Thursday, November 18- Nick Temple, Matthew McConnell, Ashley Knight, and Gina Rundo joined the show at the Southern Gas Association Natural Gas Conference.
Jim Schauer: [0:23] Guess what? We are back. SGA live Charlotte, North Carolina. James, myself, the crew, Crystal, Rob, Greg…
James Cross: [0:32] Steve.
Jim: [0:33] Steve.
James: [0:34] Who are we missing?
Jim: [0:36] Matt.
James: [0:36] Matt Joiner.
Jim: [0:37] There he is. Over there. We’re all here.
James: [0:39] Hi Matt.
Jim: [0:40] We have industry friends. We got Ryan O. right here. We got Nick.
James: [0:43] We got to stare and write at Miller Pipeline.
Jim: [0:44] Kevin Miller is right here.
James: [0:46] King Paul.
Jim: [0:47] Techo. John Beam. It’s unbelievable. It’s fantastic.
James: [0:50] It’s like old times.
Jim: [0:50] It is. Feels like we haven’t done this in a week and a half.
James: [0:53] A week and a half. Watch this table.
Jim: [0:55] Oh, that’s right.
James: [0:55] No offense, Freeman. This might be the worst table. It’s a little temp.
Jim: [0:58] It’s a little off‑center, that’s why I like it so much.
James: [1:04] No. It’s like us. We’re here. It’s a day and a half, but it feels like a week, because we had to build the booth. Travel yesterday, got here. We got the rest of today, tonight is the…
Jim: [1:19] Hall of…
James: [1:20] Nascar Hall of Fame for the SGA.
Jim: [1:23] Yep.
James: [1:24] What awards?
Jim: [1:26] SGA yearly awards are being given out. There’s 12 different categories, and “Coffee with Jim & James” is nominated in the Corporate Communications…
James: [1:33] Corporate Communications.
Jim: [1:34] along with ONE Gas and Spire.
James: [1:37] and Spire, our friends over there.
Jim: [1:38] Yeah.
James: [1:39] Pretty awesome. We’re excited about that. Hopefully, we’ll win. If not, we’re amongst great friends, and that’s good enough for me.
Jim: [1:46] Just being nominated is an honor, to be in the same breath.
James: [1:48] We didn’t do this for awards, but they are nice.
Jim: [1:51] No. Why we do this is because of all these. All the friends that come by and see us and touch base. It’s nothing but rewarding.
James: [1:59] We’ve had so many people coming up again and thank us. Lots of great feedback from AGA again, man. We’re blessed.
Jim: [2:09] Yeah, we are blessed brother. Thank you. I wouldn’t do it with anybody else.
James: [2:12] Like what? It would be weird to change the show name.
Jim: [2:15] Coffee with…
James: [2:16] Jim and Crystal.
Jim: [2:17] Oh. How about Crystal and James.
James: [2:20] Oh, that is going to work.
Jim: [2:22] Or Rob and James. Rob…
James: [2:23] Rob and Crystal. We better watch it or we’ll lose our jobs. [laughs]
Jim: [2:26] Easy. Let’s [inaudible].
James: [2:27] A little bit of job security. Up until this moment, we decided ourself. We’re going to be here all week, and then tomorrow night, as you know, we set up the space. We’re going to have…
Jim: [2:38] Game show.
James: [2:38] Game show jackpot.
Jim: [2:40] Yeah. Wait a minute. Wait a second.
James: [2:42] Don’t lean against the table.
Jim: [2:44] Did you see what I did?
James: [2:46] Gameshow jackpot on the main stage that we just made with our hands. [laughs]
Jim: [2:51] It’s a beautiful stage.
James: [2:52] with Xcel. It’ll be Xcel with Energy Worldnet sponsoring that event. It is going to be a ton of fun.
Jim: [2:59] It will be. It will be wacky. It will be crazy.
James: [3:02] It will. Tons of prizes. We were talking about picking up a whole bunch more prizes. What else you going to do here, but take a bunch of stuff home to your kids?
Jim: [3:12] Have it sit in the garage for years.
James: [3:16] It’s been almost two years for a lot of people not getting swag from our booth. We got tons of swag, and then we’re making it happen.
Jim: [3:24] We do. We got some great stuff. Hats, t‑shirts, mugs. We have…
James: [3:29] Our big gal.
