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40 min read

CWJJ Episode 138: APGA Operations Conference Live – Part 1

Thursday, October 20- Jim & James were on the road again and attended the APGA Operations Conference. Tune in and check out who joined the show.

Quick Links:

James Cross on Linkedin
Jim Schauer on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

 [0:00] [music]

Jim Schauer:  [0:00] Whoa, professional.

James Cross:  [0:26] It’s professional.

Jim:  [0:28] I like that.

James:  [0:29] I like it.

Jim:  [0:30] James…

James:  [0:31] Cheers, brother.

Jim:  [0:33] what are we doing? What’s going on?

James:  [0:36] We’re back, APGA Fall Operations Conference, Committee & Board Meetings. The past few days we are live from Savannah, Georgia.

Jim:  [0:43] Beautiful Savannah, historic…

James:  [0:46] Beautiful Savannah, the weather, historic, what else? What other…

Jim:  [0:50] It is a shipping mecca. I’ve seen at least two or three of those ocean‑going vessels that are loaded with containers, the 40‑foot containers.

James:  [1:02] All your Amazon orders.

Jim:  [1:06] They look like matchboxes up there, and these things are 20 and 40 feet long.

James:  [1:08] That’s just my wife’s stuff.

Jim:  [1:12] It’s coming.

James:  [1:12] It’s a true story.

Jim:  [1:13] It’s coming to Texas.

James:  [1:14] We’re live at Savannah.

Jim:  [1:15] We are.

James:  [1:16] We got invited back to APGA despite our performance last time. [laughs] Just kidding. I told you about this on the promo, but we got invited back, and I included Kelsey Klingler to speak about culture two years in a row, again, despite our performance.

Jim:  [1:36] I think the performance was fantastic. You guys did a wonderful job, fantastic job.

James:  [1:41] It was awesome. A lot of work in that one. We pulled out some tricks. We pulled out some “Coffee with Jim & James” clips that we are hoping to tie back in there and, I think, with a good response. So far, so good.

Jim:  [1:50] You know how I judge that? After the presentation, is it a ghost town, or are people coming up to you both and asking questions? That is what was happening. People were asking questions, wanting to know.

James:  [2:03] We’ve had a lot of conversations in this room. We had somebody come up and say, “What’s the reception like for this topic in the industry? What’s it like talking, your gray‑haired guys like me, about crying.” I said, “It helps if you cry.” [laughs]

[2:21] Really, if you’re sincere about it, I believe the topic will land. Culture’s landing at this one. That’s for sure.

Jim:  [2:27] The one thing that I always take away from culture is that it’s very personally what you give to, again, your family, your community, your organization, your business, your church.

James:  [2:37] No doubt.

Jim:  [2:37] It’s what you give to it and being yourself.

James:  [2:41] I wish that people could see the level of harassment we get every time we go live from the crowd out there.

Jim:  [2:47] Are we pointing at individuals right now, or should I not point?

[2:54] [crosstalk]

James:  [2:52] I love it. I love it. Some people show their loves in a different way. This is one of those moments. We’re going to have a lot of guests on. We’re live at the reception.

Jim:  [3:04] We need to have a camera pointing the other way, so people can see this, so we’re just not cracking up on ourselves. Anyway, so reception is going on and actually, I will answer.

James:  [3:13] We got prime spot.

Jim:  [3:15] Oh, this is a beautiful spot. Absolutely beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

James:  [3:18] Right in the thick of it. The entrance door right there and we’re right here. Shoutout to [inaudible] .

Jim:  [3:23] The main, not exhibit room, but what am I talking about? The main presentation room is right there.

James:  [3:29] General session right there.

Jim:  [3:31] Yep.

James:  [3:31] We’re seeing everything. It looks like a good showing for probably over 300 here.

Jim:  [3:36] They said.

James:  [3:37] It would take three, four hundred?

Jim:  [3:38] I thought they said just around under 400, so it’s great.

James:  [3:44] We got a big week, a couple days in a row. I’m going back Thursday. I’ve been here all week.

Jim:  [3:50] You go back Thursday, I go back Friday.

James:  [3:52] I do, yeah. We’re going to bring the show live, of course, today and then again, tomorrow. All day long probably tomorrow. We’ll bring on whoever we can. Everything OK? We don’t it to close. We got this new stage hand, Kelsey Clingidy.

Jim:  [4:09] Kelsey Clingidy.

James:  [4:10] She clicks and be back on the way out. This is not the case. Just do it anyway.

Kelsey Clingidy:  [4:21] What?

James:  [4:21] Just get in here.

Kelsey:  [4:23] I’m not going to lose my moment. I will cut it later on, but [inaudible] got it.

James:  [4:22] We’re still not leaving.

Jim:  [4:23] We’re still talking.

James:  [4:24] If you just wanted to be on, you could’ve just asked.

[4:27] [laughter]

Jim:  [4:28] Kelsey.

James:  [4:28] Kelsey was here.

Jim:  [4:29] Give us a few words, come on, jump in.

Kelsey:  [4:31] It’s been good to be here.

James:  [4:33] Tell them about today.

Kelsey:  [4:35] I thought our presentation went well. We talked on culture and safety culture. Like I said, a lot of people were coming up afterwards and asking us questions, so it was good. It was good.

James:  [4:48] That’s the test, right?

Kelsey:  [4:49] Right.

James:  [4:50] If people are engaged, that’s the test.

Kelsey:  [4:51] Also, we were funny.

James:  [4:53] We were all right. We’re getting there.

Kelsey:  [4:57] Yeah. [laughs]

James:  [4:57] A couple six or eight more times on this one, we should be fine.

Kelsey:  [5:00] We only practice it for…

James:  [5:03] 16 hours straight.

Kelsey:  [5:04] 16 hours today, because I have anxiety issues.

Jim:  [5:08] Somebody was a little anxious over it, weren’t you?

James:  [5:11] You rocked it, you killed it.

Kelsey:  [5:13] Right.

Jim:  [5:13] You totally [inaudible] . You what the beautiful thing, and I’m being honest. That’s about culture, is that you actually were brave and said, “Hey, I do have anxiety over public speaking.”

Kelsey:  [5:21] Right.

Jim:  [5:22] She was just talking about this right over here to me, she’s like, “You and Steve Allen just get up on stage and just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.” I’m like, “But that’s who we are though, but there’s other things that make me very anxious too.” I get very anxious over other things that maybe you’re not.

James:  [5:37] I’m very anxious ordering from a drive‑thru.

Kelsey:  [5:38] Same.

Jim:  [5:39] Yeah?

James:  [5:39] It works.

Jim:  [5:40] Is it?

James:  [5:41] Yeah, it really is. I’m not kidding. Ask my wife.

Kelsey:  [5:45] What is your anxious thing?

Jim:  [5:47] Oh jeez. There’s so many. Believe it or not, very crowded situations, even though I love crowds. If I’m fluid in the crowd meaning I can walk around, I’m good. If I’m stuck, if I’m in a seat and can’t move, I get anxious over that.

[6:05] Like at a concert, I do not like concerts because I feel like I’m stuck. If it’s a place where I can move and roam around, I’m fine. Believe it or not. Yes, please.

James:  [6:17] Back to our podcast.

Kelsey:  [6:18] I was like, “Should I…”

James:  [6:20] You should get a chair. No, I just want to hit this. A lot of people don’t know that I get very…I do get anxious about speaking. Kelsey and I spent a lot of time together, prepping for speaking. What I mean is, is that you wouldn’t know that if you knew me, right?

