CWJJ Episode 67: M.G. Govia & Jason Crowe
CWJJ Episode 67: M.G. Govia & Jason Crowe
July 22, 2021
CWJJ Episode 69
August 5, 2021

CWJJ Episode 68: Dan Halverstadt

Thursday, July 29- Dan Halverstadt with Scope Services joins the show to share his passion for “being that one guy” to positively impact somebody in our industry. Dan brings such a fresh perspective on all things leadership, soft skills, and training and how his military training prepared him for how he views the workforce today.

Quick Links:

Dan Halverstadt on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

Jim:  [0:24] Good morning everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of Coffee with Jim and James. James, as I normally do with our guests I sometimes come up with a wacky story, and I have two stories in my head today, one, ones real, one, well, it was going to be about my time with the Blue Angels flying into the skies. Well, not really, but Dan is joining us today from many different areas, but one thing, he did serve our country for over 20 years, and, you know, honestly, I just had to stop and I usually come up with these within the 30 seconds before we get started. [0:00] [0:58] I just want to say on behalf of James and I and everyone, thank you, sir, for your service to our country, greatly appreciated. [0:00]

James:  [1:05] Thank you. [0:00]

Jim:  [1:05] Now, let’s bring, wait, I’ll say, Dan, let me, let me bring it in, pre‑show we were having some really good fun and Dan… [0:00]

James:  [1:12] Pre‑show is where all the fun happens, right, Jim? [0:00]

Jim:  [1:15] Yep, and we got to bring it in. Dan’s like, “Well, you know, I’m traveling right now. I’m in a not so normal location.” He’s like, “I have it propped up on a wicker chair with two books, a Ziploc bag, so if my computer falls, you know what happens?” And I’m like, you know, they think that we’re in studios all the time, James has that persona? If I were to say that I’m working off of a nightstand right now with a Bible holding up my computer and some other things, would you believe that or not? [0:00]

James:  [1:45] Well, every once in a while, Jimmy, we see a dirty clothes pile just pop up randomly over in the corner there. It just, it thinks it’s a person, or your face. It just looks at it and, you know, brings it to light. So, yes, I would believe it, but that not, I said it in the pre‑show, nothing personifies our show quite as well as Dan’s set up for his computer. You know, if there, if there is a show that is built on duct tape and baling wire, that is us. But, Dan, longtime friend of ours, welcome to the show. [0:00]

Dan:  [2:18] Hey, thanks for having me and I appreciate the military comments. I was a C‑130 guy in the Air Force, and if you know anything about C‑130s they are held together by duct tape and baling wire. So, and really, this computer setup just makes me feel right at home, so. [0:00]

James:  [2:35] That’s what we’re trying to do. Make you feel at home. Well, Dan joins us from Scope Services, which I can tell you everything, but I’d probably miss something. So, I’m going to let Dan catch us up on that. On what, what he does it Scope Services and the bigger picture of what Scope Services does, but also just excited to have you on, man. Good friend that we stayed connected with. [0:00] [2:56] I think Dan and I met right before, maybe the year leading up to our first conference at Texas Motor, Speedway. And so we had some overlap there, and so, we became friends is part of that. And then, as we move forward, we stayed connected via LinkedIn, and we’ve shared leadership stuff along the way and we’re excited to have Dan on. So, man, tell us a little bit about Scope Services and the part you, the role you play there. [0:00]

Dan:  : [3:21] Sure, so Scope Services is, er, we’ve been in business a little over 55 years. Um, we’re a hundred percent woman‑owned business. Lydia Demski started the organization, um, back in the early 60s and primarily was a staffing company then, um, and was staffing utility projects. And, as time goes on started getting into more and more turnkey projects. So, um, kind of our core business line right now is a lot of AMI deployments, so, advanced metering infrastructure. So, we do that in the gas, electric, er, and water space. As well, we do demand response work. [0:00] [3:54] So, install energy efficiency switches in people’s homes. Um, we have another group called KVA that does, er, electrical substation control panels. As well, we do meter reading and field service work. So, it’s really a very, very broad organization, touches lots of parts of, er, the utility space. And then, my role in particular, I’m the Vice President of Operations Excellence. So, um, I really drive the safety, the quality, er, and then a lot of our our data and, er, kind of transformational looks on how do we move the organization to, er, really stay in that kind of leading edge of technology stacks? [0:00]

