Friday, October 1- Yes, you read that correctly. It’s time for the #OctoberFreestyle. This week Jim and James discuss everything October has in store.
Jim Schauer: [0:24] Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this week’s beer special edition of “Coffee with Jim & James.” James, it’s about the beginning of October. Fall is in the air. Even…
James Cross: [0:34] Halloween is coming. Halloween’s…
Jim: [0:36] Halloween is coming. This may give people a little indication of what’s going on for the next six to eight weeks. Jimmy is wearing his white shirt and his blazer. James, what does that mean?
James: [0:47] It’s boot time. [laughs]
Jim: [0:48] It’s boot time.
James: [0:51] Right? We’re headed to conference time. Apparently, the industry decided if we can’t have all the events we’re supposed to have all year until later in the year, let’s have them all in a six‑weeks span.
[1:06] Let’s wait six, eight weeks, the next six, eight weeks are going to be turned up to 11 as far as conferences and events go. I don’t know about you Jimmy. I think I travel four or five times in the next six weeks.
Jim: [1:20] I do too. I’m kind of disappointed because that I can’t attend all the normal shows that I would normally. I had to pick and choose and look at logistics and the whole bit. I will say one is coming up next week that I’m very excited for which is our…ready?
James: [1:40] Mm‑hmm.
Jim: [1:41] Our participation at AGA, American Gas Association.
James: [1:45] AGA is coming up. Full disclosure, we’re reporting this a week, a week from today I’ll be in the air headed to Orlando Kissimmee area there. We’re going to be there, what? Four through the seventh you said?
Jim: [2:00] Yes, sir.
James: [2:01] We’ve recorded this so many times. I don’t know if you’ve said it or not, but it’s coming up and it’s going to be a little bit different this year. I think a lot of people that really wanted to be there are not necessarily getting that opportunity because of corporate…
Jim: [2:19] Wow.
James: [2:19] Hey now, coming in hot.
Jim: [2:22] Wow.
Ashley Jesko: [2:23] Hi.
James: [2:23] Coming in on two wheels.
Ashley: [2:26] I know so I…
James: [2:28] It’s like you knew we were talking about AGA and then someone admitted you from the waiting room.
Ashley: [2:32] I just want to be included in all AGA conversation so here I am.
James: [2:37] Jimmy, you know her Ashley, don’t you?
Jim: [2:40] We may have met a few times.
Ashley: [2:42] Just a couple. Only a couple. [laughs]
James: [2:44] We brought Ashley in today. Really, that was planned if you can tell. We brought Ashley in today because Ashley was going to be a vital part of our AGA operations as far as this conference goes from the booth itself and logistics and everything around it.
[3:03] Kylee who also has a big heavy list on the event side for our organization really handed it off to Ashley who was like, “Hey, you’re going to be there so you’re responsible.” Then she showed up with pink hair. I don’t know why.
Jim: [3:20] Why the pink hair Ashley? Do we know that now or do we have to stay tuned till AGA to find out why the pink hair?
Ashley: [3:27] I think you’re going to have to stay tuned. I don’t think I can tell you yet, but I’m excited.
James: [3:32] That’s cool. Ashley, tell the audience a little bit about what your goals are and our company’s goals are and how we plan to achieve those with AGA’s conference.
Ashley: [3:45] My role is going to be, honestly, I’ll be Jim and James’ shadow all through AGA. We’re going to be going live on LinkedIn and Facebook, sharing interviews and little snippets of the AGA conference to send back home for those that couldn’t make it.
[4:02] We’re excited to try to capture AGA as much as we can virtually and bring some of that content back home to you guys so we’re excited. Stay tuned.
Jim: [4:13] It should be a lot of post, correct? All through the seventh? I mean, we’re talking a lot more than normal?
Ashley: [4:19] Yes. That’s the hope. We’re going to light socials up.
James: [4:23] We’re going to need everybody’s help. I think it’s a great cause. AGA is an awesome organization and we’ve got a lot of friends there and colleagues. We want to help bring that message back because we’ve been there all.
[4:37] Well, we’ve been there the last two years sitting on the sidelines wanting to go. We know some folks just weren’t able to make it. If we can bring that back, I think that’s been our goal with everything, is how can we possibly impact people and this aligns with that.
[4:55] Ashley we got a bunch of new toys. We were up at the office last week really working on perfecting how we were going to bring this message back.
[5:06] I know Ashley we got kind of a gimbal or an Osmo, whatever you want to form and so she was running around recording things, but she’s going to be running down the halls. I don’t want to say you’ll be in our shadows. You’ll be shoulder to shoulder because one last…
Jim: [5:22] We may be in her shadows.
James: [5:23] That’s for sure. You’re going to be a lot more popular than we are.