Jim:  [6:39] Right.

James:  [6:41] I prep a lot, but I…We talk about this today. There’s something that Brené Brown says in “Dare to Live” called giving permission slips. Do you remember that?

Jim:  [6:51] I do.

James:  [6:52] In other words, if you were having a meeting with someone and let’s say, the night before, your child was up sick throwing up. You walk into that meeting and said, “Guys, I’m not my best today. My kid was throwing up all last night. I’m just letting you know so you know I just may not be at my optimal.”

Jim:  [7:08] Sure. Cool.

James:  [7:09] That’s permission slip. Today, we were talking about it and she said, “I’m anxious.” Talk about it. Then that will be gone and you can focus on the next thing.

[7:19] Well, what was the next thing? There were three or four things, but it was more about saying, give yourself permission in that moment, let the crowd know, and then drop it and focus on what you can, which is delivering the content.

Kelsey:  [7:33] On your stuff and move on. Yeah.

James:  [7:36] I think that help.

Kelsey:  [7:36] It really does.

James:  [7:37] I’m not good at it. I just have a lot. I read a lot, learn a lot and figure out ways to manage the parts that I can.

Kelsey:  [7:46] I think it really does help a lot though to own it and then, now we can move on.

James:  [7:51] How many people have come up and told you that since…

Kelsey:  [7:56] At least 30. They’ve been like…

Jim:  [7:58] Really?

James:  [7:58] That explains a lot about this conference.

Kelsey:  [8:01] They’re like, “You did really good. I know you said you were anxious and everything else, but you were fine.” Even Jim.

James:  [8:08] I love it.

Jim:  [8:10] Even Jim what?

Kelsey:  [8:11] Said that.

Jim:  [8:11] I did. No, you did a great job. I offered to do it for you beforehand and she was like, “I’m going to do this.” She did it. She did it.

[8:21] Let me just say one point that popped in my head is that so many times in the past, decades and decades ago in business, they’re like, “Hey, you don’t be nervous on stage. You put on your front, you get up there, you nail it, then you can be nervous off stage or tonight,” or whatever.

[8:37] Again, when you think about culture and everything that you’re helping convey the message, we are who we are. We’re the same people at work. It’s the same people at home. We have to make the best out of that and we’re real people, and you guys really embodied that today.

Kelsey:  [8:50] I think post‑pandemic, that is more important than anything. We haven’t been on stage and talking to people for a couple of years. You know what I mean? You still got to get back at. I know, where’s Jim?

James:  [9:02] I have no excuses.

Kelsey:  [9:04] [laughs] It’s been a while. It re‑introduces your anxieties that you thought you had lost.

James:  [9:11] Which then causes new anxiety.

Kelsey:  [9:13] Right.

Jim:  [9:15] I give presentations at the grocery store. Just ask Tammy.

James:  [9:19] I promise we’re not doing the whole show this way, but Kelsey, thanks for jumping in.

Kelsey:  [9:23] Thank you, guys.

Jim:  [9:24] Thank you.

James:  [9:24] Way to be brave.

Jim:  [9:26] Best clapper.

James:  [9:27] Best clapper we’ve had all week. Jimmy, we’re here all week which is really just a couple days tomorrow. We’re going to get quite a bit done, but lots of good friends here. We love the APGA. We got Steve Allen here, board member representing. We’ve done a lot more [inaudible] , sitting on a lot of committees. We’re a sponsor.

Jim:  [9:52] We’re sponsoring the YPP, the Young Pipeline Professionals.

James:  [9:57] Young professionals. I had it wrong.

Jim:  [9:59] What did I say?

James:  [9:59] YPP.

Jim:  [10:00] YPP.

James:  [10:00] Pipeline, young professionals.

Jim:  [10:01] I thought it was pipeline…

James:  [10:03] Yeah.

Jim:  [10:05] I apologize.

James:  [10:06] My apologies.

Jim:  [10:07] No, my fault.

James:  [10:10] Sponsors there are good friends here. It’s always good here to support Stewart, Ann, Sheila, and every…Colonel Lee.

Jim:  [10:18] The Colonel.

James:  [10:18] We just spent 20 minutes on his podcast.

Jim:  [10:20] Half hour.

James:  [10:21] Good, brother. All right, we’re going to get some guests, we’ll be all week.

[10:27] We’re back.

Jim:  [10:27] Here we are.

Chris McCabe:  [10:29] Do I look at the camera?

Jim:  [10:29] Yeah, look at the camera. Chris McCabe.

James:  [10:30] Oh yeah.

Jim:  [10:31] Our friend, Chris George sales. I have to say one thing though. As I look at the…I think all my height is in my legs.

James:  [10:38] Don’t look at it.

Chris:  [10:39] We didn’t want to tell you.

James:  [10:42] We didn’t want to tell you.

Chris:  [10:41] We’ve known it for years.

James:  [10:42] Chris and I just met last year. Can you believe that?

Chris:  [10:48] It was just last year, wasn’t it?

James:  [10:51] No.

Chris:  [10:51] Two years ago.

James:  [10:52] No, it wasn’t. It was last year, my friend.

Jim:  [10:56] Chris and I met probably four or five years ago. How long have you been in the industry?

Chris:  [11:03] This couple weeks will be four.

Jim:  [11:06] It was four years ago.

Chris:  [11:08] In the next couple weeks, it’ll be four.

James:  [11:11] My wife says it seems like a lot longer that we’ve known each other, too, at some brand. We met, and we were best friends. Remember that? We were giggling together.

Jim:  [11:19] Did you go golfing together?

Chris:  [11:19] We did…

James:  [11:19] Then I stood him up for dinner.

Chris:  [11:22] brother, frolicking in the park.

James:  [11:24] Then I stood him up for dinner that night.

Chris:  [11:28] [laughs]

Jim:  [11:28] I’m sorry. Did you say giggling together?

James:  [11:19] We were. We were going down…

Chris:  [11:21] A little bit. Yeah, we laughed.

James:  [11:18] My wife, I don’t know what she thought, but Chris and I…

Jim:  [11:23] Where am I?

James:  [11:23] I then stood him up for dinner, and he’s never talked to me again.

Chris:  [11:27] That’s right.

James:  [11:28] That’s fair.

Chris:  [11:29] It hurt right there.

Jim:  [11:30] I…

James:  [11:31] Then we had you on the show, and we won him back.

Chris:  [11:33] Everything’s fine.

Chris:  [11:34] Everything’s fine.

James:  [11:35] Got a little promotion.

Jim:  [11:36] I feel like I’m at a tennis match.

Chris:  [11:39] It’s back and forth.

James:  [11:39] How is it being here at the APGA right now?

Chris:  [11:42] I’m having a great time. It’s a good to see…

James:  [11:44] Good group?

Chris:  [11:45] It seems like everyone’s back out. I think last year there was still a few people nervous to be out and about.

James:  [11:49] 100 percent.

Chris:  [11:50] This year, it’s wide open. It really is great to see everybody, and everyone’s in one place, dancing or not dancing. [laughs]

James:  [11:58] I love this group. I haven’t been in this industry long. Now…

Jim:  [12:02] Five years, six years.

James:  [12:04] it’s six years. It doesn’t seem as long as y’all guys.

Jim:  [12:08] You grew up in West Texas.

James:  [12:09] I know, but I haven’t been around the APGA.

Jim:  [12:12] That’s true.

James:  [12:12] Once I got around, I was like, “They’re my people.”