James:  [4:30] Well, you, you mention one term, I just want to bring it back because, you, you know, our industry loves acronyms. What was that? AMI? Is that what you said? [0:00]

Jim:  : [4:40] AMI. Smart meters, are we talking about? [0:00]

Dan:  [4:56] Smart meters, yep, absolutely. Smart meter deployment, so that when you look at, um, currently like a project that we’re partnering with DWN we’re on right now is we are up in the Puget Sound area, so we’re replacing 400, 450 thousand indexes that are on the gas meters. [0:00] [4:58] So, those will tie into a wireless network and then that wireless network will kind of eliminate the need for meter readers, but also, um, give customers more direct access to, you know, how much gas they are using. What does it look like? Um, it also gives the, the energy company insight into why is there so much gas going to this home? Is there a leak? And really try to get on the preventative side. It really kind of brings data into the homeowners hands, as well. [0:00]

Jim:  [5:24] Can I ask you? [0:00]

James:  [5:24] What… [0:00]

Jim:  [5:25] I’m sorry, man, go ahead. [0:00]

James:  [5:28] No, go ahead. [0:00]

Jim:  [5:28] AMI, smart meters, not my forte, but I was thinking about this over the years that, you know, that’s a lot of things to go, like, you know, signals to be sent. Is it true that how it works is like one house’s smart meter will send its data to the next meter at the next house, and to the next house, and then after a string of them, then they get uploaded into the, to the cell tower type thing, as opposed to everybody just sending signals? Does that make sense what I’m asking? [0:00]

Dan:  : [5:59] It does. So, what you’ll see is, um, there’s some major players in the space, right? Landis and Gyr, Itron, so forth. So, they operate on, on a utility band, wireless network. So, as the electric meters go in, they create a mesh network throughout the neighborhood and then that moves themselves to data collectors. Those data collectors move them, all the data up to the, um, utility itself. [0:00]

Jim:  [6:21] OK. So, I was kind of on the right page, then? [0:00]

Dan:  [6:25] Absolutely, so, the previous generation was, was what they called AMR. So, that was really kind of a half step into AMI. So, it used to be a meter reader came by had to interpret your dials and that’s what drove your electric bill or gas bill. Then AMR was an electronic where we can drive by or just walk up with the device and it would read it for you. So, now it’s kind of just the next step of taking that wirelessly. [0:00]

Jim:  [6:50] Right. [0:00]

James:  [6:51] That’s cool. I’m true, true nerd though, I had to get my notepad ’cause I wanted to write down a few things ’cause, Dan, I’m a data guy. And it’s a, I’m sure the guests and the audience are tired of hearing it but, old technology guy here, I guess, I’m still technology guy, kind of, but when I hear data and data analytics I get excited. Tell, tell me a little bit more about those data analytics and the impacts on utilities and what we’re seeing there. [0:00]

Dan:  [7:21] Absolutely. So, one of the things, um, people have a tendency, I think, sometimes to overcomplicate data. And so, if we think about something that we use on a fairly regular basis, um, your vehicle, as you drive it creates millions of data points per second. Um, if you really wanted to you could measure the speed of a bearing and what that bearing heat is, and so forth. But, does that really mean something to you as the driver? What your, what your bearing speed is, right? [0:00] [7:49] Um, so really big data is being able to measure everything that the car is doing, um, but just like the dashboard on your car is, how do we simplify that information and feed it to someone who’s an operator, er, to make good sound decisions based off of the information that they’re receiving? Um, one of the problems, I think, when we look at big data is we’ve suddenly figured out that we should measure, we could measure bearing speed. So, someone says we should do that. We should have put it on… [0:00]