Jim: [3:32] These are…
James: [3:33] The most largest…
Jim: [3:34] Coaster.
James: [3:34] Coaster. The word escaped me.
Jim: [3:39] That’s all right.
James: [3:39] I’m new with this podcasting stuff.
Jim: [3:40] Come on. We’re getting back in the swing of things. All right. Until…
James: [3:43] We’re bringing some guests. We’ll do something similar to what we did a few weeks ago, and bring as many people through. Try to bring some of this back for the folks that weren’t able to make it.
Jim: [3:54] Absolutely.
James: [3:55] Our SGA members and friends, stay tuned.
Jim: [4:00] I like it. Until then, you all stay safe. We’ll be back in a minute or a few.
James: [4:05] Yeah. You won’t know. We’ll edit it out.
Jim: [4:07] Absolutely. See you in a bit. Our first guest coming at you live from SGA. Nick, hold on a second, though. Before we introduce you, let’s all give our pose. Ready? Did I do it?
James: [4:20] I don’t see a noticeable change. Nick and I, this is cool. We were just standing over there, talking.
Nick Temple: [4:29] Yep.
James: [4:30] The last show that Nick has been to…
Jim: [4:33] You were at.
James: [4:33] Him and I were both at.
Jim: [4:35] Texas [inaudible].
James: [4:35] That’s where we met. We played golf together. We became best friends.
Nick: [4:40] That’s right.
James: [4:41] Big green egg fans.
Nick: [4:42] Yes.
James: [4:43] Children.
Nick: [4:43] Yes.
James: [4:42] We love our wives.
Nick: [4:43] That’s true.
Jim: [4:45] That’s a good thing.
Nick: [4:46] That was my last show. When I came around the corner and saw my crate with our logo on it and everything, I got giddy. I got to be honest.
James: [4:54] I’ll tell you what.
Jim: [4:55] Was excited as a schoolboy or what?
Nick: [4:57] Yeah. I was pretty fired up, man. I got it all out. Usually, I dread setting up [inaudible].
James: [5:00] I rolled around the floor for the last two weeks building this thing.
Jim: [5:04] It’s a passion.
James: [5:05] Love it.
Jim: [5:06] It is absolutely a passion. It’s a passion to be back, isn’t it?
Nick: [5:08] It is.
James: [5:09] This is your first show back.
Nick: [5:11] First show back.
Jim: [5:12] In a year and a half.
James: [5:13] Since February of 2020.
Nick: [5:15] Yeah. 21 months.
Jim: [5:17] Wow.
James: [5:18] No.
Jim: [5:19] No, 5 goes into 10, carry the 2, divided by 8. He’s right, 2019.
[5:23] It was 2020, but count the months, though. We’re in October right now, November, December, January…
James: [5:31] obviously. You know what you’re doing? Have you ever thought about having your own podcast or your own video series…
Jim: [5:39] Ready for this one? Coffee with Nick. You’re out.
James: [5:43] Yeah, that’s for sure. What you all got going on this week, [inaudible] trying to figure out how to do this again?
Nick: [5:50] Yeah, right. It’s like riding a bike, standing over there makes me happy. Seeing all these old friends and people and customers. Oh, It’s good, it’s good. This feels good.
[6:03] Yes, my cup is full. I feel like I’ve been working my way up to it, keeping the saw sharp. I’m pumped, man.
James: [6:14] [inaudible] I don’t know if you remember, yeah, it was Seven Habits. Nick was probably just, I don’t know, maybe 15 or something.
Nick: [6:26] OK.
James: [6:27] It had to have been in that area.
Jim: [6:29] OK.
James: [6:29] 15, 20s, somewhere in there.
Jim: [6:31] OK.
James: [6:32] That was a long time ago.
Nick: [6:33] Was a long time ago.
James: [6:34] We have not seen you in person since we’re doing it.
Nick: [6:37] Well, it’s awesome, man. I’m happy to see you guys, and you guys have done awesome with your podcast.
Jim: [6:41] Do you know, we’re up for the award tonight at a very prestigious award?
James: [6:45] Do I slip you that money now, or under the table that I was at?
Jim: [6:50] Was that two or three dollars?
