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Lauren Fiochetta Joins Tompkins Robotics as Senior Marketing Manager

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Lauren Fiochetta Joins Tompkins Robotics as Senior Marketing Manager

Tompkins Robotics, a global leader focused on the robotic automation of distribution and fulfillment operations, has named Lauren Fiochetta to the role of Senior Marketing Manager. In this new role, she will develop and implement omnichannel marketing campaigns designed to attract and qualify customers across a wide range of industries, according to Tompkins Robotics President and CEO Mike Futch.

“We are excited to welcome Lauren to the team at Tompkins Robotics at a time when the warehouse and retail automation industry is poised for dramatic growth,” said Futch. “She is a marketing powerhouse with extensive B2B experience and an existing track record of success in the logistics and robotic automation space.”

Prior to joining Tompkins, she held marketing management roles for global manufacturing companies in the logistics, industrial materials and beverage industries, directing data-driven marketing campaigns encompassing advertising, public relations, social media and a variety of other digital marketing channels.

Fiochetta graduated from Westminster College in Utah with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.

About Tompkins Robotics

Tompkins Robotics is a global leader focused on the robotic automation of distribution and fulfillment operations. Our primary system, tSort, consists of autonomous mobile robots that sort a wide range of items and parcels to consolidation points for order fulfillment, store replenishment, returns, parcel distribution – virtually any process in the supply chain. tSort is a truly modular, scalable, and portable robotic sortation system that helps build world-class supply chains while providing unmatched flexibility and throughput.  Tompkins Robotics solutions maximize performance, making our clients more agile, adaptable, profitable, and successful in todays dynamic marketplace.  For more information, visit

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GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 11 – Junction City: ELITE City of Kansas Taking Growth to a New Level

In this episode of Community Connection, we will speak with Economic Development Director,  Mickey Fornaro-Dean, to learn about what makes Junction City, Kansas such a special and unique opportunity for business. What are the workforce, transportation, and land opportunities that are being capitalized on? And what the heck was Custer doing in this opportunity-rich community?

For more information on Junction City-Geary County Economic Development Commission,  visit

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!

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GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 10 – Jerome, Idaho – A Place You Can Live, and Love, Where You Locate Your Business

In today’s episode, we go all the way to Idaho to speak with Jerome 20/20’s Executive Director, Larry Hall.  He will tell us about what makes Jerome, Idaho such a special and unique opportunity for business. What industries, new and old, thrive in this region of Southern Idaho?  And, are there more cows or more people in Jerome?


For more information on Jerome 20/20 Economic Development Organization,  visit

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!

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GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 9 – Businesses Strike it Rich in Northeast Nevada

In this episode, we are heading to the Silver State, better known as Nevada.  And no… not the hustle and bustle and neon lights of Las Vegas, but to the unique region of Northeast Nevada, where we will talk with NNRDA’s Executive Director, Sheldon Mudd, to learn more about what makes Northeastern Nevada a great place for business.

For more information on the Northeast Nevada Regional Development Authority,  visit

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!

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GT Podcast – Episode 126 – Port of Virginia, Leading the Way for East Coast Ports

In this episode of Logistically Speaking, we will learn about the challenges our east coast ports are facing and how one port is facing those challenges with record-setting numbers. What is the biggest takeaway from the challenges the pandemic has presented? And, is it true that there’s a port that offers easy access to over 75% of our nation’s population?

For more information on the Port of Virginia, visit

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Logistically Speaking Series and more here!

soriyan value Surviving the Great Resignation: How to Become a Leader Worth Working For 

Are You In Fear Of Failure? How A Shift In Mindset Can Change That

As a teenager, Steven Spielberg longed to attend one of the prestigious film schools at UCLA or USC, where he hoped to create the foundation for a future career as a movie director.

Unfortunately for Spielberg, these top-flight universities saw only poor high school grades and no potential, so they rejected him – multiple times. As a backup plan, he enrolled at California State University at Long Beach, but eventually dropped out.