James:  [8:16] Bearing guys, right? [0:00]

Dan:  [8:16] …the dashboard. Exactly, right? The bearing guys like, “Dude this is, this is the most important thing that’s happened.” [0:00] [0:00] [

James:  : [8:22] laughs] [0:00]

Dan:  [8:23] And, but no one else knows why, why it’s there. So, um, one of the things that it, from example as we started our digital transformation, so, we had fleetmatics on our vehicles and it was little clunky how it worked. And so, we had a vehicle incident rate that was a little bit of a challenge for us, because we’re in some areas there is higher vehicle integration what we really wanted. [0:00] [8:45] So, we were able to kind of take that data and simplify it, and then return it to the managers and go. “Hey, you know what, here’s a real simple way to look at your driving behaviors, and really I don’t need you to worry about most people. Here’s kind of our bottom 20 per cent. Let’s focus on getting them better.” Um, and so we went from essentially like one vehicle accident every 25,000 miles to one every 275,000 miles. Huge improvement, um, and from the safety standpoint. [0:00] [9:13] But, then, when you also look at it from a bid process, um, really being able to work with the utilities, I think. You know, I grew up a blue collar guy. You know, my brother owns a, a construction company. My dad was an HAAC guy. Um, so, a lot of times we were kind of scared of those kind of big data terms, and we kind of have that, that gut instinct of what something should cost. And so, what we’ve seen, I think, in a lot of industries is prices get artificially lowered and then people get into contracts and they’re not successful, and no one can really point back to why. [0:00] [9:47] And so, really putting that data and analytics piece into the utility system, helps the utilities make better decisions on contracting. Um, and really, ultimately, as you start to measure this stuff as the leader, you’re able to make better decisions ’cause you have more actionable information. [0:00] [10:05] Um, and, I think that’s the most interesting thing as you go through a big data conversion it’s just there’s the field feeling, but then when you kind of pull the data back, you like wait a sec, I know you feel this way but this is what we’re seeing and you can really kind of get that third side of the story and really make better decisions. [0:00]

James:  [10:23] Like a, you know, it reminds me of two things Jim, and I don’t want to be the Seven Habits guy. [0:00]

Jim:  [10:28] Oh, come on now. [0:00]

James:  [10:28] But it’s kind of first things first, you know, first things first, a little bit. You know, dashboards allow us to, to kind of get to those first things first. Yeah, I think that’s huge and I forgot the second one. [0:00]

Jim:  : [10:42] Well, if you remember it, come on in. [0:00]

James:  [10:43] Can’t be really important, but I’ll jump in when I get it. [0:00]

Jim:  [10:46] Jump back in. Dan hit on a few things that have the prompted something in my mind. One, um, I follow you on LinkedIn and some of your posts are phenomenal. So, for the audience out there, please go to the LinkedIn platform and followed Dan, connect with him, etc. You won’t be disappointed. And I’m bringing up a lot of your posts have to do with leadership in the field leadership. You know, leadership, you know, boots on the ground type of thing. [0:00] [11:10] You seem to have a, I’m not going to say a, I’m going to say, you have a passion for it. That’s what I’m going to say. You know, you have to live, eat and breathe it. Bring this all into your world a little bit. Why are you so passionate about that? What drives you and in that and what’s your, you know, what, what do you, what do you want to keep sharing with people about that? [0:00]