Nick: [6:51] You guys deserve it. You guys have done awesome. And I think it’s really important for our industry to stay connected. Because, look, I haven’t seen anybody in this room in at least 21 months.
James: [7:03] We’ve seen a lot of them on Zoom, on the podcast, and other things. I was…
Jim: [7:10] Which is a week ago.
James: [7:11] We were at AGA and I met, shook hands with so many people that I’ve never met before, but had on the show. So good, so good
Nick: [7:21] That’s awesome. I’m really pumped that you guys did this. It’s really been good for our industry for sure.
Jim: [7:27] People are calling us the coffee guys there. Are those the coffee guys?
Nick: [7:31] You guys always have such kind of swag. Your swag is pretty sweet.
Jim: [7:37] You know what? The swag department, the design creative team, kudos.
[7:44] If you could only, if they could make tables, you can sell them the Freeman for 150 million thousand dollars.
Jim: [7:54] I’m getting seasick, motion sickness.
James: [7:57] We’re here all week.
James: [7:59] Hey, thanks brother.
Jim: [8:00] Good seeing you. Tammy sends her love.
James: [8:02] Bring some signs of your later. You can re‑center upbringing, man. We will check them out.
Nick: [8:07] Yeah, I’ll be over there, curing CLS.
Jim: [8:08] So check out Ryan. Oh, look them up. See you look up, Nick, connect with him on LinkedIn. Who actually [inaudible] south on to the next one.
Jim: [8:18] Everyone. We’re back. Again, Matthew, one of our best friends from Southern Star.
James: [8:23] We’ve hung out with them for two weeks straight.
Jim: [8:25] AGA, and now at SGA.
Jim: [8:27] Yeah, he is a guru when it comes to nerdy stuff. How’s that sound?
Matthew McConnell: [8:33] That works, being an engineer. That’s what we all are honored to.
James: [8:36] I like it.
Matthew: [8:37] More fun being a nerd.
Jim: [8:38] What do you think about getting back out though to AGA now SGA, so close together. I are you feeling a month? The momentum, are you feeling good about it?
Matthew: [8:48] It feels great, you know, getting out to see people get, you know, that you’ve only chanced to talk to on the phone for two years. Yeah, but [inaudible] facing calls. They’re the worst thing ever, but getting able to see…
Jim: [9:01] I heard something.
Matthew: [9:02] Grand building popping in.
James: [9:04] Too many people here.
Matthew: [9:06] It’ll happen. It’ll be fun. So nice.
Matthew: [9:08] Oh, it’s been great though to get out and see people to get out and visit…
Jim: [9:12] People are coming by waving, I’m famous now.
Jim: [9:26] Tell our audience, our mutual audience. What more? You think about the rest of SGA? What are you hoping to get out of it? And what do you hope the future is going…
James: [9:35] to bring them in awesome lessons.
Matthew: [9:37] I have a lot of orange and hydrogen. That’s what’s driving our industry.
Jim: [9:41] OK.
Matthew: [9:43] Being on the design side, which all the ESG, that’s what I’ve been going to because that’s what’s all the large transmission lines are looking at.
Jim: [9:53] OK. On the RNG side, do you look at landfill gas, and stuff like that?
Matthew: [9:56] It’s landfill, waste water, also dairy waste, animal waste, anything to help get us to a lower carbon and show how clean natural gas really is.
James: [10:12] Love it.
Jim: [10:13] That’s good.
James: [10:12] Matthew.
Matthew: [10:15] Hey, thank you all very much, good seeing y’all again.
Jim: [10:18] You were the best guest.
James: [10:19] Grab a cup over there. Yeah. I know you were honored, thanks for joining us.
Matthew: [10:24] Thank y’all.
James: [10:25] And being a friend of the show.
Jim: [10:26] Absolutely. And grab a couple of these little coasters.
James: [10:29] Not that one.
Jim: [10:32] Not that one.
Matthew: [10:32] It’s too big to put on my wall.
Jim: [10:34] We appreciate you being a fan of the show, and then tell all your friends because we’re trying to get up to nine followers, nine.
James: [10:41] We’ve been stuck at six for a while, but we’re almost there.
Matthew: [10:45] No, thank you all. And I’m glad to see stuff like this in our industry. Thank you. They think it was just a bunch of old guys.
James: [10:51] Hey, we’re Arabs. Oh.