Chris:  [12:15] Found your people.

James:  [12:16] For sure.

Jim:  [12:16] You know what, though? It’s people that you learn from. Because when you come to these conferences, so many of the cross‑collaboration and the thought process…

Chris:  [12:24] Oh, absolutely.

Jim:  [12:26] We’ve been friends for years, and I’m learning about their bypass that they have on the meter sets, which is a great safety tool for our industry. I didn’t know that. Out of all this time that we spent together, I’m like, “What is that?” You’re like, “That’s a bypass.”

Chris:  [12:38] Always something new.

Jim:  [12:39] I’m like, “That is cool.”

James:  [12:40] I was having a conversation the other day with someone that I’ve known for four years. They said, “Y’all do OQ?” I was like, “Can you not talk to my boss?”

Jim:  [12:52] Yeah.

James:  [12:53] Please, ever. I mean, really, it’s funny how we get to know each other, and sometimes you just…I mean that’s…

Chris:  [12:59] Yeah.

James:  [13:00] Just assume, maybe a little bit. Anything going on in your world, sir?

Chris:  [13:03] Moved to a new house in March, so since I’ve seen you. The wife and I moved into a house.

James:  [13:09] Talk about change management.

Chris:  [13:12] Seriously. Got to talk to her anytime I need to get permission to do stuff.

Jim:  [13:16] I’m sure it’s…

James:  [13:17] Seems normal.

Jim:  [13:18] It does.

Jim:  [13:20] I don’t know what the problem is.

James:  [13:22] Well, congratulations, sir.

Jim:  [13:23] That’s the biggest big change. Are you on acreage or a house?

Chris:  [13:28] Acreage. What’s the definition between acreage and a house?

James:  [13:30] What’s your mortgage payment? No, I’m just… [laughs] What interest rate did you get?

Jim:  [13:35] Are you like in the suburbs? The city?

Chris:  [13:37] Suburbia, yeah.

Jim:  [13:38] I mean, yeah. That’s…OK.

Chris:  [13:40] It’s not like three‑four acres. I wish it was.

Jim:  [13:45] That’s what I want. That’s what we want. Tammy and I want that house.

James:  [13:48] I have two acres. Very blessed.

Chris:  [13:49] Is your house all back together now? Last time we talked it was in a shambles.

James:  [13:53] Sort of.

Jim:  [13:54] It was after a storm.

Chris:  [13:56] It was a storm. It wasn’t his fault.

James:  [13:59] You should see my truck. We call it “Dimples.”

Chris:  [14:03] It’s got dimples.

Jim:  [14:04] Hail storm. We were supposed to record with him, the night before the storm.

Chris:  [14:09] That’s exactly right.

James:  [14:11] That was the second time.

Chris:  [14:13] The first time I [inaudible] blew apart.

James:  [14:15] That happened too. That’s a long time ago. Supply chain issues. Like everything in the world, it took months to get windows. I had a four panel window in my front office.

Jim:  [14:24] Blown out.

James:  [14:25] Completely shredded, the whole thing, broke the metal frame of it. It was gangster.

Chris:  [14:30] That is gangster. I’ve never used the term gangster, till now. But I’m proud to use it. [laughs]

James:  [14:36] True. First. You say it here first, Chris. Go have dinner.

Chris:  [14:41] I will. Thank y’all for having me so much.

James:  [14:43] We’ll see you around. We’ll be back.

[14:46] We’re back. [laughs] Now, we’re fast friends.

Jim:  [14:49] We are back.

James:  [14:50] It’s good times.

Jim:  [14:51] We are back with Carolyn and I had to tell a quick story. When she was walking in today, she was looking, she’s like, “Who’s running this thing?” I’m like, “Running what?” She’s like, “Well, the conference.” I’m like, “Well, there’s Aaron, there’s Stuart.” She’s like, “Stuart Stuart.”

[15:05] I’m like, “Well, let me go find around. Are you an inspector. You don’t have a badge on.” I thought she was from the city. She’s like, “I’m on the Griddle at 3:15.”

James:  [15:12] We’re being audited?

Jim:  [15:13] No. That’s how we met today. Carolyn, would you please introduce yourself and your company to the audience please?

Carolyn Amon:  [15:18] Yes. I am Carolyn Amon with Deloitte, the Deloitte Research Center for Energy and Industrials.

James:  [15:25] We’ve heard of them.

Jim:  [15:25] We have. Absolutely.

James:  [15:29] What do you do?

Carolyn:  [15:31] I work at the center. We research project on power, utilities and renewables.

James:  [15:37] Very cool. Big hot topic right now.

Carolyn:  [15:40] Hot topic. We’re about to put out a report on the natural gas, future of the natural gas utility workforce.

James:  [15:47] You’re on the panel today, correct?

Carolyn:  [15:50] I was.

James:  [15:50] I caught the back end of that panel. Tell us a little bit about what that conversation was like.

Carolyn:  [15:55] We were talking about, again, what the future of the natural gas utility workforce is, looking at decarbonization scenarios, and how the utilities are going to have to prepare their workforce. What skills they’ll need, and the growth opportunities for natural gas utilities.

Jim:  [16:14] I like that word, growth opportunities. That’s very positive, I like that. Let me ask you a question. You mentioned a paper. Is that paper coming out soon?

Carolyn:  [16:22] It is. Stay tuned. It’s coming out next month in November at the Center for Energy Workforce Development Summit.

James:  [16:30] Very nice. First APGA, I would assume? Is this your first APGA event?

Carolyn:  [16:35] This is my first APGA event. We were presenting exclusive cuts of our survey data, of our APGA members.

Jim:  [16:43] We were on the inside today.

James:  [16:45] I know. Did you catch any of the rest of the conference leading up to yours? Were you able to grab any sessions or check it out?

Carolyn:  [16:54] I think there’s just one before ours, depends on.

Jim:  [16:58] Did you see the one after on culture and safety culture?

Carolyn:  [17:01] I did. There, was an excellent one right after.

James:  [17:04] [laughs] I heard about that. No, I’m just kidding.

Carolyn:  [17:05] That really dovetailed with why we talk about the importance of culture.

James:  [17:09] That was cool. We walked in. We were prepping, I’m going to be honest. Kelsey and I were prepping.

Jim:  [17:14] All day.

James:  [17:14] For ours, and while you walked in, it was so nice. The transition between the discussion within that panel and then what we can and they’re speaking about. Very cool. Well, nice to meet you Carolyn. We’re going to have you come back on…

Jim:  [17:29] Can we have you come back after the paper?

James:  [17:30] Talk about some positive stuff.

Carolyn:  [17:32] Yes.

Jim:  [17:32] Can we have you come on and give…

Carolyn:  [17:31] We will present all the findings.

James:  [17:34] Let’s do that.

Carolyn:  [17:35] Give you the scoop.

Jim:  [17:36] Oh, stay tuned for that one.

James:  [17:38] You’ll get that first. All right, we’ll be back.

Jim:  [17:39] We’ll be back.

Jim:  [17:39] James just fixed the lights and staying too.

James:  [17:44] We are back.

Jim:  [17:46] APGA.

James:  [17:48] Live at APGA Fall Operation Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Jim:  [17:54] Cheers, my friend.

James:  [17:55] Cheers. It’s always nice to be in‑person. Doesn’t matter where we are. Jim and I already had coffee this morning. We’re early risers.

Jim:  [18:03] We started at 6:45 in the lobby.