James: [5:28] Social, all the people back home being able to see that window and you’d be that person to bring it back, we appreciate that. Man…
Ashley: [5:37] I’m excited.
James: [5:37] it’s just around the corner. We’ve prepped for this, really, if you think back, two years. We immediately start thinking about how we can do it better from the year before. Jimmy, you were out, was it Nashville?
Jim: [5:51] It was in Nashville last time we were there. We signed up to participate to get a booth, everything, while we were still in Nashville. We were super excited then, and we’re super excited now.
[6:04] I’m not disappointed, but I feel bad. I know so many people had been planning on going. Literally, in the last two weeks said, “Oh, we can’t go now.” Things are starting to actually look a little bit better. Anyway, this will be a great thing to bring.
[6:20] I have to tell you, this is not the norm. We will be on the road in the exhibit hall. We will be traveling around. We’ll have a great Coffee event at the booth, correct, James?
James: [6:33] That is correct. Do you remember what time that is? I’m going to let Ashley look that up because neither one of us…
Jim: [7:56] Wednesday morning.
James: [13:12] can remember.
Jim: [17:25] I think it’s Wednesday morning at 9:00?
Ashley: [1:43] 9:30 or 10:30. I’m pulling it up.
James: [5:54] I think so.
Ashley: [6:41] I think it’s 9:30 to 10:30.
James: [6:47] Come by our booth. Obviously, we have our act together.
Ashley: [6:49] [laughs]
James: [6:52] We’re also going to have a reception later that night.
Jim: [6:56] Wednesday night.
James: [6:58] We’re going to have free drinks and water, soft drinks as well.
Jim: [7:05] For Jimmy.
James: [7:06] Come by and check it out. We’re going to have some awesome swag. We’re going to have an awesome setup. We’re super pumped to see it live and in person.
Jim: [7:16] The swag, I will say, I got a little glimpse into it. This is epic. This is…
James: [7:21] We should make a splash, I think.
Ashley: [7:23] [laughs]
James: [7:26] There’s one other part that we know for sure as well, and that’s we’re going to be joining our friends over at Hydromax at their booth. They’ve got a big space. They’ve invited us over midday time, 2:00 or 3:00, right in that area.
Jim: [7:42] Two o’clock Eastern Time.
James: [7:42] We’re going to be recording an episode with their leadership and talking to them and talking about AGA, so lots of really cool stuff going on. Ashley, I get all that right?
Ashley: [7:54] Yes, Hydromax 2:00 to 3:00. Wednesday 9:30 to 10:30 is Coffee at the booth.
James: [7:59] The reception, do you have that one?
Ashley: [8:01] 4:30 to 6:30.
James: [8:04] Perfect. It’s coming fast. Ashley, we appreciate you, can’t wait. We’ll see each other next week, all of us.
Ashley: [8:14] I’m so excited.
Jim: [8:15] It’ll be great.
James: [8:16] All right, get out of here.
Jim: [8:18] Thanks, Ashley.
Ashley: [8:19] Bye.
Jim: [8:20] Thanks for all you do.
James: [8:21] See you.
Jim: [8:21] [laughs] Nothing like putting her on the spot.
James: [8:25] I know, and then kicking her out. She’s awesome. I mentioned it before but Kaylee, back home, we couldn’t have done this event without her, [laughs] especially if you think we had a bigger booth, doubled the size. Then we went down, and we had about 20 people going originally.
[8:44] With all the changes here lately, we scaled back, and we scaled our booth back so we’d cancel people. Poor Anne Marie there, we wore her out. Sorry about that. Come by, get a free drink. [laughs]
[8:59] We appreciate Kaylee and all the work she’s put into it. This booth is going to be awesome. If anybody knows us, we always try to figure out how to get the most bang for our buck. We’re going to be recording live on‑the‑fly interviews and doing that, but we’re there to have fun, too.
James: [9:15] We think people need it mentally. We want to see our friends. We want to bring them by. We want to sit back and relax a little bit and fellowship and do it safely, right?
Jim: [9:27] Absolutely.
James: [9:28] We appreciate the AGA on this one. It’s going to be a super unique event for us. We hope everybody will appreciate us trying to provide that window in during the week and then when we get back.
Jim: [9:43] Let me just give an open invitation. If anybody is watching this and they’re going to be at AGA, or if you’re watching this and you have an idea for somebody that’s attending the AGA, to connect with us and let us do a quick two‑, three‑minute touch base on video and post that. We’re more than receptive to really stay fluid and dynamic.
James: [10:04] Flexible and agile. We planned that, too.
Jim: [10:10] We did.