Dan:  [11:33] Absolutely. So, I always like to kind of use my dad as an example in this as, so, he grew up, and he was a commercial heating, heating, and air guy. Um, was really, really good at what he did and and worked for, yeah, he has a gold watch from the union from doing this for so long. As he’s a master technician, but he never wanted to be a leader. And I think, unfortunately, a lot of times we take people like him and say, “Well you’ve been doing this a long time, you should be the manager of the shop. You should be the supervisor who’s running people, you should do these things.” [0:00] [12:09] I think that kind of puts people in a bad position, right? So, um, as we do that, we kind of take our highly skilled technicians. We drop them into these leadership positions that they weren’t really prepared for. They become frustrated because now they’re not doing what they’re passionate about. They’re now having to kind of lead this team. So, the next solution as a company we come up with is what we need is a leadership and development program, right? So, we pull everybody into the room and we sat down with the finance team. We go, “Well, what would make a better manager?” And, they did what? They did payroll better, they did time clock better, they did these things. [0:00] [12:41] So, they come up with these, these hard skills and which we continue through a kind of the progression of the different offices. They all come up with all these hard skills, but no one steps back and says, has someone actually taught them that, you know, this is what human performance is? This, this is what, you know, errors are going to happen. How do you get change management, and get them through a change management process? And, um, even people that go to college, you’ll find that very few of them even go through a leadership training class, maybe one in a bachelor’s degree. [0:00] [13:15] Um, so, even your leaders of the company they’re even, you know, it maybe some higher management or executive roles don’t have a lot of fundamental leadership training. And so, um, I think that’s something that I look back at in my military career as really a blessing is. Um, as a young guy they send you through, you know, six weeks of leadership training. [0:00] [13:35] About four or five years later you go through another six weeks. And, then two, three years later you go through a six‑week correspondence course. And a couple years later, you’re in another eight week long course. Then, while you’re there it’s very focused on the soft skills and how to motivate and get people to do things. And so, um, I love this, this line. If you ever saw the movie “The Break‑Up”, I’m sorry, if you haven’t seen it, don’t watch it, but there’s a great line from the movie. [0:00]

James:  [14:01] Love that movie. [0:00]

Dan:  [14:01] Jennifer Aniston, oh, do you, do? [0:00]

James:  : [14:03] Yeah. I really do. I think it’s really funny. [0:00] [[14:07] laughter] [0:00] [14:08]

Dan:  You know, so, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn are in this argument, and he’s kind of tired after this long day. Jennifer Aniston walks in and she’s like, “Hey, can you help me with the dishes?” And, he’s like, “Look I’m tired. I’ve been, you know, working all day. I just want to play my game,” and they go back and forth for a little bit and suddenly he’s finally, he’s like, “Fine, I’ll do the dishes.” [0:00] [14:26] And so, he gets up. She’s like, “No, no, no, I don’t want your help now.” He’s like, “Well, I just, I’m finally doing what you asked me.” She’s like, “You know, it’s not that I want you to do the dishes, I want you to want to do the dishes with me,.” And I think that’s the fundamental thing in leadership that we miss a lot of times is that I don’t want someone to be safe on a job site, I want them to want to be safe on the job site. [0:00]

Jim:  [14:48] Yeah. [0:00]

Dan:  : [14:49] I don’t want them to be productive because I had to force them to be productive. I want them to want to be productive. I want them to want to do a high‑quality job. Um, I think, we missed that, and really, in that top skills space in leadership. [0:00]

Jim:  [15:02] That was beautiful. [0:00]

James:  [15:02] Aligning with Dan, you’re speaking, I love Scope. You know, thought, we focus a lot on soft skills and energy, will know that we have a class. We have a full day class that we teach. I get to co‑teach it about every other time. It’s one of my favorite things, you know. One of the things we say, and Dan, since I think, since the last time we talked, I’m now over HR now, which is terrifying. Especially if you were on the pre‑show. But we, you know, we say it all the time, we hire for hard skills and we fire for soft skills, you know, a lot. And so, one, one of the things we’ve instituted is when you come onboard, man, you jump in a soft skills class. [0:00] [15:45] We set up, you know, we level set on that, we go through Seven Habits. Man, you know, start building those paradigms, right? Rebuilding those paradigms and, and you know, putting the Habits in place more so, so that they can get to that spot where they, the productivity is the result of them being passionate and doing things right and having those core, you know, habits and fundamentals. Not because we’re going, you got to do this, this, that and the other. It turns more into giving them the skills that they want to do it. Right? So, so different approach, such a different approach. Love it. [0:00]

