SGA Day 2
CWJJ Episode 89: SGA Live: Day 2
November 22, 2021
mike lamont TRC Companies
CWJJ Episode 91: Mike LaMont
December 2, 2021

CWJJ Episode 90: November Freestyle

November freestyle

Thursday, November 25- Happy Thanksgiving from Coffee with Jim and James. We are thankful for all of you that tune in every week. Now enjoy this special Thanksgiving episode.

Quick Links:

Jim Schauer on Linkedin
James Cross on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

 [0:00] music] [0:00]

Jim Schauer:  [0:23] Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this episode of “Coffee with Jim & James.” James, it is the holiday season, and I am excited. Wait a minute, where’s my coffee. [0:00]

James Cross:  [0:34] Thankful. Thankful. [0:00]

Jim:  [0:35] Very thankful. Very thankful. Hold on. [0:00]

James:  [0:38] Oh, I thought that was a virtual background. [0:00]

Jim:  [0:40] Oh, no, no. This is all, this is real. This is real. [0:00]

James:  [0:44] Love it. [0:00]

Jim:  [0:46] That is, that is a background of a… [0:00]

James:  [0:48] Of champions, of an, of award winners. [0:00]

Jim:  [0:54] Hold on a second there. Let’s, let’s table that for a few minutes. I want to give that a little bit of time, my brother. [0:00]

James:  [1:00] Let that stew. Let that stew. How are you, Jimmy? [0:00]

Jim:  [1:03] I’m doing wonderful, sir. Absolutely wonderful. We are beyond blessed. We have a houseful. Summer came over from Austin. We have, I have so many dogs here, I think I’m going to get another tax credit, so. [0:00]

James:  [1:17] Hey, sweet. Well, it’s good to see your face. You know, the last couple of weeks we’ve got to actually see each other in back‑to‑back weeks, which happened a few times over the past, you know, couple of months. But it’s weird to be back in the little, little box again… [0:00]

Jim:  [1:39] Yeah. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [1:39] doing this. That sounds weird, but that was our life for so much. But then get, you get kind of used to the in person a little bit. We got used to that, I think, here this past month or so. [0:00]

Jim:  [1:50] Well, we did. And honestly, we’re sitting about mid‑November right now, mid to late November. [0:00]

James:  [1:56] I think we’re actually going to put this out this week, Jimmy. So this one’s… [0:00]

Jim:  [1:59] Are we? [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [2:00] gonna air just in real time. [0:00]

Jim:  [2:03] Well, we have Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday. But, James, really, when you think about it, the last six weeks have been a whirlwind. It started off with you and I and a whole plethora of Energy Worldnet folks down at AGA in Orlando. Or I should say over for me, down for you. What a great event that was. [0:00] [2:20] I mean, that was, it was a little nerve‑rack‑, I shouldn’t say nerve‑racking. It was a little weird at first walking in and the whole, you know… [0:00] [[2:29] crosstalk] [0:00]

James:  [2:30] Even the week before, you know? We were recording right up to it. If you remember, our “October Freestyle,” actually, we recorded, I mean… [0:00]

Jim:  [2:40] Right before. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [2:40] almost getting on the plane, like the Friday… [0:00]

Jim:  [2:43] Yeah. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [2:43] before or something… [0:00]

Jim:  [2:44] Yeah. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [2:44] for that one. So yeah, we haven’t spoken, I guess, in freestyle form in a while. Lots went on. AGA was a little bit different, and just, not a bad different, just… [0:00] [[2:58] crosstalk] [0:00]

Jim:  [2:59] It was great. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [3:00] out‑of‑the‑habit kind of different. [0:00]

Jim:  [3:01] It was just weird. It was almost like, you know, showing up at a high school reunion… [0:00] [0:00] [

James:  [3:06] laughs] [0:00] [0:00] …

Jim:  [3:06] after like, oh, get it. Come on, mic drop. [0:00]

James:  [3:13] I didn’t even plan that. I just was lazy today. [0:00] [0:00] [

Jim:  [3:17] laughs] [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [3:17] just put on a T‑shirt. [laughs] [0:00]