James:  [18:06] We’re several cups in. That’s why we should say. Great first day, at least, first day for me. I know a lot of people have been here for the committee and board meetings, but this is one place I’m not involved, for sure, in committee and boards. Good first day.

Jim:  [18:26] Very good.

James:  [18:26] Great speaking. I just got it out of the way, but mentally, knowing we have to do the show too and you’re also here for a job. There’s multiple things that you got to factor in.

Jim:  [18:38] Our role.

James:  [18:39] Yup.

Jim:  [18:40] Right?

James:  [18:40] Absolutely. Our involvement with APGA as kind of partners in this conference too. We’ve invested a lot of money. I hate to say it’s good to have that done, but mentally to be able to now focus on the show today and bring some awesome people through. We got so many great conversations already naturally here in the hall.

Jim:  [19:02] Even yesterday though, you say it’s nice to have that through but look at yesterday, be not opening day to the general assembly in front of 400 people given to you and Kelsey talking about culture, safety culture, people culture, it was well received.

[19:20] That’s why we didn’t record too much last night because people that were asking questions. That’s why we’re here to talk to folks continue to build.

James:  [19:29] To serve. We were able to jump on a podcast with John and Todd over there with APGA or freedom to fuel, I guess is what it is. We talked about it last night but the more I thought about that it was fun to be on the other side of the mic.

Jim:  [19:46] It was really fun.

James:  [19:47] Let your guard down and just chat. The colonel said this morning we had a cup of coffee with him this morning too. He was saying, it’s funny a podcast.

[19:59] You think about our jobs as just talking on these microphones, but really our jobs as host, a lot of the time, it’s the shut up and listen, which is something odd to have to do for someone like us. These are the rare times when it’s just us that we get to chat a little bit.

Jim:  [20:20] It’s a bantering time.

James:  [20:21] Our job is to pull whatever it is out of our guests. We were talking with the colonel about that and how unique that is because you know the colonel. The guy likes to talk.

Jim:  [20:32] He says, it’s very hard for him to sit back, ask the questions and then get it. Then to know that time when somebody seems to have the right on the point and then you got pull it out of. Ask that one little tidbit or something to get it going.

[20:48] Honestly, and we joke about it, I joke about it. I’m very comfortable whether it’s in front of a camera, talking to people, presenting or whatever. A lot of people are not very comfortable with that.

[21:02] You have to be cognizant to help people along with that journey and you did a great job yesterday with Kelsey. Kelsey gave a great presentation.

[21:10] Kelsey was on stage in front of 400 people saying, “I have anxiety about this,” and everybody in the audience connected with her. Afterwards, people were going up to her and saying, “Great job.”

James:  [21:23] I had anxiety and I have that same thing. People coming up to you and saying, “I deal with this, deal with it. I live with anxiety and seeing you up there.”

[21:35] Good start to the conference, today’s full day of sessions, broke into tracks. I caught the safety culture panel this morning, lots of great content there.

Jim:  [21:45] Environmental. We have…

James:  [21:46] FEMSA grant stuff going on. Lots of good stuff, APGA always doing great things.

Jim:  [21:53] A fantastic job. The response has been nothing but overwhelmingly positive with all that.

James:  [22:00] As we always do, today’s our big main day, so we’re going to be pulling on people about as quickly as we can see them. We try to get as many windows into this conference as we can provide to you guys back at home, that’s our goal.

[22:15] For the APGA to show off an awesome events. Let me lay it out for you real quick. We said it last night, but it was so chaotic. I want to be sure people understand where we are.

[22:27] We are like the ambassadors to the conference where we are. These are the first place you see when you walk in.

Jim:  [22:34] Entrance hall, or the second floor.

James:  [22:36] Here is general session yesterday, now the breakout sessions. Right here we got the front door and then back in that area we have an exhibit hall.

[22:47] Some more exhibitors back here. This is the welcome area sponsors have taken over. We got a big show set up right here. We got a big lit up booth. We got our swag on display, ready to go. A lot of stuff going on here.

[23:03] As you see people are coming in and out, look quiet right now because all the sessions are in. If you look right there, on the camera is a session live right in it going on.

Jim:  [23:15] That’s Kim Weaver’s talking about the…She’s talking about the FEMSA grant program for public utilities. I think it’s 250 million a year over the next four years.

James:  [23:27] You remember Stewart came on talked about that.

Jim:  [23:30] He did. I’m trying to get back to the memory cells. It’s a billion dollars.

James:  [23:34] A billion dollars. That’s exactly right. Again, lots of education here for our municipality friends out there, lots of clients here.

Jim:  [23:43] That’s the fun part.

James:  [23:44] It’s a great group, but I’ll tell you what, even the non‑clients I love them too. So many people have come up and I’ve only been here twice this period.

[23:55] They remember me and we hit it right back off so it’s been cool to get back out here with them. These are some of my favorites.

James:  [24:03] So true. I know I’m an industry guy now, that’s what you’re thinking, you create a monster.

Jim:  [24:08] I just laugh at you all the time. I love you brother. You crack me up. The reason we come to these conferences, reason people do one, is to build these relationships because you never know what you’re going to need, want or desire in the industry.

[24:22] You may not have the answers, solution but you know somebody that does. Those are the people that people gravitate towards as far as mentors, as far as guiders, as far as whatever the term you use it, it’s imperative in our industry.

[24:36] Even this morning, I’ve had three conversations where people said, “Hey, do you know anybody that does this?”

James:  [24:43] You know what? We do. [laughs] We probably do, we probably had them on the show. Probably have an episode about it.

Jim:  [24:48] Bob from Sevier County was here a few minutes ago.

James:  [24:52] Bob won’t come on.

Jim:  [24:54] No, he won’t come on.

James:  [24:56] From Scott, Sevier County Utility District over there, and long‑term client. We did a lot of work for them here recently. I’ll talk on it. He might not hear. I’ll talk on it. [laughs]

[25:12] About six months ago, we did some work with Scott over there and did a custom, like a leadership focused workshop day and a half soft skills, and we did some very specialized training with them.

[25:29] A lot of hands‑on, a lot of team building, a lot of sitting with teams and working out problems together. They came to us with…I don’t want to say a problem but opportunity that they had and we sat with them and we crafted that day and a half.

[25:46] You would have thought we hung the moon when we talked to them afterwards. Bob and Val, everybody was over the moon with how great it went with their teams.

[25:58] We had never done that before. We’ve crafted plenty of custom solutions but what I mean is, that particular thing, we listened and we built something special for them, and it went off without a hitch.

Jim:  [26:11] When you think about it, we’ve been in this game, so to speak for almost three decades and as a training and education, and I’ll say thought leadership foundation, we do OQS.

[26:23] We do asset management. We do PSMS, we apply install those. When you think about that thought leadership, that’s why they reached out and grabbed us because even the cultural aspect. Put all those together, that was the package…

James:  [26:38] That’s how it started was maybe a webinar, or we did a leading people not like you webinar and they saw that and they were like, “What do you all do?”

Jim:  [26:48] You have a good idea.

James:  [26:50] A little more so, so we got in there, but good to see Bob. Such a gentle giant.

James:  [26:56] Camera‑shy apparently too. We can’t get him honestly, we’re live.

Jim:  [27:00] He’s only seven feet tall.

James:  [27:02] He just bailed out. As soon as we see, he’s out here for 20 minutes. As soon as we got up his camera, whoop. Tell everybody I said, hi.

Jim:  [27:10] He did.

Jim:  [27:10] Val is getting married.

James:  [27:12] I did, in a week.