Jim: [10:53] They’re people.
Matthew: [10:53] Oh, old in body, not old in heart.
James: [10:58] That’s it. That’s true.
Jim: [11:00] Wait, what’s that? What did you say, owed?
James: [11:01] Old.
Jim: [11:01] Oh old, I thought he said owed. OK Murray, Kentucky.
Matthew: [11:04] Owensboro.
James: [11:04] We just say Kentucky, is all.
Jim: [11:08] We’re just caught.
Matthew: [11:09] We’re one homogenous, except for Northern Kentucky, they can go back to Ohio.
James: [11:16] Whoa. Well, OK. Wait, that’s on the next show.
Jim: [11:19] That’s on the next show, until next time. We’ll be back in a few minutes. Thanks our friend, Matthew, and the views expressed on here were Matthew’s, they were not ours.
James: [11:27] Please contact his HR department, not ours.
Jim: [11:30] That’s James. All right. We are back now. After our last guest, guest Matthew less…left us. I can’t even talk right now.
Ashley Knight: [11:39] So excited.
Jim: [11:39] So excited because we were concerned and all of a sudden. He said, well, my VP of HR is right over there. Miss Ashley Knight. And so we…
James: [11:49] We just grabbed her.
Jim: [11:50] Come on in the show too, and talk about SGA from your perspective.
Ashley: [11:53] Awesome, yeah.
Ashley: [11:54] Me? how does it feel? It feels like I never left.
Jim: [11:59] OK.
Ashley: [12:00] It’s kind of like driving a bike, you just get back to it.
Jim: [12:03] Is this your first show this year?
Ashley: [12:06] This is my first conference, yes it is. I haven’t thought of it that way, but yes.
James: [12:13] Probably, is it your first one since March of 2020?
Ashley: [12:16] It is.
James: [12:17] It’s terrifying, yeah.
Jim: [12:16] It is, because we did all the first ones.
James: [12:22] 21 months.
Ashley: [12:22] I’ve not made some good choices. I forgot how to wear the right shoes, things like that.
James: [12:22] We call it conference‑ready. Yeah, none of us are in conference.
Ashley: [12:30] I’m not in shape. I was not conditioned well for it.
James: [12:34] I bought insoles this morning.
Jim: [12:35] Yeah, he did. We went to Walmart. Where did you go, Walgreens or something?
James: [12:39] I don’t know, whatever, no free sponsors.
Jim: [12:42] That’s right out.
James: [12:43] Actually, I hear that we share something in common, and we would never expect this because of how inappropriate I am, but I am over HR as well.
Jim: [12:55] Wow. That’s right.
Ashley: [12:56] Awesome.
James: [12:56] I have a weird title, though. I’m actually a senior VP of brand, so I’m over our brand and HR.
Jim: [13:04] I, to me, that just makes my brain hurt. Like…
Ashley: [13:08] People are your brand, and so it’s…
James: [13:11] Can you say that right there?
Ashley: [13:12] People are your brand.
Jim: [13:14] So he wanted HR because he loved, not that, he’s not a rural guy. Well, maybe he is officially, yes, he’s a very much, he’s a real guy, but he’s a culture guy and you’re onboarding and bringing in the right people and keeping them.
Ashley: [13:26] I can see this, the blazer, the hat. You’re a culture guy. I feel that you’re giving the culture back.
James: [13:30] I got it. No, but when you’re in charge of brand, you make a good point. You’re in charge of brand. It’s hard. If you’re not in charge of how people are onboarded or off boarded, right? If you don’t have that insight, how can you curate a brand?
[13:43] And so it was an unorthodox kind of approach to it. It’s been awesome. It’s been a blast. I’ve only been over the HR department for about a year. It’s terrifying. I didn’t know all that was going on.
Ashley: [13:55] Well what heck of a time to get into HR right? In the midst of a pandemic.
James: [13:59] I can do anything now.
Ashley: [14:00] Yes. Hey, as long as you put that on your resume, you’ll…
James: [14:02] I’ll just put COVID‑19. Done.
Ashley: [14:04] Yep.
James: [14:05] Drop the mic.
Ashley: [14:06] Done. I did HR during COVID.
James: [14:08] Is it weird for once that we’re having a conversation here in the middle of [inaudible].