Jim:  [3:18] Wait, me too. And people always ask, “Does he wear the same shirt?” I think I have seven of these, which I really like. And then I have the other white ones. I probably have a dozen because that’s my uniform. [0:00]

James:  [3:31] That’s what he says. I think he washes them in the sink when he travels, the same one. [0:00] [[3:36] crosstalk] [0:00]

Jim:  [3:37] You know, sometimes I do. No. [0:00]

James:  [3:39] So AGA was a blast. We, I know everybody got a chance probably to listen to some of the content that came out from AGA. We, we were blessed. I think we ran four weeks of content or four episodes worth from just interviews from AGA. [0:00] [3:55] We got to really sit down for some of the first conversations with folks live. Well, it was the first ones live… [0:00]

Jim:  [4:05] Yeah. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [4:06] there at AGA. And what an experience that was. [0:00]

Jim:  [4:09] It was, it was, it was breathtaking. Like I said, it was like going to a reunion because it was, “Ooh.” I’m not gonna say, I don’t get nervous. [0:00] [0:00] [

James:  [4:17] laughs] [0:00]

Jim:  [4:17] What do I get? I was anxious. I was… [0:00]

James:  [4:20] Yeah. [0:00] [0:00] …

Jim:  [4:20] anxious to get there. I was anxious for everything to be the same way it is. But as soon as we started seeing our friends, and dozens and dozens were walking by while we were recording and people are waving, it was just heartwarming. [0:00] [4:32] And then, that led in, we had a week off, barely a week off, and then we head to Charlotte for SGA. [0:00]

James:  [4:39] Yeah, just back‑to‑back jacks, which was another thing you probably haven’t done in two years, you know, is went back to back. So not only did we kind of ramp in, but we went back to back there. [0:00]

Jim:  [4:54] Yep, yep. [0:00]

James:  [4:55] Again, got see some of the same people but also a lot that maybe didn’t get to make it out to AGA, which was cool. You know, some folks from the region but just some other people that just simply couldn’t make Orlando. Whether it was cost or what, didn’t really matter. [0:00] [5:16] And it was a smaller show, but it wasn’t a, not in quality. I think it was, you know, the best we can do in this, at the end of this, at the end, wherever we’re at in this pandemic. [0:00]

Jim:  [5:29] Yeah. [0:00]

James:  [5:29] I think it was a great showing. But everybody wants more numbers, including SGA, AGA. Everybody has bigger, bigger eyes than we got. But I was really proud of everybody getting out there. [0:00]

Jim:  [5:42] I was too. And, you know, at AGA, we were like, “Oh, wow. There’s only 1,900 people here. It should be… [0:00] [0:00] [

James:  [5:49] laughs] [0:00] [0:00] …

Jim:  [5:49] “3,500.” And I’m like, “Are you guys kidding me?” I’ve seen… [0:00] [[5:53] crosstalk] [0:00]

James:  [5:54] When was the last time you… [0:00] [[5:56] crosstalk] [0:00] [0:00] [

James:  [5:56] laughs] Exactly. [0:00]

Jim:  [5:56] You know, at SGA, what did they have there? 400, 500? [0:00]

James:  [6:00] No, no. It was a lot more than that. They said something like 800 by the time… [0:00]

Jim:  [6:04] At SGA? [0:00]

James:  [6:05] Yeah. It may be more than that. SGA can come on and correct us. I want to say it was closer to 1,000 than anything, so. [0:00]

Jim:  [6:13] I didn’t think it was that high, but that’s right. They can correct us… [0:00] [[6:16] crosstalk] [0:00]

James:  [6:16] They had more people, they had more, a ton of people come to Charlotte and register on the, on the spot, which raised numbers quite a bit. [0:00]

Jim:  [6:25] That’s good. [0:00]

James:  [6:26] So the, well, you know, I don’t want to say what the high point was there, Jimmy. But what was the high point? [0:00]