Jim:  [27:14] Val’s getting married. Shout out to Val.

James:  [27:16] At this time, she may be married.

Jim:  [27:19] Oh, congratulations.

James:  [27:20] Congratulations now. We’ll tag in the comment. We got to get to work now. We can’t sit here and talk all day.

Jim:  [27:27] We could.

James:  [27:28] We will, but we need somebody else here, this won’t be fruitful. We’ll be back. We are back.

Jim:  [27:36] We are back and better than ever because why?

James:  [27:40] Because we have one of our good friends.

Tiffany Hopkins:  [27:41] I love being here.

James:  [27:43] You have to turn your doing around. You know why? We all do, because this helps in post‑production. If you hold it up I’d love you for it.

Tiffany:  [27:51] So that you’ll be like, “Oh, what’s her name again?”

James:  [27:51] They know you. Tiffany Hopkins is back from Shakti Engineering. I wrote your name but I wrote it phonetically.

Jim:  [28:00] Phonetically.

James:  [28:01] What do you call that? Is that what it is? How you say it.

Tiffany:  [28:06] Phonetically? Shakti.

James:  [28:04] I sent somebody and I go from Shakti, so they would understand that I wrote Shock T. You know what I’m saying? So they would understand how to say it the first time.

Jim:  [28:17] How to pronounce it.

James:  [28:19] Really into that these days.

Tiffany:  [28:20] We have the dots, the umlaut. It’s the A or Shakti.

James:  [28:22] I don’t know. I’ve never heard that.

Jim:  [28:25] Umlaut, that’s German, isn’t it?

Tiffany:  [28:27] I don’t know.

Jim:  [28:27] I think it’s German.

Tiffany:  [28:28] It’s the A.

James:  [28:28] It’s something today, didn’t we? Danny, did you know that? The two dots over…

Jim:  [28:38] The umlaut or umlaut?

James:  [28:39] Have you ever heard that in your life?

Danny:  [28:42] No.

James:  [28:43] Same.

Jim:  [28:45] We get off on tangents. Beautiful tangents but we get off of them.

James:  [28:49] Tiffany, how’s APGA going?

Tiffany:  [28:52] Awesome over here.

James:  [28:52] You like it?

Tiffany:  [28:53] I love these people so much.

James:  [28:56] We’ve said that…

Jim:  [28:57] Salt of the earth.

Tiffany:  [28:58] Oh, my gosh. Just the nicest.

James:  [29:01] Everybody shares. Everyone’s trying to learn. Let’s make the industry better. Nobody’s got some private agenda. No offense, I like private people…You know what I mean? Everybody’s here for a better cause and let’s make the industry better.

Tiffany:  [29:16] To support each other. There’s not competition necessarily, but truly our peers.

James:  [29:22] Sounds like Howard Katz. A lot of competition.

Jim:  [29:24] Freedom to fuel is like…

Tiffany:  [29:27] I saw that. Freedom to fuel…

James:  [29:30] Is getting into our…

Jim:  [29:31] All over the place. We got to watch out.

James:  [29:27] The colonel, it’s not even fair.

Jim:  [29:30] Colonel is…

James:  [29:30] What a figurehead? Now, he’s awesome. We had him on earlier. We were on the show last night and it’s awesome.

Jim:  [29:42] 40 minutes.

James:  [29:44] That’s what they said. I said, “No.”

Tiffany:  [29:45] You guys found enough to talk about in 40 minutes? It’s hard to believe.

Jim:  [29:47] We didn’t think it was 40 minutes. We thought maybe 15, 20.

James:  [29:50] I was 38 of those minutes, I think was me.

Tiffany:  [29:50] [laughs]

James:  [29:50] I always make fun of everybody being so long‑winded the worst.

Tiffany:  [29:58] We have a lot of good things to say, James.

James:  [30:01] We got a lot of stories to tell. Don’t we?

Jim:  [30:03] How we do.

James:  [30:04] Shakti world going?

Jim:  [30:05] Let’s have a story over here.

Tiffany:  [30:07] It’s amazing you guys. We have 54 employees this week.

James:  [30:10] That’s a good number.

Tiffany:  [30:11] Four short years, we’ve gone from 2 to 54. It’s been incredible.

James:  [30:15] When you hit that 50 mark, it’s a number in your head. The 50 or 51 that makes you…You got to report different things. You’re like we better begin this because we just crossed that line. Remember when we did?

Jim:  [30:29] That’s right.

James:  [30:30] That’s the thing. We hang out at 49 area for a while going, “Are we going to do this?” That’s awesome.

Jim:  [30:34] I think I was employee number 50 and they were like, “Jim, just hold on a second. Wait a few days. We’re not really…”

Tiffany:  [30:42] We’re deciding if you’re worth putting us over there.

James:  [30:45] It takes a little bit. That’s exciting.

Tiffany:  [30:48] It’s been exciting.

James:  [30:47] Everything’s going great.

Jim:  [30:50] Congratulation.

James:  [30:50] Is it busy?

Tiffany:  [30:51] We’re doing great. We really are. We’re busy. We truly are blessed. That sums it up in one word. Great staff, just the greatest, the greatest stuff.

James:  [31:01] Very good. I used for those that don’t know, Tiffany was on the show. Hasn’t aired yet. That one hasn’t aired. It’s coming up. She was on for the culture series and we talked about the importance of getting started.

[31:16] I was able to go in and steal a little nugget out of a few of our episodes and that was one of them yesterday, the importance of getting started.

[31:23] Thanks, is that what you’re saying? Thanks for gracing our PowerPoint again after the show, or before the show is a little snippet. People are about culture here.

Jim:  [31:37] They are.

James:  [31:37] It’s hard to be talking about.

Jim:  [31:39] It’s a subject though. Think about it. In years past, when did we come here and we talked about regulators, valves, infrastructure.

James:  [31:46] We still are.

Jim:  [31:48] We still are, absolutely, but the migration into the thought leadership, into all the aspects that we never talked about before but are such integral to our…

James:  [31:59] We talked about it before.

Tiffany:  [32:01] All the time.

James:  [32:01] That’s one of those that you’re either in a good culture or you’ve…I mean you’re either know the stories we’re saying because you’re living it or you have. That’s the situation you’re in. You got a good one or a bad one. Everybody has one.

[32:16] It’s easy to talk to folks and I’m just happy that people are receptive. It’s nothing new to us. It feels home to us, right?

Tiffany:  [32:24] It does. You know what I was thinking, James, is that even when you have a good culture, you can’t stop. You have to keep working on it.

James:  [32:32] Because that’s your new baseline every time, right?

Tiffany:  [32:34] Yeah, exactly. I feel like our culture is great, but we never stopped thinking about how to make it better. Because when you start trying to make it better, I feel like that’s when you start to slip.

Jim:  [32:48] People have said that before. The day that you don’t try to be better in whatever you do is the day that you quit.

James:  [32:53] Normalization…

Jim:  [32:55] It has gotten a little harder though with 54 in…

Tiffany:  [32:59] As we grow, yes. Absolutely. As time goes on, as I work from many more company, I think we go through phases where people are really desiring that interaction.

James:  [33:11] But they don’t know how to say it.

Tiffany:  [33:14] We’re always looking for new ways to help people connect and bring that.

James:  [33:19] We recently put more effort around. There were some comment and this is me thing. I don’t mind sharing. It’s not a big deal, but we had some people comment about how our office was kind of dead when you went in.

[33:33] It used to there was so much energy and now, we have different groups coming in at different times. Some people are there all the time.