Dan:  [16:22] Absolutely. And that’s, yeah, kind of when I look back at, at, there’s a couple things that I found interesting as I went through my MBA program was, we had some focus on leadership, but we actually missed a little bit was followership as well, right? And so being an aviator there’s normally five to six of us that operate a C‑130 at a time. Only one person can control the airplane at a time, right? Everyone has a role that fits into that scheme. Then you have to be really, really good at your role, and then there’s certain times that that tend to, who’s in charge, flips around. [0:00] [16:59] So, um, I was what they called an aircraft loadmaster, so I load the back end of the airplane, all the cargo. all the air drops. And so, while we were flying unless it was an air drop I didn’t have a lot of input on what was going on up front. But, as soon as we hit the ground and say Baghdad and you’re trying to get the cargo on and off as quick as humanly possible, make good decisions. You know, you’re sitting there now feeding the pilot, “Hey, this is what we need to do. I need this, this, this, this, this. We need to go.” [0:00] [17:24] Um, and what I found very interesting, kind of, through the, doing my MBA program is there was a lot of focus on being the leader. Um, and we, then we started actually having conversations on how do you become a good follower? How do you fit into the right role? How do you know when to lead and went to step back and to be the teammate? I think that’s something we kind of miss on that leadership development side, as well as not everyone can be the chief at the same time. [0:00]

Jim:  [17:48] Yep. [0:00]

James:  : [17:49] Yeah. Jim, I don’t know if you remember from the last conference, it took some other speed of 2019. I closed it ’cause our president Jeff Isbell, he was, wasn’t there, and I finished actually in my final, part of my close was, I don’t know if you’ve seen the Ted Talk, it’s, it’s the most popular one of all of them. It’s only about three and a half minutes long but it’s about the first follower, and how important the first follower is, the person that, you know, that follows and it’s a really awesome, I’m telling you, three and a half minutes. We’ll link it up when we’re done. But, such a, I mean, it personifies it. Following is very, very important, because what good is a leader if nobody’s following, or knows how, right? [0:00]

Dan:  : [18:33] It knows how is the other part of it, and that, and that’s I think where I’ve seen other teams fail is, I’ve been in some organizations where you bring a lot of, of high potential leaders together, um, and they don’t always necessarily work well, because there’s too many people trying to figure out how to be, you know, kind of the, the lead dog in the pack. So, you always have to make sure you have that right balance of people that you, kind of like my dad, right? He wanted to work hard. He wanted to be really, really good at what he did, and he was one of the the best in the state, but also wasn’t, you know, gonna to be the troublemaker trying to figure out how to, you know, move politically through the ranks. It was, it creates the right balance. [0:00]

Jim:  : [19:15] Right. [0:00]

James:  [19:17] That’s often, really cool. Dan, training. You have excellence in your title, which is awesome. I think it says a lot. [0:00]

Dan:  [19:25] It’s good. [0:00]

James:  : [19:26] So, um, you, I know where it comes from, but I’m just going to pretend that I don’t. Er, tell me a little bit, you mentioned something in the pre‑show about, you know, we need to be modeling our training after aviation. [0:00]

Dan:  [19:39] Yep. [0:00]

James:  [19:41] I know exactly what you’re what you’re going to go into. I have someone working for me right now on the design side. Shout out Connor Elliott, does a lot of work with us here at Energy Worldnet, that he’s going through aviation school. I think he just got certified as a pilot. He’s working his way through to, you know, go through it. So, he’s been talking about the training a lot and obviously we all know that, but tell us a little bit about what you think our industry and all Industries could maybe beg, borrow and steal from the aviation world. [0:00]