Jim:  [6:34] Well, I’m going to say that we were honored to win the SGA 2021 Corporate Communications Award. And that, to me, James and I were saying, “Oh, we’re, we’re…we made it to the final three.” And we said, “That’s, that’s a blessing in, unto itself that we’re in the top three. That’s great.” And we were up against, was it Spire and ONE Gas? [0:00]

James:  [6:59] ONE Gas, yeah. [0:00]

Jim:  [7:00] I think so. And we’re like, “OK, billion dollar companies,” right? So… [0:00] [0:00] [

James:  [7:04] laughs] [0:00]

Jim:  [7:04] I’m like, “We’re, you know, we’ll support them. We’ll clap.” And they mentioned our name, and I was like, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” you know? When we walked on stage, I was, I was enamored. [0:00] [7:15] And it, but you know what, though? It shows, though, that what we’re doing at least is positively impacting people, our industry, items like that. And for that, James, I mean, that validation, I needed it, personally. I mean, you know, we’ve been going along and everybody keeps saying we’re doing good. [0:00]

James:  [7:34] Yeah. [laughs] [0:00] [0:00] …

Jim:  [7:35] but AGA, and we had people around the booth. We go to SGA, we win a Corporate Communications Award. I then went to LGA again, back to back to back, LGA in New Orleans, and they haven’t had that since 2019. That’s a Pipeline Safety Conference. And I can’t tell you how many people came up to me. And they’re like, “Where’s the Coffee with Jim & James booth? Aren’t you guys here? [0:00]

James:  [7:57] Yeah. [0:00]

Jim:  [7:57] Aren’t you guys set up? You know? I’m like, “Gosh, people do actually like it, you know? It gives them some, something to .” [0:00]

James:  [8:05] Yeah, and I’ll go back to AGA since you said it. [clears throat] And, you know, we got to unveil kind of a, well, it’s very specific to AGA look and booth design that we had put together. And then you saw the shirts, but it was all built around that. [0:00] [8:28] And it was so much fun and almost like a beacon in the middle of, you know, of the hall. And, and that was really cool because this is the first time we’ve got to kind of trot the brand out, you know… [0:00]

Jim:  [8:44] Yeah. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [8:44] since the rebrand… [0:00]

Jim:  [8:45] Yeah. [0:00]

James:  [8:46] …and then to do it again at SGA and flip the look. And, I mean, if you got to see any of the video, it turned out so cool to have half the booth be live recording and the other half being Energy Worldnet… [0:00]

Jim:  [8:59] Oh, it was awesome. [0:00]

James:  [9:00] …and being able to draw people. I’m not trying to be the marketing guy, but you know how we’ve all been to these exhibit halls. And, dude, I have a fly in here, and that’s where it’s going to land, on the microphone. Really? I think it’s… [0:00]

Jim:  [9:15] All right. Take it easy. Take it, take it easy. Breathe in through your nose, out through your… [0:00]

James:  [9:20] Ox breathing. OK. [0:00]

Jim:  [9:21] Yeah. [0:00]

James:  [9:22] But to see all that in action and really feel [laughs] too, to, I don’t know, to see it live and being able to change on a dime and have a new… [0:00]

Jim:  [9:34] Yeah. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [9:34] look for the next one and then it translate to video and draw people in like nothing I’ve ever seen. I was, I was very proud of that from a brand perspective, you know, to just, to see it come to life, like we had in our head, and execute it, you know, across the board. [0:00]

Jim:  [9:54] Well, kudos to you, and the entire brand team, everyone, first and foremost. [0:00] [9:59] Second of all, I do remember being on the phone with you three or four weeks before AGA. And you’re like, “Hey, I got this idea. It’s kind of out there.” And all of a sudden, I looked up, I’m like, “It’s Miami Vice.” He’s like, “Yeah.” He goes, “I might get fired over this.” But I said, “No, you got my support. We have two ELT members that are, will go for it.” [0:00]

James:  [10:17] We went on that. But it turned out awesome. [0:00]

Jim:  [10:20] It was great… [0:00] [[10:21] crosstalk] [0:00]

James:  [10:22] And nothing but positive… [0:00]