[33:40] Some of us grace those halls every day, but people are like, “It’s just not the same as it was.” We really put a lot of energy to bring the office part back. To try to create that atmosphere that we always had because some of our Legacy folks were like…

[33:59] We’ve missed that stuff and it has been a shot in my arm. It’s not a fix all or anything, but it does bring a little more energy back to that, but being at some of that. If you’re 100 percent remote, what are my options? Virtual is really a lot of it and that’s a tough one. It’s a tough conversation.

Tiffany:  [34:18] We’re just being intentional about setting aside time for everybody to connect, whether it’s the Friday morning brunch club or yoga and meditation. Just so people feel together in different platforms. You can pick and choose what works best for you.

Jim:  [34:35] It’s a great way to do it to reach out. Gives lots of options.

James:  [34:40] Hey, we could talk all day. We always do. Tiffany, it’s so good to see you again.

Tiffany:  [34:45] Thank you both.

James:  [34:46] Great to be here at the APGA Live. Thank you so much.

Jim:  [34:50] Thanks, Tiffany. We appreciate it.

James:  [34:52] We’ll be back.

[34:51] We’re back. [laughs]

Jim:  [34:54] We are eloquently going through the afternoon. Eloquently.

James:  [34:58] Is it afternoon? Is this night? When does night start? 7:00?

David Love:  [35:02] I think it’s still daylight. I hadn’t seen it yet.

Jim:  [35:04] I’d say if it’s before dinner, even though this is late, this is early evening is where we are.

James:  [35:10] We’ve all been in the industry a long time, travel a long time. I was talking to someone the other day and they were…It just came up how much I’ve been traveling this year, and they were like, “Man, where have you been?” I was like…You wanted to sound cool.

[35:32] Say, “I’ve been to St. Louis, Savannah, Orlando.” You’re naming…Wow. In the back of my mind the whole time, I’m thinking never left the resort Orlando.

Jim:  [35:47] No.

James:  [35:47] Was that the Gaylord in…?

Jim:  [35:50] Yeah.

James:  [35:50] This is what I saw, was this carpet. I looked out the window one time. Savannah’s a little different. I felt like I got a little Savannah in. You know what I mean.

David:  [36:02] a minute ago.

James:  [36:03] What?

Jim:  [36:03] Really?

David:  [36:03] Yeah. Have no idea.

James:  [36:06] No idea.

David:  [36:07] Get inside. How’s the temperature? I don’t know.

James:  [36:10] No clue. About 70. It’s a little warm in here.

Jim:  [36:16] We have a lot of people.

James:  [36:17] Look at them.

Jim:  [36:18] We got a lot of people. Who do we have but our good friend, our dear friend, our long‑time friend, Mr. David Loan from Magnolia.

James:  [36:27] It’s a long time.

David:  [36:29] Oh, my God. I just want to say, thank you guys for being here. Coming to APGA and seeing everyone and having Jim and James, an award‑winning show at APGA.

Jim:  [36:41] We love APGA. This is absolutely fantastic.

James:  [36:44] This is a good group. We were here last year. I don’t know. Last year was my first year. I’ve said this many times.

Jim:  [36:54] That’s all right.

James:  [36:55] Last year was my first…

Jim:  [36:57] APGA.

James:  [36:57] For APGA.

David:  [36:58] Oh really?

James:  [36:59] Yeah. I’ve not been involved…

Jim:  [37:02] He’s a newbie.

James:  [37:02] It’s one of my favorites.

David:  [37:06] We actually had a couple of new people asking how long have you been here? It’s a good show for us. We’ve been involved for about 18 years. It’s been pretty good for us.

Jim:  [37:16] It’s fantastic. Fantastic people.

James:  [37:20] If you look around, we can see it and our audience can see it. There’s so many little groups of people that are just sharing ideas and talking through it. It’s what so many people have said the amount of learning from each other that goes on at APGA is different.

David:  [37:39] Aaron and the staff too, it’s such a great job of putting an agenda together. I said on a lot of sessions and maybe missed a little booth time, we won’t tell everybody.

Jim:  [37:50] No, no.

James:  [37:51] Don’t tell our bosses.

Jim:  [37:52] It will not go out.

David:  [37:53] It’s more…

Jim:  [37:54] You do.

David:  [37:55] Thank you. Feeling small.

Jim:  [37:56] You go to this and you pick up things. If they’re not applicable to me, they may be applicable to you or to Joe or to Peter or to somebody else. That’s my mantra, is that if I could pass one thing to one person to help them in their life be better, more productive, safer, we’ve done our job.

David:  [38:20] The stories that were shared. Even problems of participants about something they’ve been dealing with that the instructor or the teacher’s talking about it, you learn from those too. Shared experience, it’s good. Yeah.

James:  [38:36] Bob, it’s been a good one. Catch any awesome sessions today or over the week that just stood out to you?

David:  [38:44] PSMS, winding the pipe…

Jim:  [38:47] That was interesting.

David:  [38:48] Seeing that in the southeast a lot so along an experience.

James:  [38:52] Good stuff.

Jim:  [38:55] What about Magnolia River?

James:  [38:57] Yeah, what’s going on?

Jim:  [38:58] What’s going on?

James:  [39:00] How’s Summer Cole? Can you tell us? How’s Summer doing?

David:  [39:04] Summer…

James:  [39:04] We’re watching.

David:  [39:06] What’s her last name?

Jim:  [39:06] Shower?

David:  [39:06] Yeah. She’s doing a fantastic job. Have to feed these pictures back to her pretty regular. She lets me know if I needed to move over, but…

James:  [39:17] She’s really particular.

David:  [39:18] Very good instructor there too.

Jim:  [39:21] She’s a hoot.

David:  [39:22] We’re still growing, working on a few things that’s exciting for our services and really just enjoying being fully involved with all the different trade shows now, every week.

Jim:  [39:37] That’s great.

David:  [39:39] We really appreciate the opportunity to be with you guys.

Jim:  [39:41] My friend, as I say, every time we’re together, it’s a good time. I’m telling you. Absolutely. I’m blessed that Holly. We’re blessed…

James:  [39:48] One of my favorites.

Jim:  [39:49] Absolutely. David Love.

James:  [39:51] All right. Hey, we’ll be back.

Jim:  [39:53] James, we are back.

James:  [39:55] We are, just like that.

Jim:  [39:56] We were actually able to grab Kim from Magnolia River. She just comes off stage.

James:  [40:03] She was mobbed.

Jim:  [40:04] She’s mobbed.

James:  [40:05] After her session. We had to wait in line and then you’re like get right on here.

Kim Weaver:  [40:09] Giving out my grabs.

James:  [40:13] This line of people back here are all waiting to talk.

Jim:  [40:16] Who got first dibs?

James:  [40:17] We did. We got the scope. How’d it go?

Jim:  [40:20] Introduce yourself please.

James:  [40:21] I’m sorry. We just act like that.

Kim:  [40:23] Sure. I’m Kim Weaver with Magnolia River Services.

Jim:  [40:26] We know you well. We know Magnolia well.

Kim:  [40:29] I have been with Magnolia about 10 months, but I have about 25 years of experience in the industry. One of the first things that came into play when I started with Magnolia River were the PHMSA grant applications.

Jim:  [40:44] Lean in a little bit because that was your presentation. I tell you, you were a packed house in there. You had the…

James:  [40:50] Our audience has heard of that before a little bit because we had Stuart Saulters on the talk about it a while back, but please give us a flow over.