That’s quite a bit of failure in a short time. Of course, things worked out for Spielberg, whose story can serve as inspiration for others who fail, which is pretty much everyone, says Dr. Akintoye Akindele, the Forbes Books co-author with Olakunle Soriyan of A Love Affair with Failure: When Hitting Bottom Becomes a Launchpad to Success.

Failure is the birthplace of success,” Akindele says. “If there is anything we should be learning, it is how to fail, and how to fail as often as needed.”

Or, as the Rev. T.D. Jakes wrote in the foreword to Akindele and Soriyan’s book, “Failures and fallouts, setbacks and detours are par for the course.”

Par for the course or not, people tend to fear failure, and often let that fear stifle their ambitions, Akindele and Soriyan say.

“Tough, turbulent moments make us want to take a step back permanently,” Soriyan says. “They are hard to deal with because they contradict our expectations and make us doubt ourselves and question our prospects.”

That’s why people should change their mindset about failure, Akindele and Soriyan say. Here are four ways of looking at failure to help do that:

  • Accept that failure is common. As life progresses, most people will lose more times than they think they can bear, Akindele says. A coveted job offer won’t materialize. Partners will walk away. A product won’t sell as well as envisioned.  “You will find yourself questioning everything you have believed, even yourself,” he says. “You will make mistakes. All of these things matter, and none of it does – not as much as how you react when everything crumbles, not as much as what you learn when it does and how you use it.” Akindele and Soriyan point out in their book that Bill Gates’ first startup, a company called Traf-O-Data, flopped. But one of Gates’ partners termed the doomed venture a “favorite mistake because it confirmed to me that every failure contains the seeds of your next success.”

  • Embrace the opportunity for self discovery. Difficulties teach people about themselves, Soriyan says. “Hardships are portals of self discovery,” he says. “You are the most important element in your journey; not your parents, not your partners or investors. You. It matters who you are. It matters why you want to succeed. To understand your motivations, limitations, and strengths is to be truly resilient. “

  • Remember that failure is not permanent. It’s easy for someone to view failure as an impenetrable wall blocking them from their goals. But it’s actually more like a detour that momentarily forces you off your desired route. “The difficult periods on the road to your destination are not markers signifying the end,” Akindele says. “They might give you a bit of pause and make you reevaluate your position, but if you hold steady, you will make it through.” He offers as an example Abraham Lincoln, whose early political career was “defined by relentless failing and difficulty.”

  • Realize that perseverance really does make a difference. Everyone knows the importance of perseverance, at least in theory. But knowing it and doing it are two different things. “Don’t let the challenges of the present moment deter you,” Soriyan says. “Keep going and keep going strong.” This doesn’t mean to plow ahead alone, ignoring your fatigue. “Reach out for help where you need to,” he says. “Sit down and rest for a while if you need to. Take stock. Reassess. Learn about yourself. Understand your mistakes. But get up again and keep going.”

Finally, it’s important to remember that, although people would like it to be otherwise, life was not designed for uninterrupted stretches of ease, Akindele says.

“You will have a lot more ordinary and bad days than good ones,” he says. “You will have days where you are scrapping and fighting to survive, and days when nothing good or bad happens – just plain, simple, regular days. So when the glory days come, enjoy them.”

About Dr. Akintoye Akindele 

Dr. Akintoye Akindele, co-author of A Love Affair with Failure: When Hitting Bottom Becomes a Launchpad to Success, is the Chairman and CEO of Platform Capital Group. As an investor, best-selling author, and philanthropist, he is committed to enhancing Africa’s role in the global economy. In addition to his many roles in business, Dr. Akindele is a lecturer and faculty member of the University of Lagos Business School. He holds a doctorate degree in Business Administration (Finance) from the International School of Management in Paris. Dr. Akindele lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

About Olakunle Soriyan

Olakunle Soriyan, co-author of A Love Affair with Failure: When Hitting Bottom Becomes a Launchpad to Success, is the Chief Knowledge Officer and Lead Strategist at Kenneth Soriyan Research and Ideas LLC. He is also CEO of Africa House, a platform linking investors with entrepreneurs and innovators of African descent. Soriyan’s skills have served various arms of governments and many organizations in different parts of the world including Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Total and Shell. He lives in Plano, Texas

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GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 8 – Snyder: The Unknown Secret for Business in West Texas

In this episode of Community Connection, join GSLI’s Eric Kleinsorge as he speaks with Doug Dowler to learn why Snyder, TX is such an unknown secret to business, find out if it’s true we can find a white buffalo around the courthouse, and how this small town delivers a highly educated and affordable workforce.