Jim:  [10:22] People love it. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [10:22] from that. [0:00]

Jim:  [10:23] Hey, people saw our shirts that we gave away at AGA. I got so many people texting me “Hey, I’m at the Orlando airport, and there’s somebody walking around with your shirt.” Somebody over there was selling the shirts. [0:00] [[10:33] crosstalk] [0:00]

James:  [10:33] I saw somebody wearing it when we went to SGA, to Charlotte, so. [0:00]

Jim:  [10:39] Isn’t it great? [0:00]

James:  [10:39] It was good. It was awesome to see, see it, like, come to life like you envisioned it or put it on paper. Kudos to that team, for sure. And then, so Jimmy left there. [0:00]

Jim:  [10:52] Yep. [0:00]

James:  [10:52] We had a little bit of break. You mentioned LGA, but in between LGA, I actually went back to back to back. [0:00]

Jim:  [11:00] Oh, I’m sorry. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you were… [0:00] [[11:02] crosstalk] [0:00]

James:  [11:03] Yeah, I ran to Memphi‑, Memphis for the APGA. Oh, man, it’s so hard to keep up with which one was what. Is this the fall board? Yeah, whatever just happened for APGA in Memphis. They, they invited us out to speak on our culture. [0:00] [11:26] So Stuart, actually, Erin Kurilla reached out before, friend of the show. She’s been on… [0:00]

Jim:  [11:32] Yep. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [11:32] before. She reached out and was like, “Hey, what do you think about this idea? I’d love for you to just come and talk about how y’all’s culture has really, you know, changed who you are as a company. And everybody I know there’s fantastic. You know, people need to hear the story.” And I was like, “Wow. Let’s do that.” [0:00] [11:51] So I kind of championed it and was like, “I’ll do it.” And I said, “If we, only if we can have Stuart moderate it.” And… [0:00]

Jim:  [12:02] Stuart Saulters? [0:00] [[12:03] crosstalk] [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [12:03] Stuart Saulters… [0:00] [[12:04] crosstalk] [0:00]

Jim:  [12:05] I should have went. I should have went. [0:00]

James:  [12:06] And so myself and Chris Isaacson, who is also a pretty, pretty big deal at Energy Worldnet… [0:00]

Jim:  [12:16] Mm‑hmm. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [12:16] we teamed up and kind of did, it was an awesome theater. I forget the place. The Guest House at Graceland, I think, is where it was. And… [0:00]

Jim:  [12:28] OK. [0:00]

James:  [12:28] And… [0:00]

Jim:  [12:29] Yeah, makes sense. [0:00]

James:  [12:29] And so… [0:00]

Jim:  [12:30] You’re in Memphis. [0:00]

James:  [12:31] Yeah, yeah. So it was a awesome theater there. I mean, it looked like you were at the Grand Ole Opry looking out when you were standing on stage. [0:00] [12:38] But Chris and I delivered a, kick‑starting our culture there. And it was very well received. And I honestly, I’ve had more engagement after that session than I’ve ever had with a session. [0:00]

Jim:  [12:52] I love it. [0:00]

James:  [12:54] More people reached out to me, emailed me. I got, I got, three different people came up to me at the airport and was like, “Hey, weren’t you the guy talking on culture?” And, you know, so that was cool to see. And I love that membership. You know, we’ve been involved with APGA for a long time. Steven, Steve Allen is on the board there… [0:00]

Jim:  [13:16] Yep. [0:00]

James:  [13:17] …this past year got on board. So it’s neat to get more involved with them. And we look forward to doing more with them over the coming years. [0:00]

Jim:  [13:26] And I, again, I, all your words, you took them right out of my mouth. But I do want to say something about culture that, I’m making a declaration that you and I are going to go into the topics of culture. You are a champion for culture. You have done so much at Energy Worldnet in regards to your passion and purpose for culture. [0:00] [13:48] And I think going through this pandemic it, you know, we’ve seen a lot of outcomes of good cultures becoming great and coming together. And, you know, some other folks have struggled with that because of, you know, we’re not all, everybody’s not going the office. [0:00] [14:06] But I’m going to say, James, kudos to you, the entire leadership team, the entire team at Energy Worldnet, everybody. Every single person has made a difference in that. And I couldn’t be more proud to be part of that team. [0:00] [14:21] And again, declaration, we’re going to go into culture probably, probably in first quarter 2022. How does that sound? [0:00]