James: [10:11] Jim, we’re going to be…A lot of people may not realize this. I just realized it a couple weeks ago, but I was telling you. I texted you one early morning. I was like, “Do you realize AGA will be the first time you and I would have been somewhere since we created “Coffee with Jim and James”?
Jim: [10:27] Yeah.
James: [10:27] For us, at our show, we’ve never been there since we’ve had our own show, which is weird for us. We don’t know if it matters, but it’s neat for us to go out and get to shake the hands of people who supported us and have been on the show.
[10:47] I mean, we’re going to have a ton of people there that have been on the show. I counted 8 or 10. I wasn’t really even counting.
James: [10:56] We’ve already arranged people to stop by the booth. We’re going to be doing little short videos. It’ll be fun. I’m really pumped about it.
Jim: [11:04] It’ll be a blast. James, I have to say though, we’re going to get off the high of AGA, right? We are. It’s going to be a full week. We are going to have a blast there. Then what happens in less…When we get back from AGA…
James: [11:20] Less than 10 days, right?
Jim: [11:22] Yeah.
Jim: [11:23] What are we doing? We’re turning around…
James: [11:25] Turning around and going to Charlotte, yeah. I’ll be in Charlotte at SGA at their big conference this year, another great organization. For those that don’t know, we’ve talked about it a few times, Jimmy, on our freestyles before. If we didn’t say this, this is a freestyle episode.
Jim: [11:44] Yeah.
James: [11:45] I didn’t wrap at the beginning. It’s not normal. SGA asked us to be a part of it. We’re teaming up with UPS Go who are also recording live from AGA, by the way. We didn’t mention. We’ll be hanging out with them and doing some different crossovers.
Jim: [12:01] Back and forth, yup.
James: [12:03] At SGA, we will be hosting the game show jackpot.
Jim: [12:08] Yup.
James: [12:09] I think that’s where we landed.
Jim: [12:11] A live event.
James: [12:12] Live event at the reception, so there will be libations. There will be us and UPS Go from Connections for Life. They’ll be there. All of us will be doing…It’s like a different game show almost every round and doing different things, doing it safely, and hopefully getting exhibitors involved as well in that.
[12:38] We’ll have some fun there. Some other groups can get involved. That’s going to be fun. Jimmy, I think we’re also doing something with Grabner. We’re not 100 percent sure.
Jim: [12:49] Yup, our friends at Evonik and Grabner reached out that they’re doing some sort of product showcase with the PA 12 pipe and some other things.
James: [12:59] Is it a learning lab? Is that one of the learning labs coming?
Jim: [13:03] It is, yeah, very educational.
James: [13:04] That’s cool.
Jim: [13:04] The thought was if we could capture some of that and then maybe send it back out to the audience, so to speak, so that they can learn a little bit more about PA 12 and the advantages of that.
[13:15] We’re going to emcee in that and then doing a Q&A session, which I’m looking forward to. Honored that they reached out to us to help them with their event. They’re on for two hours doing this. It’s pretty in‑depth.
James: [13:28] Very cool. If you haven’t seen it, we just had Grabner and Evonik on, talking about PA 12 at different points. Get your hands on it, understand this old/new technology that’s available. It’s really cool.
[13:44] Another thing is our booth there is going to be a bigger booth. SGA was awesome. We worked with them. We’ve got a double set up, 10 by 20, with UPS Go. It’s a shared space. We’re going to be recording live on both ends at different times and doing crossover there.
[14:03] Lots of fun, loungey setup there. Worst case, you can just come hang out with us also. Then, Jimmy, we also just have forgotten with how busy we are. If you remember, we’re also nominated and have been told that we’re finalists in the SGA Corporate Communication Award.
Jim: [14:29] Yeah. What an honor.
James: [14:31] inspire.
Jim: [14:33] Correct. Again, to be in the same breath with those two is unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable. I guess it goes to show that, at least, three people are tuning in. Wait, maybe four, because Ashley was on today.
[14:50] We’re doing some good things. We’re just trying to continue to bring value, and safety, and good messages, and learning, and educational topics to the industry. To have the SGA call us out on that, it’s a true honor. That’s all I got.
James: [15:08] I’m going to stay in that same vein, Jim. You won’t necessarily make this trip. You may be on another one. When I get back from SGA, let’s just continue down the month. I’ll get back. Then the following week, I will be back in the air to Memphis, joining the APGA.
[15:29] I believe it was the last week or maybe the week before, our friend, Aaron Carrillo, over there reached out and said, “You know what, I’m looking for someone to speak on inclusiveness and inclusivity. I thought about your culture and what you guys are doing in Energy Worldnet. I want to give you all the time to tell about your story.”
