year is challenging given your mission, but a double down and just recommit to the folks serving is

Speaker 7 (38:36):

Incredibly admirable. And hopefully some of our listeners might can provide some resources and reach out to you and, and help make that a little bit easier. At least that is such a great idea. People should reach out. So Kevin tell us how, how can people reach Salesian missions? How can they reach you connect with you, even if they want to learn or, or share or donate or participate

Kevin Carvajal (39:02):

A resource, there is definitely a, the solution mission, a website. So you can go to a www.salesianmissionswithans.org. It’s a great resource there. You can look through the different projects that we have going funding opportunities, learn more about our organization. And, uh, of course the, uh, the partners that we have, the solutions themselves missionaries and the work and programming that they have in all the, in different, in different thematic areas, it’s education, it’s health, it’s a wash, uh, you know, water and hygiene, and also, you know, um, healthcare, um, you know, health clinics as well. So, uh, please reach out to us through there. Uh, we have a general inquiry, uh, email there as well, um, that you can definitely look into and, uh, yeah, please do, please reach out to us.

Speaker 7 (39:58):

All right. So solutions, so lesion, missions.org, right. Um, all right. So Enrique, give us a little bit of an update on what you all are doing and how folks can, uh, connect with you as well.

Kevin Carvajal (40:14):

Um, vector has been pivoting into sourcing and helping throughout the pandemic. We’re not doing it and around the world, we’re trying to change at least the communities that we are in, uh, starting with Atlanta, we’re kind of, uh, partnering with love beyond walls and organization here in Atlanta that helps homeless people. And we’re trying to not only help them source some of their sinks, but also kind of trying to provide them with face masks and support in general, with everything else that, uh, that they might need to make sure that the vulnerable community of our homeless, uh, as, uh, safe and, and, and also healthy. Other than that, I, I just love working with Kevin and his team. I think they have a great company and, uh, I would love to continue helping them in any way we can. And, and so if, if you’re listening out there and you have a good heart and want to continue changing the world, uh, just join us. We at vector, we believe that a few caring people can indeed change the world. And I think it’s clear that that the world needs people like Kevin and his team more than more than ever before. So, uh, just don’t be shy, contact Kevin, contact his company, and let’s kind of try to together, uh, get out of this mess as soon as possible.

Speaker 7 (41:29):

We’re going to make it easy. We’re going to put the link to seletion missions and

Scott Luton (41:34):

The website in the show notes, or make it really easy there. We’re going to put Kevin’s LinkedIn profile. So if you’ve got questions about how to get involved, you can reach out to him there. And as always, if for some reason, there’s a challenge getting through, reach out to Enrique and Lisa and the vector team on that note, Enrique, how can folks reach out to you and vector team? Yeah, I know they can reach out to us through our webpage@vectorgl.com or just sending me an email and Rica dot Alvarez, a vector gl.com or contacting Alyssa. And I let her give a little more commentary. Cause I feel like we haven’t really let her speak today.

Speaker 5 (42:12):

Yeah, there were invited, uh, yeah, you can also conduct contact us via Instagram. It’s vector global giving. I think you need to put a dash between each word and then you can also contact me. My Emily elisaRodriguez@victordeal.com. If you want to pronounce it, [inaudible] correct. W but that’s it.

Scott Luton (42:41):

Awesome. Thanks Alisa. Thank you, Elise. Thank you, Lisa. Thanks everybody. Here is, as we bring this episode to a close, want to give a big, thanks to Kevin Kevin Hall in Khan logistics officer with the office for international programs with seletion miss missions, Kevin, you’re doing incredible work big good as you and the whole team there. Godspeed as you move forward and we get through this challenging year, we’ll have to have you back on and reconnect maybe at the end of the year and kind of see how things turned out. Yeah. We’d love to Scott, uh, Greg Enrique, Lisa pleasure, you know, thank you for having me. And, uh, yeah, this is a, you know, we’re all in, you know, we’re all in this together. I think, you know, with all this, uh, uh, the pandemic, everything that’s gone on. Um, but I’m sure we’ll, we’ll weather the storm and we’ll come out, we’ll come out better from us.

Scott Luton (43:25):

And I’m sure, definitely the communities that we’re serving, uh, will also that are also feeling that as well. Um, they feel the love. I think they feel the, uh, solidarity as well. And, uh, we’re thankful for, uh, for partners like, uh, like vector that also helped us, you know, get this, get the goods to where they have to go. Thanks again, Kevin, it’s a pleasure having you here. Outstanding. That’s a great note to finish on there. Alright, so also big thanks to, of course, in Ricky Alvarez, managing director with vector global logistics, Elisa Rodriguez, a sales associate with vector love what the vector team’s doing, love this series, and really appreciate your commitment to changing the world and Rica working with different partners and different parts of the world. I mean, it’s so intentional and it’s just a breath of fresh air. Greg. Every time we have one of these installments, it is it’s inspiring.

Scott Luton (44:13):

And, uh, and I gotta tell you, I think Kevin May be uniquely equipped for the difficulties that he sees, uh, and the challenges that he faces each day. Very level dude, man. I mean, whether he’s talking about, you know, being able to get a container through customs or real and violent oppression, man, he just deals with it. You can just tell, so you don’t wanna play cards with Kevin play cards now. Good stuff there, everyone great conversation to our audience and hope you enjoyed this episode of logistics with purpose and supply chain. As much as we did wishing you all the best. Hey, we gotta challenge our audience. Just like with challenge ourselves, a do good give forward, but be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Kevin Carvajal to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Kevin Carvajal has been a humanitarian relief practitioner since 2013. During that time, he has focused on sourcing and delivering critical goods to augment the delivery of education, development, and humanitarian services offered by the Salesians of Don Bosco for at-risk youth and other vulnerable populations. His first encounter with supply chain management began in an international beauty brand’s 3PL distribution center where he audited inbound, outbound, and reverse logistics processes to ensure inventory record accuracy. 

Enrique Alvarez 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 a 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 also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people and spending time with his wife and two kids Emma and Enrique. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here: http://vectorgl.com/

Elisa Rodriguez Duron was born in Mexico City. She completed her bachelor’s degree in International Business from the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes and she also has studied abroad in Seville, Spain for six months in the University of Seville. She is adaptable and compatible with others. She knows what’s right in tough situations. She is responsible, honest, and she loves to help others. She likes to exercise and learn new things. It’s easy for her to make new friends. She really loves to travel and know new cultures. She has been working at Vector Global Logistics since 2017 in Sales. For her, Vector is a new beginning and a way to grow professionally and personally by helping others with small actions that cause a great impact in the world.


Greg White serves as Principle & Host at Supply Chain Now. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory: www.trefoiladvisory.com


Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. 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 was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. 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 has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here: https://supplychainnowradio.com/


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