James:  [14:27] We’ll see where we fit it in our award‑winning schedule. [0:00]

Jim:  [14:30] I’m sorry. What did you say? What type of schedule? [0:00]

James:  [14:33] We should only bring this up three or four times an episode from here on out, but our award‑winning, Jimmy. [0:00]

Jim:  [14:39] That’s what I thought you said, brother. That’s what I thought you said. [0:00]

James:  [14:42] Stupid. But, all right, so APGA straight into LGA. [0:00]

Jim:  [14:47] Straight into LGA, back in The Big Easy, New Orleans. I haven’t been there in two years. We were down at the River place, Hilton. So we’re a little bit off the, off the, Bourbon Street, which was good because it kept people with focus. I think when we were up on Bourbon Street, we had a lot of people that would migrate out. [0:00] [15:07] So we’re down there a little bit. We did get to go up to Bourbon Street, Kerotest and EGW, our friends over there, did a wonderful… [0:00] [0:00] [

James:  [15:15] laughs] So we’re out of prac‑. Hold on, let Jimmy check his email real quick since he, you can tell we don’t have any guests on. We normally remind our guests, but we don’t remind each other. [0:00]

Jim:  [15:28] Yeah. Sorry about that. That was my fault. [0:00]

James:  [15:31] It’s his first time. [0:00]

Jim:  [15:31] It is my first time, but… [0:00]

James:  [15:33] Still award‑winning. [0:00]

Jim:  [15:34] We still are award‑winning, but it was really good. It was, it was good to be back there, saw a lot of our friends from the Gulf Coast. That LGA Pipeline Safety Conference draws people from typically 12, 13, 14, 15 different states. You know, we get tons of people there, we get regulators there. It’s a, it’s a great event, so. [0:00]

James:  [15:59] I missed that one. I think next year we’re going to try to bring Coffee with Jim & James to it. I know I’ve heard some great feedback. And like you said, even a couple of shows I’ve been to that, since, that we didn’t bring Coffee with Jim & James to, people asked, “Is, is Jimmy here? Where, are y’all going to record live?” So… [0:00]

Jim:  [16:20] The coffee guys. [0:00]

James:  [16:21] I’ll be honest. It’s going to be hard to hit every association this year. But Jim and I already have made a list. And we hope that we can bring it to as many folks as possible, coming to a region near you. [0:00]

Jim:  [16:37] Absolutely. No, we’re, you know, this week of Thanksgiving, we have a lot to give thanks for, James. I give thanks for you each and every day. You’re one of my best friends, and I just love our time together. We… [0:00]

James:  [16:51] What an awesome byproduct of the show is that we get to be best friends. [0:00] [16:56] Jimmy, you were here the last couple of weeks. We just got back last week. We came together as Energy Worldnet’s executive leadership team and went on a retreat. And Jimmy and I found ourselves about, I don’t know, 40 foot up in the trees. [0:00]

Jim:  [17:15] Wait a minute. [0:00]

James:  [17:16] Oh, we still have, I got one, too. [0:00]

Jim:  [17:20] We have wounds. [0:00]

James:  [17:21] Months. [0:00]

Jim:  [17:23] It was serious. [0:00]

James:  [17:23] I’m younger. [0:00]

Jim:  [17:24] Yeah, you are a lot younger. Don’t rub it in. [0:00]

James:  [17:28] I look the same age, though. [0:00] [[17:29] laughter] [0:00]

Jim:  [17:31] It was great there. You know, we, I was doing a little recapping of that. You know, we spent a few days away. And just the bonding that we could do face‑to‑face as a leader, executive leadership team, the planning that we could do, the thought leadership about where we want to take Energy Worldnet in 2022, all the positive things, it was a very… [0:00]