[15:54] Listen, Aaron, I know how committees work. You probably lost somebody at the last minute, but I’ll take it in a heartbeat. It actually is a good timing for us. It’s a topic that I’m very passionate about now with my new hat in HR as well. We strive to build a really inclusive culture for all folks. We’re going to go tell that story.
[16:18] Myself and Chris Isaak is going to be there with some other folks at APGA. We were going, anyway. We’re on committees and do work with them all the time. We’re going to get a slot to tell our story. I believe it’s on Thursday. That is the…Put me on the spot.
Jim: [16:36] Is that the 29th?
James: [16:38] That is going to be…
Jim: [16:39] 28th?
James: [16:39] Thursday, the 28th. Yes, that is correct. That’s going to be a quick trip for me. I’m just going to pop in there. Memphis isn’t a hard flag for me. I’ll fly in, speak, and be back out.
Jim: [16:54] Then me, the reason I’m not going to be at the APGA is that I’m taking a little bit of time that week because the following week is the LGA 192/195 Conference. I think this is going to be my 12th year attending that in New Orleans. It’s one of the…
James: [17:14] The infamous, never speak of it again?
Jim: [17:18] New Orleans, yes, back in the heyday. Now, interesting enough though, I haven’t been in New Orleans since…2019 was the last time I was there, which seems like eons ago when I used to be there if I wasn’t there…
James: [17:34] Too many times, yeah.
Jim: [17:38] That’ll be good. That’ll be a good show. I know that a lot of people in the years past at the heyday, we would have 500, 600, 700 people from California. Not just the Gulf States, but California, all over would attend that. A great show, especially since it splits it up between 192 and 195, so…
James: [18:02] Pretty cool. Yeah, so that’s a big one, and then to continue down the event schedule that following week. I’ll be back the week. You were at LGA. The following week, I will be in French Lick, Indiana.
Jim: [18:19] Whoa.
James: [18:20] I know, I’m super pumped. This is the one I look forward to at all. No offense, to all the other events, but I’m also looking forward to Charlotte. I’ve never been to Charlotte, but French Lick, I’m actually going up for the Midwest Damage Prevention Summit up there. I’m going to meet up with Steve Allen and Kelsey Klingler up there. I believe Adam…also Adam Tracy…
Jim: [18:42] Adam Tracy? Yeah?
James: [18:43] Yeah. All of our Indiana team. I love Damage Prevention. I’ve gotten a lot more involved over the last year and a half. I really enjoy that space so I have been spending a lot of time getting to know it and learning it and connecting with the folks.
[19:01] Really need I’ve been up there and I’ve always heard good things and so I can’t wait to be a part of that too. I’m going to go up there and do that and then I’m going to go home and not leave again this year. [laughs] That’s my goal. It’s tough man. It’s a tough run.
[19:17] We’re preparing our families and are staff just be patient with us. Show us some grace. I’m thankful that I get to be back for the weekends. I’ll be quarantining I’m sure because an extend to that, I have a birthday and also my daughter has a birthday as well in that same month and Halloween.
Jim: [19:40] It’s exciting. I’m excited. I’m a little, like I said, I just wish I could go to all the conferences in years past to hit 25, 26, 28 conferences in a year for myself was a reality. I might be out of practice. I barely [inaudible].
James: [19:56] I know. I don’t know what I’m doing. When you all see our booth at AGA, you’ll know obviously we don’t know what we’re doing, but we…
Jim: [20:04] No. [inaudible].
James: [20:06] I keep joking about it, but it’s going to be something else.
Jim: [20:10] It will be great.
James: [20:11] Come by and get a free souvenir with this. We’ll have some new swag, some new things and some new technology to talk about. We’ve got some great folks. We’ll have Adam Tracy there. I believe Chris Isaacson’s going to be joining us as well, Greg McReynolds, myself, and Jimmy, Ashley. I’m missing anybody?
Jim: [20:36] Steve Allen.
James: [20:38] We’re loaded. We’re ready.
Jim: [20:42] I’m excited.
James: [20:43] Jimmy, that wraps up our freestyle, man. I can’t talk about it anymore. I got jet lag just thinking about it.
Jim: [20:51] I know. Audience, thanks for tuning in. Thanks for listening to the “October Freestyle,” and please reach out to us. If you have any ideas over the upcoming events that we can help out you or help out somebody in the industry, let us know.
[21:04] Until then, until the next time, and again, please stay tuned because there’s going to be a lot of social media…
James: [21:10] A lot of content.
Jim: [21:11] Yeah, which is exciting, but as I always say, everybody, please stay safe. We’ll see you next time on “Coffee with Jim & James.” Have a great day, and we will hopefully see you on the road.
James: [21:22] Happy AGA week.
Jim: [21:24] There we go. There we go.
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