Jim: [14:12] I don’t even know what to say.
James: [14:14] Because he’s an industry god, and they just get into these conversations.
Jim: [14:17] Can we just get going and James is over there drinking his coffee.
James: [14:20] That’s a cappuccino.
Ashley: [14:21] But I can relate because that’s often whenever, finally, that the conversation has changed in our industry where we are being so much more progressive…
James: [14:32] Now everybody’s like, “people, people, people.”
Ashley: [14:31] and focused on people. Finally, yes.
James: [14:33] I don’t even say, “I told you so.” I’m just happy we’re here. I’m happy we’re finally here.
Ashley: [14:37] Happy we’re finally here. Yes.
James: [14:38] Amen to HR [inaudible]. Man, my HR people are going to be so proud.
Ashley: [14:43] Love HR people.
Jim: [14:44] Wait. Do I get a…OK. All right.
Ashley: [14:48] Are you agreeing?
Jim: [14:38] Whatever you guys said, sure. If it has to do with HR, as long as I’m not in trouble, I’m OK.
James: [14:56] Have you been able to attend any sessions yet?
Ashley: [14:58] Absolutely. All day long.
James: [15:00] What’s been some of the highlights?
Jim: [15:02] What’s your favorite?
Ashley: [15:03] Well, interestingly enough I was just sharing I moderated…
Jim: [15:07] With the rest of the [inaudible].
Ashley: [15:09] there’s a couple…and yes, and then your neighbor here to the right. But I actually moderated a panel, a very provocative conversation, about ‑‑ you’ll love this, HR brother ‑‑ “Has the pandemic set female leaders back?”
James: [15:21] Man, I love it.
Ashley: [15:21] And it got real.
James: [15:23] [inaudible] we need to talk about…
Jim: [15:27] Did we get deep?
Ashley: [15:28] We got deep. It got real. Some people were standing up, pacing, walking.
Jim: [15:32] Did they go like this?
Ashley: [15:35] I mean there was…
Jim: [15:36] In a good way.
Ashley: [15:37] There was. We had to…
James: [15:38] Separate it, calm it down.
Ashley: [15:40] I had to use my HR voice a few times.
Jim: [15:44] You know what though? That’s…
Jim: [15:46] I’m being serious though. Maybe they needed a forum like this, where they could actually express some of their feelings, let it out in the safe environment because we are safe here. Even if people have opinions that might be boisterous, they may need to share them so good for you for doing that.
Ashley: [15:59] You know what was even better? It was amazing how many men came to the room. That was the title of the session. It wasn’t incognito. That was the title. “Has the pandemic set female leaders back?”
James: [16:09] I love that conversation.
Ashley: [16:10] What do you think?
James: [16:10] I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it, I guess.
Jim: [16:18] I’m going to abstain from this. I’m going to take the fifth.
James: [16:21] I’m not even going to speak on it right now. I think you should come on the show and talk to us about it.
Ashley: [16:26] Absolutely.
James: [16:27] Let’s do it.
Jim: [16:26] He’s being serious. This is…
James: [16:28] I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth right now, because I don’t know where I stand. Do you think it’s setting back? Don’t answer that. We’re going to have you on.
Jim: [16:40] We’re going to have you on.
Ashley: [16:42] Dot, dot, dot.
Jim: [16:44] I think that’ll be good. Being serious, there’s a lot of things that have affected us in many ways that we may or may not be unconsciously incompetent and we don’t know.
James: [16:39] I will say this that we have a lot of women in leadership at our company.
Jim: [16:46] Yes we do.
James: [16:47] Probably more than men. So [inaudible], probably a little bit more…I’m just saying we have awesome women working in our leadership, and they know it, because that’s where our success has come from. I think I have a different kind of lens compared to other companies, but I’d love to hear…
Jim: [17:20] [inaudible] be fascinating.
James: [17:21] Let’s do it.
Ashley: [17:21] Let’s do it. It’s so relevant for our industry because, while you may be progressive in that way, our industry is so far behind.
James: [17:28] Man, I love to tell our story about that.
Jim: [17:30] Well, I think it would be…
Ashley: [17:31] We’ll bring one of those women rockstars to the table.
James: [17:35] Done.
Ashley: [17:36] Let’s all talk.
Jim: [17:37] Which one?