Dan:  [20:12] Absolutely. So, I, I think, you know, one of the the big fundamental shifts after serving in the Air Force for so long and then kind of come into the corporate side of the world, was the difference in, who does the training? Um, so, on the aviation side to become an aircraft instructor, you have to be in the top 10 per cent of those that do your job, right? So, that group becomes your core instructor core and only out of that group the top one per cent become evaluators. [0:00] [20:40] Er, but it’s for a very specific reason is we want only the best to teach our newest people, so that they learn those skills, those habits. Um, and one of the things that, I think, is kind of that fundamental flaw, and I’ve been in this position many a times, where someone comes to me and goes, “I really like Johnny, he’s a great guy, but he’s not the most productive, and, you know, we’re kind of trying to move him out of operations, but we don’t see a need to fire. Is there a way we can move them on to the training team?” [0:00] [21:13] Um, so that’s the model that becomes the trainer. That’s, that’s, other times it’s just someone who, you know, maybe doesn’t like the work and they’re trying to figure out a different way into the role, because again we make that kind of bad decision‑making habit of, “Well, they’re my most skilled technician, so they’re my next supervisor there. My next manager of the office.” And so, again we haven’t added those soft skills. We haven’t exposed them to having to work with people. [0:00]

Jim:  [21:42] Yep. [0:00]

Dan:  [21:42] So, I think, the one thing that we did really well in aviation was, you had to become that instructor, it’s kind of your first step forward into leadership. So, you had to be really good at what you did. Then, you had to be able to lead and motivate people, and train people. And, and aircraft instructors are not generally nice people. I mean, they’re kind, but they’re also very straightforward. This is what you did wrong. This is what you need to do better. This is how we’re going to get better next time. Next time we step in the airplane, this is what I expect from you. [0:00] [22:12] Um, and that’s the kind of rigor that, I think, we could learn, especially in the gas pipeline side where, you know, safety is so critical, instead of, kind of, finding someone that you’re trying to hide from operations. Let’s take one of your best operators, use them as the role model for your future. [0:00]

Jim:  [22:28] That’s it. That’s, that’s really good. I have to tell you, my mind was going back to your story that you told a few minutes ago in relation to this, where in a C‑130 you’re up in the air, there’s one person in charge, right, the pilot, right? But then, once you hit the ground and things are rolling, that the next person is charged is you, right? The pilot would literally take orders, ‘from you’. [0:00] [22:53] Like, if you were giving direction or orders, and it really takes away, you have to take away that pride, and you have to take away that, I guess it is pride, or whatever, whatever facade you want to say saying, “No, and in this case Dan’s in charge. Whatever Dan says goes. You know, if I need this, this and this, listen to him.” Now, when we’re up, you know, 15,000 feet, different story. Pilot says, I need this, this, and this, everybody on the plane, I’m sure, is going to hop to it because the alternative might not be the best one. So, interesting though, aspect, and, I think, a lot of us can take, take that and really utilize it in the things that we do and embrace that. [0:00]

James:  [23:32] I’ll tell you the other thing, I think we can steal from that side, and, I think, we’re getting there now, but you know, I’ll go back to even, not even not, not leadership, but training, you know, and those simulators and stuff like that. I think we’re rapidly. I mean we’re seeing it all over 360 VR, you know, being able to be in that control room or whatever it is, or on that job site. Looking around, looking at that spoil power, whatever it is. right? Like, there’s no replacement for that. There’s a reason that pilots know what to do when they get in the air because they’ve done it on the ground over and over. And, I know not, but, I think we’re getting there from a technology standpoint, our industry as well, pretty rapidly, and that’s exciting too. [0:00]

Jim:  [24:13] Yep. [0:00]

James:  [24:14] Says the nerd. [0:00]