Kim:  [40:58] The PHMSA grant application is an opportunity for public gas systems only, and that’s a municipality, a gas district, utility commission, anything that is governed by city council of elected officials.

[41:19] This grant opportunity for them is to replace, rehabilitate, or repair leak chrome pipe, natural gas pipelines that are in the ground.

[41:31] There are varying ways that can be done, but it primarily is cast iron and bare steel, but could also be some plastic. It also doesn’t include the opportunity for getting equipment to help you reduce methane emissions.

Jim:  [41:50] Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s a billion dollars, you said? It’s a billion dollar total fund like 250 million a year that’s available or what’s that?

Kim:  [42:00] There’s 200 million available per year.

Jim:  [42:02] 200 million per year, yeah.

Kim:  [42:05] For the first year, $196 million are eligible to be awarded. They got $2.1 billion of applications.

Jim:  [42:17] Oh wow. OK.

Kim:  [42:20] 179 applicants with 400 unique projects.

Jim:  [42:26] That’s impressive.

Kim:  [42:28] That’s huge. There was a question in the beginning of whether or not public systems really needed this money. I think the need is very apparent with that kind of money.

James:  [42:39] That’s amazing. I think we did that because we had Stuart on the show and promoted it. That was probably us.

Kim:  [42:45] I bet it was.

James:  [42:46] We want to. I’m kidding. What a great program. Get a response in there? Did you have a lot of questions? A lot of interactions? People seemed…

Kim:  [42:53] We had some questions. There’s still a lot of unknowns because the provisional awards have not been given out yet. We really don’t know yet what we’re going to learn. Everything we’re going to learn from these. We’re still waiting to see.

James:  [43:06] Very nice. Kim, congratulations on your session.

Kim:  [43:10] Thank you.

Jim:  [43:10] Thank you.

Kim:  [43:12] Thanks.

James:  [43:12] We better let you get to your fans. Thanks for joining us. We’ll be right back.

Kim:  [43:17] Thanks.

Ted Peet:  [43:18] [laughs] What’s happening?

James:  [43:17] That was live.

Ted:  [43:23] That was live?

James:  [43:24] Yeah, we do cold opens now. We quit. We’re just start talking.

Jim:  [43:29] We’re having fun.

Ted:  [43:31] You get to do cold opening?

James:  [43:32] No, I’m a big fan of cold opens. I always have. “Saturday Night Live.” I don’t want to know, I just want to go.

Jim:  [43:40] We’re having fun now. We’re here.

James:  [43:43] It’s one of my biggest thing.

Ted:  [43:44] name badges on, I don’t.

James:  [43:46] I’m still James Cross, but I’ve started to do it as present. I’m such a stickler about it. One of my big pet peeves is when people go, “Today, we will be talking about XYZ.”

Ted:  [44:00] Oh, my God. Listen. Or the PowerPoints that have more writing on them than there is visual aid and you can’t read it and then if it’s on there, they just read it word for word. That is the single worst presentation of all time.

James:  [44:14] We have two rules. One is that. The second is you can’t read your slide.

Ted:  [44:20] I agree, wholeheartedly.

James:  [44:20] You don’t read slides.

Jim:  [44:23] Slide just supports the concept.

James:  [44:28] We started cold opening for presentation. We’re all smart people. We know what’s going on. You don’t have to tell me there’s a presentation. You don’t have to tell me that you’re ending this or starting it. I’m really smart. You smart?

Ted:  [44:42] Yeah. You figure it out right there.

James:  [44:44] You know how a podcast work?

Jim:  [44:44] We are going to begin the podcast now.

Ted:  [44:47] I’ve heard about it. I’ve heard about this thing called podcasting.

Jim:  [44:49] Ted Peet, UPSCO.

James:  [44:50] Did we spend an hour and half of our freedom of fuel yesterday between our two shows?

Ted:  [44:57] Yeah. Between the two shows begin.

James:  [45:00] Holy cow. That would be the last time he invites us so.

Ted:  [45:02] The colonel goes, “I lost control of the show.”

James:  [45:05] It happens.

Ted:  [45:06] Colonel was like, “Oh, we’re going to wrap it up,” and Todd was like, “I’m not done asking questions.”

James:  [45:12] I know.

Ted:  [45:13] He shut them down.

James:  [45:14] They did. They’re going to start adding a segment at the last two questions from Todd.

Jim:  [45:21] The colonel was like, “OK, let’s keep it going.”

Ted:  [45:23] Keep it rolling.

Jim:  [45:25] The lights are going out.

Ted:  [45:28] I owe these two gentlemen a debt of gratitude because the colonel and I met at EWN Con. Him and I have become extremely close since then.

James:  [45:37] That’s great. He talks very highly on you.

Ted:  [45:40] He’s a good liar. He’s a good liar.

James:  [45:42] What is that light? Hang in there. I’m going to fix it. Don’t go.

Ted:  [45:45] Again, I can. I’m a little bit clump.

Jim:  [45:48] I’m very clump, too.

Ted:  [45:50] Don’t be clump.

Jim:  [45:51] Sheila, give me a…

Ted:  [45:48] [laughs] The colonel though, he was amazing.

Jim:  [45:50] He’s absolutely fantastic.

Ted:  [45:57] Then he jumped into our world which is this.

James:  [46:01] You know he’s going to win, right?

Ted:  [46:02] Yeah.

James:  [46:03] They all said, “Well, you are our number one and we’re chasing…” I was like, “Listen, man.” You all know nothing.

Jim:  [46:10] Colonel has a presence.

Ted:  [46:12] Oh, he’s awesome.

James:  [46:15] He earned it. That’s so true. Have a blast. Get ready.

Ted:  [46:21] This is not a great show though. What do you guys think?

Jim:  [46:22] One of my favorites.

Ted:  [46:25] One of your favorites?

Jim:  [46:26] Absolutely. One of my favorites.

James:  [46:28] I love this group but seriously from a…We’re here for a reason, right?

Ted:  [46:33] Yeah.

James:  [46:33] From a self‑perspective, the industry is buzzing in our world. People are looking for change. They’re looking for the real deal. Here we are.

Jim:  [46:45] It’s happening.

James:  [46:46] That’s been positive.

Jim:  [46:47] All throughout the day.

James:  [46:48] Coming out of the pandemic, some of that was like, people poking around, looking around.

Ted:  [46:54] Dipping their toe back in.

James:  [46:55] Now everybody was out and now, I think we’re getting a little bit back to maybe what it was like before.

Jim:  [47:02] I think you’re right.

Ted:  [47:03] This is my first attended.

James:  [47:05] Oh really?

Ted:  [47:05] Yes. I’m in New York. This doesn’t really fit my customer base a whole lot, but one of the things we did it UPSCO was Joe and Chad, myself decided we’re going to help introduce that change that you’re talking about. The only way we can have that influence is to join these committees at these associations.

[47:24] Joe, Chad, myself, we’ve all joined multiple committees and multiple different agencies so we can be involved in helping introduce those kind of changes, the things that are coming into the industry that affect us and will affect our customer and client base.

[47:40] We’ll build a relationship with the people who can change the laws. That’s the plan.

James:  [47:44] That’s the leadership, right?

Ted:  [47:45] That is.

James:  [47:45] That’s what we talk about is being…We’re big on it too. You’re going to do the work and you can complain about it. You can gripe about it and we all do. At the end of the day, you get involved, you become part of the solution, and that’s exactly right.

Jim:  [48:06] There’s a seat at the table. You always sat.