For more information on the Development Corportion of Snyder, TX visit

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!

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Employers Can Thwart the Great Resignation Through Recogition & Career Growth Opportunities

One thing Dan Johnston and Michele Bailey agree on is lack of career growth is among the reasons so many people have left/are
leaving the workforce.

Johnston is the founder and CEO of WorkStep, a San Francisco maker of workforce retention software. WorkStep recently collected the insights of 16,000 employees at some of the top companies in the U.S.

“The top reason for turnover is career growth,” concluded the survey, which further defined the problem as “the inability to create a roadmap to climb the ladder and connect with managers for support.”

Other top drivers for quitting include unclear job expectations, lack of safety and limited peer coaching and feedback from leadership.

Surprisingly, perhaps, is pay ranked as the No. 7 reason people self-terminate—even though increasing salaries is the top strategy employers rely on to attract new workers.

The fact that lack of career growth topped the WorkStep survey would not surprise Bailey, the ForbesBooks author of The Currency of Gratitude: Turning Small Gestures into Powerful Business Results. Ticking off ways employers can retain workers, she includes: “encourage professional development.”

Forward-thinking, growth-oriented companies hire talented people with the capability of taking on bigger responsibilities, she notes.

“Professional development provides the opportunity for steps up in their career path,” Bailey says. “Employees who do not see a clear path are at risk of leaving.”

The founder and CEO of The Blazing Group, a brand and culture agency born of Bailey’s “strategy-first approach” to business and desire to enhance employee wellness in pursuit of business goals, she also created My Big Idea, a mentoring program designed to propel individuals toward their personal and professional goals.

Other things employers should do to keep good workers is build culture by acknowledging the whole person. While “work-life balance” has gotten a lot of attention during the pandemic, Bailey says good leadership ensures that balance is in place by going the extra mile to know employees, and to listen to their concerns, whether personal or professional.

“The reality is that all of us bring our personal selves to work and our work selves home with us,” she says. “When something is going well or poorly in either space, it tends to seep into our attitudes and
behavior in the other. When you address the overall wellness of your people as part of your business mandate, you have people well-aligned and rowing in the same direction.”

Creating an army of brand ambassadors can empower employees, who will feel as if their voices are being heard—and will thus perform their best work, something Bailey backs up with statistics from Gallup and Salesforce.

“Many businesses tout themselves as collaborative workplaces with great cultures; however, worker frustration suggests that the reality is otherwise,” she says. “A good culture is a place where they’re
freed to flourish, energized and proud to represent the brand to clients.”

Bailey further suggests that rewarding and recognizing jobs well done should be part of any business plan.

“Showing gratitude to your workforce is imperative to having a successful business,” she says. “Eventually people want you to
show them the money–and you must if you truly value them–but frequent shows of gratitude in any form should be consistent
and timely.”

Bailey will get no argument on that point from David Friedman, the author of Culture by Design: How to Build a High Performing Culture Even in the New Remote Work Environment. The founder and CEO of CultureWise, a turnkey operating system for small to midsize businesses to create and sustain a high-performing culture,
Friedman formerly presided over RSI, an award-winning employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm that was named one of
the best places to work in the Philadelphia region seven times.

Having taught more than 6,000 CEOs about work culture and led more than 500 workshops on the subject, Friedman believes, “Recognition is the best way to boost employee engagement, productivity and profit while significantly strengthening your

He adds, “It may seem intuitive that employees who are thanked and recognized for their work are happier and, as a result, perform better. But unfortunately, managers may be busy with other tasks or have an attitude of ‘If you don’t hear anything, assume you’re doing a good job.’ That approach loses good people who were very valuable. 