Dan:  [24:16] Absolutely, and I think AR and DR are really a lot of the future of the blue collar industry, which kind of ties data, and training, and leadership all together, is. Um, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with Boeing and, and helping build the new KC‑46, the new tanker. Um, and they have folks around the assembly line that were wearing AR goggles that were giving them the instructions of what they were building. And, that when they would take a piece and line it up, it would turn to green and say, “Yep, that’s in the right place,” right? [0:00] [24:46] Um, that, you know, so the Boeing’s of the world started, but, you know, eventually that’s going to benefit those of us out here in the field, is, how does someone on an excavator have AR goggles on, that maybe is even showing them where gas pipeline is in an AR environment? They can, yeah, see a virtual image of it. How can we have a spoils pile that starts to turn red, because, you know, it’s no longer safe? It’s getting too high. It’s yeah, things like that. So, I think, technology is going to be coming at us quick. I’m one of those early adopters, so I’m say the quicker the better. [0:00]

James:  [25:17] Same. [0:00]

Dan:  [25:18] Yeah, you guys are, and I’ll say this though, where people like me maybe make fun of the generation right now, that plays Fifth Knight, Sixth Knight. What is that thing called, James? [0:00]

James:  [25:27] I don’t know. My son’s probably playing around now, playing Fortnight, bringing down my bandwidth while we record this. [0:00]

Dan:  [25:33] OK, we may make fun of it, but we have people that are doing things, you know, with both hands, with multiple buttons, very quickly in an environment that isn’t, you know, a virtual, but I tell you, they’re one step away. When they put on AR they’re like, you know, VR poop poop. You know, they’re like, you know, seamlessly with it. So, I, I think it’s interesting. It’s fun to see, you know, it really is, and it’s fun to see the evolution. [0:00]

Jim:  [25:57] Dan, hold everybody. Hold the press. Dan, as we get down towards the end of the show, OK, we have one riveting question that we give you, this one’s a stumper, OK? So, prepare yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally, ready? Dan? [0:00]

Dan:  [26:16] I didn’t stretch before the show, but I probably should have, but I, we’ll see how this works out. [0:00]

Jim:  [26:21] Ready? Dan? [0:00]

Dan:  : [26:22] Yep. [0:00]

Jim:  : [26:23] Do you love what you do? [0:00]

Dan:  [26:26] Absolutely. I, I absolutely love what I do. The, the ability to really help somebody in the field be better at what they do and make them feel more successful at what they do, um, is, is the best thing that I could possibly give back. I was a kid who grew up in Kansas, joined the Air Force, because my dad got me a plumbing apprenticeship. I found out I was probably not going to be the guy who ran the snake in a sewer line, within about a week. I’m pretty sure he, he knew exactly what he was doing by getting me a plumbing apprenticeship. Um, I went to my brother and he was, er, doing some drywall work. I figured out after about two hours to dry wall. [0:00] [27:08] I was not cut out to be a drywall guy. Um, but he kind of looked at me, because he was a former Marine, he’s like, “You know, you should just go join the Air Force, they’re just like civilians in uniform.” Er, so, I kind of laughed. I got in my car, I literally drove to the Air Force recruiter and signed up, became a maintainer on B‑52s. Um, and as I went, and I transitioned over to aviation ’cause I wanted to be on the operation side. I really wanted to be that up close and personal with what was going on in the world. Um, there was one person in particular, we were sitting around the office one day when I was doing flight test out at Edwards Air Force Base, and he was like, “Well, where did you get your bachelor’s degree from?” And I’m like, “Matt, I’m not a college guy. I’m in my mid‑30s, I got two kids at home, you know, got a great career.” [0:00] [27:52] But, then he goes on, “That’s great.” He goes, “So, when are you going to get your degree?” And I’m like, “I, I don’t know if you heard me. I am not a college guy. I barely made it out of high school and was lucky enough to get a job in the Air Force, right?” He goes, “Well, cool. Let’s go to lunch.” And so, we jump in his car, and he was a B‑52 pilot, and so, yeah, we’re driving along, I’m like, “Well, this isn’t where lunch is.” He goes, “No, we’re going to the education office, you’re going to sign up for a bachelor’s degree. You know, we’re going to we’re going to go do this.” [0:00] [28:20] And so, I was like, “Look I, again man, I failed Algebra Two, and Accounting in High School. I’m not the guy that’s supposed to go to college.” And he’s like, “Don’t worry about it, we’re going to get you through.” And so, he actually kind of ignited something in me. I know, I finished with a bachelor’s degree then. Yeah, and then Industrial Technology, then a Masters in Quality Engineering, got an MBA. So, I failed accounting and I failed algebra and now I have a Master’s in Engineering. [0:00]