James: [17:38] We’ll have to do a blind vote or something.
Jim: [17:41] Until next time on Coffee with Jim and James, thank you for joining us.
Ashley: [17:43] Absolutely. Thank you.
Jim: [17:44] It was great having you.
Ashley: [17:46] It was an honor. Appreciate it.
Jim: [17:49] And make sure…
James: [17:50] An honor.
Jim: [17:51] I don’t know about that.
James: [17:53] That’s aggressive but we’ll take it.
Ashley: [17:55] Anytime I get to meet another HR professional in this industry who lives for people, culture champion…
James: [17:57] You’re the first one I’ve ever met. I’m kidding.
Jim: [17:59] We’ll be back.
Ashley: [18:01] Awesome.
Jim: [18:01] Stay tuned. Thanks, Ashley.
Ashley: [18:03] Thank you.
Jim: [18:03] We are back. We were inundated by walking around there, and who did we find but our friend Gina. Gina, please introduce yourself and tell a little bit about yourself real quick.
Gina Rundo: [18:15] Happy to be on the show and always good running in to you guys.
James: [18:19] This is like a pre‑show. We’re going to have you on a real one…
Jim: [18:22] A big one.
Gina: [18:23] That’s right.
James: [18:23] we hear from sources.
Gina: [18:27] Gina Rundo. I’m with Versiv, which is a new company, part of the Artera Services family, where we operate across 41 states nationwide and in 130‑plus locations. Specifically for Versiv, our focus is ESG‑related activities to support the industry as a whole for sustainability and Innovation.
[18:49] Our first service offering is cross compression to where, instead of releasing the gas atmosphere, we’re actually taking that gas and recycling it back into the system.
James: [19:00] I’m worried we’re not going to have a podcast after this.
Jim: [19:03] I’m telling you. She just ran with that like a professional. I saw her over there, she’s just like, I’m always good to go.
James: [19:11] I saw her rehearsing like all the time.
Jim: [19:11] That was smooth.
James: [19:13] Gina, needless to say everything coming together over there. We got to spend some time with you at Aga and talk about it.We really want to have you on to talk super details.
Jim: [19:25] Yes, we do.
James: [19:27] But how is it being out? So this is like two weeks in a row, almost, or more.
Jim: [19:31] She was in Colorado, too, in between.
Gina: [19:33] Yeah, hitting all across the map and every event right now.
James: [19:37] How is it?
Gina: [19:37] It’s been good. It’s been that busy. But what we know is we validated that they’re certainly an appetite for what we’re offering to the industry right now. A strong appetite. So our presence is there and you’re going to see a lot more of us.
Jim: [19:54] Yep.
Gina: [19:54] It’s just the start.
James: [19:55] Yes, I agree.
Jim: [19:56] I tell you what, if they’re traveling this much during these times, I cannot wait until we get out of these…
James: [20:01] Next year. It’s going to be a bless.
Gina: [20:03] Oh, yeah.
Jim: [20:03] Yeah, because we love to travel.
James: [20:05] I got to get in travel shape.
Jim: [20:07] Fine. I…
James: [20:07] I got to get in conference shape. I tell you what.I bought insoles for my boots. When I head back home, I’m not…
Jim: [20:15] His feet were hurting. He wanted me to rub his feet I said, no we’re not going to that.
James: [20:19] [inaudible].
Gina: [20:19] Yeah, but would you rub my feet? Because I’ll tell you what, I’m in now flat today, but…
Jim: [20:25] I’m out.
James: [20:25] I’m married.
Jim: [20:26] I am too.
James: [20:27] I love my wife.
Gina: [20:29] All right.
James: [20:30] Gina, we’re going to let you go, but let’s make a plan. Let’s make a day to have you all on the big show.
Jim: [20:36] Keith’s going to join her.
James: [20:37] Full show, Keith…
Jim: [20:37] It’s going to be the four of us.
James: [20:39] Deal?
Gina: [20:39] Sounds good.
James: [20:41] It’s good to see you.
Gina: [20:43] Guys, awesome.
James: [20:44] Thank you so much.
Gina: [20:43] Thank you.
Jim: [20:44] It’s great seeing you. Thank you.
Gina: [20:43] Thank you. Have fun.
Jim: [20:44] All right, everybody. Hang tight, another guest coming right up.