That’s something U.S. businesses cannot afford to continue considering the record numbers of workers who are leaving their jobs, something Friedman notes has been blamed on a lack of appreciation from employers.

Appreciation is an especially important factor to a large segment of the workforce— millennials and Gen Z. In a poll taken shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began, 79% of millennial and Gen Z respondents said an increase in recognition and rewards would
make them more loyal to their employer.

With companies losing talented people and struggling to fill open positions, leaders need to know how to make employee recognition and appreciation a more consistent part of their work culture, Friedman contends.

He also cites benefits to company leaders praising teams as well as individuals, pointing to the Gallup survey that shows giving kudos
to teams can encourage collaboration, inspire trust, clarify organizational goals, improve quality and reinforce a team’s sense of

“Praise for a job well done should flow across all levels of the organization–peer to peer, manager to their direct report, and
direct report to their manager,” Friedman says. “Remember your remote workers–they may already be feeling disconnected from the
workplace, so remind them that you notice and appreciate their contributions.”

Yes, but appreciation must be authentic and individualized, according to Friedman, who notes that employees are savvy and
can see through an “everyone gets a trophy” mentality.

“Saying ‘great job’ is nice, but it’s much more meaningful if you detail the specifics of the person’s actions and how they helped
advance the company’s objectives,” he says.
“And if their efforts merit more than a compliment, or such efforts are a trend for them, then leaders need to figure out a fair tangible reward. Promotions with pay raises and increased responsibilities go the next step to show consistent high performers that they
are truly valued.”

Recognition should also be tailored to the recipient, he maintains. Some people enjoy being the center of attention, so a formal public recognition is ideal for them, Friedman says, while others avoid the spotlight and prefer a one-on-one acknowledgement. For a team
acknowledgment, a company-wide or departmental meeting might be a fitting forum.

“That’s a great way to show the link between the team’s accomplishments, company objectives and the importance of
working well together,” Friedman says.

It may pose a problem reaching remote workers, but he recommends leaders show their appreciation in person, noting, “the inperson touch has a lot more impact, especially when it comes from an executive with whom the employee has very little exposure.”

Friedman finds creating and maintaining a positive culture pays dividends when it comes to retaining workers.

“Culture change starts with identifying the specific behaviors that drive success in your company,” he says. “One of them should be
showing meaningful appreciation. That means regularly recognizing people doing things right, rather than frequently pointing out
when they do things wrong.

“Recognition leads to happy employees, better retention, and better business results. When your people know they are appreciated, really valued, it will make a huge difference in your day-to-day culture and in your growth as a company.”


Editor’s note: Since this story published, WorkStep released Q1 2022 turnover data that shows:

  • Lack of career growth remains the main factor driving workers out of their current positions (three quarters in a row)
  • Pay dropped in importance from #2 (Q4 2021) to #10 in Q1 2022
  • 77% of frontline supply chain workers are considering a job change in the next three months
  • 70% of frontline supply chain workers feel as if their voices aren’t being heard
  • 41% of respondents say management never asks for feedback

WorkStep’s linked research takes a deeper look at the frontline workforce’s sentiment toward their current roles.



To determine the Top Banks for Global Trade 2022, we devised a points system based on the 2021 rankings of The Banker, which has
engaged in “global bank benchmarking since 1970,” Statrys, which was launched in 2018 with the goal of becoming the most accessible and feature-rich payment option for small and medium-sized enterprises, and a third, knowledgeable yet undisclosed source.

If you are wondering why our list includes so many Chinese banks, we’ll let The Banker and its ranking of 1,000 banks worldwide explain.

“There is little evidence of China— the country first hit by COVID-19—suffering any long-term economic damage as a result of the pandemic,” the site reports. “Its banks have actually managed to consolidate their position even further, with ICBC, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China
holding the top four positions for the fourth year in a row.”

Bank of America, which occupies Global Trade’s top slot as the points leader, and our runner-up JPMorgan Chase, which has been ranked as the top bank in the world by sources we did not rely on this year, can also thank The Banker for reaching as high as they did.