Ted:  [48:09] We’re getting a guest appearance from Connections for Life co‑host, Joe Serrett.

James:  [48:14] You better get him.

Joe Serrett:  [48:15] They don’t need to hear what I’m saying.

Ted:  [48:13] We know.

Jim:  [48:19] I’m scared right now.

Ted:  [48:21] You should be.

James:  [48:22] We just spoke him into existence.

Joe:  [48:23] Why? You were talking about me?

Jim:  [48:25] We were talking about you.

James:  [48:27] Singing the praises.

Joe:  [48:27] Question. Just so you guys know. Teddy’s my fantasy football Guru.

Ted:  [48:34] I am. I do.

Joe:  [48:35] My team.

Ted:  [48:36] I’m his general manager.

Joe:  [48:37] Cooper just got put on questionable. Is that…?

Ted:  [48:39] Leave him there. He’s fine.

Joe:  [48:41] That’s all I needed to know.

Ted:  [48:43] He’s not going anywhere. You’re good.

Joe:  [48:42] I’ll let you guys get back.

James:  [48:43] Thanks, Joe.

Jim:  [48:44] Thank you.

James:  [48:44] Thanks for the appearance.

Joe:  [48:46] Keep up the good work. I’m proud of you.

Ted:  [48:45] Thank you.

James:  [48:49] It’s a funny thing. I’ll tell the story I remember. When I was…

Jim:  [48:53] He mess me up.

James:  [48:55] Let’s say I was 24‑ish. Last year. I ran a fantasy football blog back in the day before it was cool. I owned and I sold it to a guy in New York when I was a little kid.

Jim:  [49:18] How much did you sell it for?

James:  [49:20] Very little. I sold the website. I would go on there every Thursday and I make my picks and I would put them out. I had such a follower, it was crazy. When you search fantasy football blog, I was number one.

Jim:  [49:35] You’re talking 20 years ago. Approximately. Give or take 18.

James:  [49:39] 15 years ago.

Jim:  [49:41] That was big back then.

James:  [49:42] I know. I was pumped. I was so proud.

Ted:  [49:44] I’ve been playing fantasy football since 2005 and I’ve gotten to where I’ve developed my game from your traditional leads kind of stuff. I’m in a dominant dynasty now. It’s called Empire and this Empire is something different.

[50:01] It’s brought me to a whole new level of seasonal leagues. I didn’t even pay attention to him because it doesn’t give me any thrills. It’s not cool. I’m planning draft picks, I’m playing…

James:  [50:09] People cars go by, like what? What are you talking about? I retired this year. No lie. I know it’s crazy. I know it sounds crazy but…

Jim:  [50:16] Why? Why did you retire?

James:  [50:19] I commit my life. It’s crazy.

Ted:  [50:21] It’s hard.

James:  [50:22] Anywhere you end, you end up being a multiple. It just happens. I feel good.

Ted:  [50:28] I’m in for.

James:  [50:29] Keeping those are expensive.

Ted:  [50:27] Oh my gosh.

James:  [50:29] Their commitment is…If you’re not working the wire and doing the work. You know what I’m saying.

Jim:  [50:34] I had no idea. I really had no idea. I thought it was just fun.

James:  [50:39] I sold my team. I’m retired. I was like, “I can’t do it anymore.”

Jim:  [50:42] You sell a fantasy football team?

Ted:  [50:44] If I win my Empire, all right, Jimmy? The Empire you have to win twice. Somebody has to win the league twice for it to be over. How it works is everybody puts in $300 at the beginning of the season every year. Half the pot gets paid out, the other half builds.

[51:02] When the winner, the first guy to win it twice gets the Empire pot. Right now, it’s got $7,600 in it. I win the Empire pot and I won…

James:  [51:12] 3,600.

Ted:  [51:13] Yes, $3,600. $7,600. I won last year. I won the Empire last year.

James:  [51:19] Oh, you do?

Ted:  [51:19] I did. I’m the only person who has a shot at winning it this year.

James:  [51:23] You mean the first part, the first leg.

Ted:  [51:24] I won the first leg, yeah. The guy who won the year before left the league and sold his team. There’s two years of money in there. Three now and I’m the only guy in the league who’s got a crack at winning it this year.

Jim:  [51:35] Wait. You win in twice or back‑to‑back?

Ted:  [51:37] Twice.

Jim:  [51:38] That’s it.

Ted:  [51:39] Because back‑to‑back’s hard. That directs really, really hard.

James:  [51:42] Oh, so it’s not…

Ted:  [51:42] It’s not back‑to‑back, no. I just have to win it twice.

James:  [51:46] I thought it was going to build forever.

Ted:  [51:46] No. That rules put in place like I cannot…Hey, there…

[51:50] [crosstalk]

James:  [51:52] We should have wish for something better.

Jim:  [51:55] You can rub that shirt for good luck.

Ted:  [52:01] Because I won, I can’t trade draft picks for three years because if you…

James:  [52:07] You don’t want this. You don’t want to ruin.

Ted:  [52:11] I can’t trade draft picks. I flip my whole roster.

Jim:  [52:14] This is a science.

James:  [52:16] You didn’t even know this exists?

Jim:  [52:17] No. I had no idea.

James:  [52:18] First, the screen. The first time I play fantasy football, I was 15 years old. I played it in a paper. I cut it out. Fill that my lineup. It was draft your best team for the week. As a 15‑year‑old, I won the big paper.

Jim:  [52:34] What did you do with that piece of paper?

James:  [52:37] I won.

Jim:  [52:38] What did you do with it?

Ted:  [52:38] You mailed it in the newspapers.

James:  [52:39] I am not lying.

Ted:  [52:42] There was a job at the newspaper that was literally collecting these sheets, filing them, and seeing who won.

James:  [52:51] Then I won it. I was like, “Whoa.”

Jim:  [52:53] Am I still?

Ted:  [52:54] We are off track. The train is off the tracks on this one.

James:  [52:59] This is how we know each.

Ted:  [53:00] That’s it.

James:  [53:01] It sounds silly, but someday we’ll laugh about fantasy football again in the future. This is how it begins. We’re in the air, we’re talking to so and so. It is fancy football. Then it’s like, “What do you do? What do you do for a living?”

Ted:  [53:17] Relationships. People do business with who they like. All I want to do is help you guys achieve your dreams. If I can support you in one way, that’s it.

James:  [53:21] That’s how close we are.

Jim:  [53:23] You guys have spoken the gospel.

James:  [53:25] Next time, what would you say to Teddy next time? Did you win?

Jim:  [53:33] I had a fantasy team one time.

Ted:  [53:34] No. Not the type. We can’t talk about that on air.

James:  [53:38] Stop.

Ted:  [53:37] James, you’re supposed to…Give it the leg. Guys, thank you so…

James:  [53:43] I don’t even know what we just did.

Ted:  [53:46] We just did it…I don’t know. We’ll slide it off. Here we go.

James:  [53:48] We educated him on fantasy football and the whole industry.

Ted:  [53:54] Listen, and now I am available for tips and other things.

James:  [53:58] Just go to

Ted:  [54:00] Not anymore.

James:  [54:02] You don’t want to bought it?

Ted:  [54:04] Hit me up on Instagram. I’ll give you your advice, and I’ll my cash app handle will be in the bio.

James:  [54:10] That’s a lot. We’ll be back.

Ted:  [54:12] Bye, guys.

Jim:  [54:13] See you.

[54:14] [music]

Transcription by WatchingWords