James:  [17:54] Wrapping up our book study… [0:00]

Jim:  [17:56] Yeah, yeah. [0:00] [0:00] …

James:  [17:57] in person. [0:00]

Jim:  [17:58] Yep. [0:00]

James:  [17:59] So many highlights. You know, there’s something to say just breaking bread with people and how important it is these days. [0:00]

Jim:  [18:08] One of the funnest dinners I’ve had in a long time was at that event. And truly, it was just a fun event, you know? [0:00] [[18:15] crosstalk] [0:00] [0:00]

… Jim:  [18:15] production, it was very good. But we actually had a lot of fun. And as I say all the time, we have to have fun every day, no matter what we do. Doesn’t mean we take it any less serious, but by having fun, we love what we do. And so when you get that, when you get that mesh, what, what more could you ask for, you know? [0:00] [18:37] I do have a little teaser. I want to say that the Schauer name, I’ll say more about this later, we have another Schauer entering the energy industry with a world‑class organization. I’ll give a little shout‑out down the road, but Summer has accepted a marketing role with a great company. [0:00] [18:59] Is it too early to tell, do you think? Should I wait? [0:00]

James:  [19:01] I think so. I think we wait. We may have to have her on. [0:00]

Jim:  [19:04] Let’s do that. But we’ll definitely give her a shout‑out more. So she is so excited. And as her dad, you know, having her graduate from UT Austin and enter into the marketplace and working and now wanting to pursue a marketing career in the energy industry, warms my heart. [0:00] [19:22] So she’s actually here. She’s around the corner. [0:00]

James:  [19:25] Don’t, don’t tell her. She’s been back drop, backseat driving this episode all week. [0:00]

Jim:  [19:29] Yeah, she’s, oh yeah. She, yeah, and then she also said, “I can’t wait to start doing some of my marketing brand excellence. I’m going to go head to head against my mentor James.” I’m like, “Ooh, that sounds like a throw down right there. You know what I’m saying? So… [0:00]

James:  [19:45] There’s plenty of room at the table. [0:00]

Jim:  [19:49] There is. [0:00]

James:  [19:49] I’ll leave it at that. [0:00]

Jim:  [19:51] That’s fun. It’s ab‑, I had to do that. [0:00]

James:  [19:54] Well, Jim, I don’t even know if we told people but this was a “November Freestyle” episode, if that wasn’t clear. I think we did. [0:00]

Jim:  [20:05] Well, let’s put it in the thing. You know, the whatchamacallit thing that we put up there, the graphic will be on there. James, my brother, and all of our audience members, James, to you, happy Thanksgiving, and I’m very… [0:00] [[20:20] crosstalk] [0:00]

James:  [20:21] You too, brother. [0:00] [0:00] …

Jim:  [20:21] you and everybody at Energy Worldnet, everybody in our industry, I mean, it means so much to me. And I would say on behalf of James and myself, we want to wish y’all. Hopefully this drops maybe on Thanksgiving. [0:00] [[20:35] crosstalk] [0:00]

James:  [20:35] I think so. Yeah, if we can get somebody to work. [0:00]

Jim:  [20:39] We’ll get them. [0:00]

James:  [20:39] Just kidding. [0:00]

Jim:  [20:40] Oh, happy Thanksgiving, everybody. We hope everybody is enjoying it. As I always really say, we want everybody to stay safe in everything that we do, personal and business, professional, the whole bit. So until next time, James, anything else before I wrap us up? [0:00]

James:  [20:59] Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. [0:00]

Jim:  [21:01] All right. [0:00]

James:  [21:02] God bless. [0:00]

Jim:  [21:03] God bless is right. From James and I to you all, happy Thanksgiving. We will see you next time on Coffee with Jim & James. We’ll see y’all. [0:00]

James:  [21:10] Can hear the music coming in. [0:00]

Jim:  [21:14] Oh, I, look at that. [0:00]

James:  [21:16] Oh, yeah, in your virtual background? [0:00]

Jim:  [21:19] No, it’s real. It’s real. See y’all. [0:00] [[21:25] background music] [0:00]

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