“For the most part, the major U.S. banks have held fast to their positions from the previous year,” The Banker states. “JPMorgan Chase remains in fifth position and is still the highest ranked U.S. bank in the Top 1,000 with $234.8 billion in Tier 1 capital, a 9.5%
year-on-year increase. Bank of America also remains in sixth position.”

Here are Global Trade’s top 10 banks of 2022.

1. Bank of America
Founded: 1998
Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina

From a naming perspective, Bank of America was founded in San Francisco in 1904, but it took its present form when NationsBank of Charlotte acquired it in 1998. BofA is now the second largest banking institution in the U.S., after JPMorgan Chase, and the eighth
largest bank in the world. Commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking are its primary financial services.

2. JPMorgan Chase
Founded: 2000
Headquarters: New York City

As of Sept. 30, 2021, JPMorgan Chase was the largest bank in the U.S., the largest bank in the world by market capitalization and the globe’s fifth largest in terms of total assets ($3.758 trillion).

While it’s not topping this list, JPMorgan Chase was No. 1 on Global Finance’s World’s Best Bank 2021 while also ranking as the World’s Best Investment Bank and the World’s Best Private Bank.

The institution has a reputation for being a commanding global presence in raising capital, processing payments, and committing to sustainability.

Founded: 1836
Headquarters: London

The British multinational banking and financial services organization boasts of an international network that comprises around 7,500 offices in more than 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa.

4. (tie) ICBC, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China
Founded: 1984 (ICBC), 1954 (CCB) and 1951 (AgBank)
Headquarters for all three: Beijing

Industrial and Commercial Bank, which is owned by the Chinese government, was ranked as the largest bank in the world in 2017 and 2018. Besides heading The Banker’s Top 1,000 World Banks rankings each year from 2012 to 2019, ICBC was number one on Forbes’ list of the world’s biggest public companies of 2000.

Founded as the People’s Construction Bank of China, the name changed to China Construction Bank in 1996. In 2015, CCB was
the second largest bank in the world by market capitalization and the sixth largest company in the world. AgBank, as the hip kids call it, has 320 million retail customers, 2.7 million corporate clients and nearly 24,000 branches throughout mainland China and the world.

7. (tie) Citibank, Bank of China
Founded: 1998 (Citi) and 1912 (BofC)
Headquarters: New York City (Citi) and Beijing (BofC)

Citigroup, the third largest banking and financial services institution in the U.S., owns Citicorp, which is the holding company for Citibank. Yes, that’s a lot of Citi details, but it’s appropriate when the whole shebang has often been cited as being too big to fail. Citigroup has
more than 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries.

In February 2021, Jane Fraser became CEO and the first woman to hold such a position at America’s “Big Four” banks (Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo). The second oldest bank still in existence in China, BofC became the second largest lender in its home country and the ninth biggest bank in the world by market capitalization on Dec. 31, 2019.

By the end of 2020, it was the fourth largest bank in the world by total assets, preceded by the big three China banks occupying No. 4 on our list.

9. BNP Paribas
Founded: 1848 (as BNP)
and 1872 (as Paribas)
Headquarters: Paris

The French international banking group, which became BNP Paribas in the year 2000, leads Europe in terms of business and profitability and was the seventh largest international banking group as of October 2021. It has a presence in 65 countries.

10. Santander Bank
Founded: 1902
Headquarters: Boston

Founded in 1902 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, as Sovereign Bank, it
is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish Santander Group. But Santander Bank is based in Boston and principally serves the northeastern United States. 

Special Guest - Brian Clark - North Carolina Ports

GT Podcast – Episode 125 – North Carolina Ports – A Smaller Port With Big Innovations And Improvements

In this episode of Logistically Speaking, we tap into the knowledge of Brian Clark, Executive Director of North Carolina Ports.   Learn more about the upgrade in their port and how that further increases the advantages a smaller port like North Carolina Ports has to offer.  We will also dive into what’s ahead in 2022 for supply chain issues everyone is faced with today.

For more information on North Carolina Ports visit

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Logistically Speaking Series and more here!