James:  [28:46] Not bad. [0:00]

Dan:  [28:47] But it was that… [0:00]

James:  [28:49] Not bad for a guy.. [0:00]

Dan:  [28:50] But, it was that one guy. Yeah, one guy took a little bit of time and really wanted to make an impact on my life. And, that’s why I try to be every day is that one guy that hopefully can make an impact on somebody at our company, or, or somewhere that they can achieve something that they thought they didn’t think they could achieve. Because, I told myself a lot of times I couldn’t achieve a lot of things that I have. Just took one person. [0:00]

Jim:  : [29:11] That’s wonderful. [0:00]

James:  [29:13] Dan, when I was little, I’m going to tell this ’cause I think it’s funny, I also did not become a plumber, but my, er, my grandpa when I was little, I remember sitting at the coffees, we used to have coffee every morning before we went to work together when I was little. And so, I remember I was probably like six or seven years old and we’re drinking coffee at the table. That’s just how I grew up, and we’re sitting there and I was biting my nails just, just going to town on it, and he he looked at me and said, “Quit biting your nails,” and I said, “I can’t.” And he goes, “You know how you can quit biting your nails?” And I said, “How?” And he said, “Become a plumber.” And I was like, hmm, Yep, yep, that’ll do it. So, I also. [0:00]

Dan:  [29:56] [laughs] OK, I got it now. Ah, there’s the mettle. [0:00]

James:  [30:00] Especially when you’re seven, man. It took me about 30 years to figure out what that joke was. But, either way I did. Dan, your passion flows out, man. Appreciate all your time you put in. [0:00]

Dan:  : [30:12] Absolutely. [0:00]

James:  [30:12] We’re on a similar mission touching as many people as we can with this podcast. And I hope that we help do that with you as well. [0:00]

Dan:  [30:24] I really appreciate you inviting me on it, and we’ve had a great relationship with EWN. Um, you know, when I look at where’s my go‑to in the OQ space, you guys have always been there. But, my previous role, and as soon as I got here, we started doing some gas work. They’re like, “Well, who should we use as our OQ provider.” Like, didn’t even hesitate. I know who he is. He’s right on LinkedIn or Reaching Out. Well, yeah, well let’s get this rolled up. And so we’ve really grown that relationship with y’all and appreciate everything. One of the best programs out there. So, thanks for all you all do. [0:00]

Jim:  [30:57] Geez, do we have to, I mean we’re going to buy you a cup of coffee after that one. Let me tell you, my friend. [0:00]

Dan:  [31:04] [laughs] [0:00]

Jim:  [31:04] That was great. That was perfect. But again, let me wrap this up, Dan. Thank you on behalf of James and I, and our company. In the industry mostly, you are making a difference. And your mindset were, if you could touch one person positively one time a day and have them make a difference, the world’s a better place, and James and I absolutely embody that. We live by it and it drives us everyday. Drives our company to be better, to make the world a safer place to, to work. [0:00] [31:31] So, thank you Dan for joining us today. Please audience, connect with Dan, go over to LinkedIn. If you’re on a podcast right now go over to LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, connect with him. Follow Scope. Er, follow, look at some of his posts. They’re fantastic. You will not be disappointed, and again on behalf of us thank you for joining us today. We hope you gathered one thing to make your world a little bit better today. And, as I always say, stay safe. Until next week, stay safe. We’ll see you next week on Coffee with Jim and James, take care, everybody. Thanks Dan, appreciate everybody. [0:00] [32:03]

Dan:  Thanks. [0:00] [[32:04] music] [0:00]

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