Live @ Distribution Contractor Association pt. 2 – Coffee with Jim and James Episode 174

Episode 174 March 20, 2024 00:57:54
Live @ Distribution Contractor Association pt. 2 – Coffee with Jim and James Episode 174
Coffee With Jim & James
Live @ Distribution Contractor Association pt. 2 – Coffee with Jim and James Episode 174

Mar 20 2024 | 00:57:54

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Hosted By

James Cross Jim Schauer

Show Notes

The Distribution Contractor Association part 2 episode is here! Listen along as we highlight some of our favorite guests.

Follow along with some of these special guests as they make an impact in our industry.

Sarah Mahlik- TT Technologies

Elizabeth Michels- Michels

Mike James - ISCO

Laura Mason -Caterpillar

Sam Ariaratnam -Arizona State University & GPAC

Randy Rupp -Ditch Witch

Randy Bunch -Eastern Services

Alan Goodman -Hammerhead Trenchless

 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Junners, we're good. [00:00:24] Speaker B: People are exercising in the morning. We should start exercising. [00:00:27] Speaker A: We missed a fun run. We had to work. [00:00:32] Speaker B: Okay, that's enough. Everybody's taking easy. [00:00:34] Speaker A: Heart rates up. [00:00:35] Speaker B: Slow down. [00:00:35] Speaker A: You might notice that we're matching today we did a thing on Jim. He thought that they were going to have my face on it, and instead they had everyone's face on it. [00:00:48] Speaker B: Joke was on me today. Even planned out my shorts to match James's shirt. [00:00:54] Speaker A: Crushed it. Long day today. Recording, already on the books. [00:00:58] Speaker B: Day three, day two, day two, three. [00:01:01] Speaker A: Always a fight. And then what we have. Claim your seat at the table this. [00:01:07] Speaker B: Afternoon on the safety committee speaking. [00:01:09] Speaker A: We love doing that topic. Very topical, very timely for this group. A lot of people brought that up. We're going to have fun luau tonight. [00:01:17] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:01:20] Speaker A: One word. [00:01:21] Speaker B: One word for what? [00:01:22] Speaker A: I don't know. Today. [00:01:25] Speaker B: Engaging. That's my word for the day. [00:01:28] Speaker C: Memorable. [00:01:29] Speaker A: I like it. [00:01:31] Speaker B: James, your word for the day. [00:01:33] Speaker A: Coffee. There'll be a lot of coffee. Well, one after another. Now on a roll. [00:01:40] Speaker B: You know what it is, though, I can tell you right now is that the folks out in the audience can't see it, but it looks like we're looking at the camera, but we're not. We're looking at the ocean. [00:01:48] Speaker A: We're looking at the wells jump. It's not very often you get to do a podcast and you're looking through and a well just breaches. [00:01:55] Speaker B: And again, no windows. We're talking open concept walls here. [00:02:00] Speaker A: Weather has been beautiful. Sarah stood us up on day one. Let's just address the. I'm kidding. We were hiding. We kind of moved and they kept shipping us. [00:02:11] Speaker B: No, we had our spot. Then all of a sudden Becky said, this really wouldn't work well for you later. And so then we started to move and then. [00:02:20] Speaker A: We're so much better now, though. [00:02:22] Speaker D: Yeah, this is a great spot. [00:02:23] Speaker A: I mean, this is the place. [00:02:24] Speaker B: Oh, this is absolutely mean. Is it any more relaxing? Look at the palm trees in the ocean. The blue ocean with the waves to make you relax before getting on a podcast. [00:02:33] Speaker D: Exactly. [00:02:33] Speaker A: Best one ever. [00:02:34] Speaker B: It calms me down. [00:02:36] Speaker A: Sarah, for those that don't know you, do us a Favor. Introduce yourself to the people back home and who you are. [00:02:40] Speaker D: Hi, everybody, my name is Sarah Malik. I'm with TT technologies. We're a manufacturer of underground, trenchless equipment. And I'm the national sales manager for Nice. [00:02:51] Speaker A: Nice. I was speaking with. Was it the owners? [00:02:54] Speaker D: Chris Braylor? [00:02:55] Speaker A: Yeah, and his wife yesterday. Are they from Minnesota? [00:02:59] Speaker D: They were originally, but now they're in. [00:03:04] Speaker A: Good memory. You got to talk to Sarah. And I was, like, on our list. [00:03:08] Speaker D: Okay. [00:03:09] Speaker A: So no pressure. Okay, no pressure. No, they wouldn't. Come on. They said we have. [00:03:13] Speaker D: Oh, okay. [00:03:14] Speaker A: So no pressure. [00:03:15] Speaker D: Thanks, Christopher. [00:03:15] Speaker A: Gina. We are live at DCA here in Hawaii this week. How long have you been involved with DCA? [00:03:24] Speaker D: I actually started coming to DCA as a kid, so I was, like, nine years old. [00:03:28] Speaker B: Okay, unpack this for us. There's an origin story here we want to hear. How did that begin? [00:03:32] Speaker D: So my family has been in the industry, so I came as a kid and grew up coming here as a kid, and it's kind of come full circle, which is really neat, because some of the people, like Elizabeth, who you just talked to, have known, know, obviously I'm older, but, like, since we were little kids, and I remember running around and going to these dinners at night and events, and then obviously there was a few years I went off to college and did my own thing, but then I came back into the industry about nine years ago. [00:03:57] Speaker B: That's fantastic. [00:03:59] Speaker A: I love that we learned with Elizabeth. She was like, yeah, we had a whole squad. [00:04:03] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:04:04] Speaker B: They had friends that met up every year, type of thing we did. [00:04:08] Speaker D: The mid year event was like our summer vacation every year, three days. And then we would turn it, stay a couple extra days, and we got to go to all these neat places and see the same kids, and we really looked forward to it. [00:04:20] Speaker A: So, growing up in and around DCA, you've obviously seen the value that it brings, not only to contractors, obviously, but to the industry as a whole. You want to speak on that a little bit of how valuable this association is? [00:04:34] Speaker D: Yes. I mean, DCA is an organization truly unlike anything else I've ever experienced. It's like the premier underground contractors associations in the United States. Some of them are large, some of them are small, but they're all very involved. And it's also a really family oriented organization. So they encourage you to bring your partner or your spouse and your kids, and they really try to make it work for the whole family. But it's really a place to come together. It's not about selling. It's about relationships and education. And you don't really talk shop here. You get to know people solely over time. [00:05:11] Speaker A: Sure. [00:05:12] Speaker D: And then you build trust. And then maybe down the road, you say, can I? [00:05:15] Speaker B: When Anita rises, then they know who to call. [00:05:18] Speaker A: I got to go or go. [00:05:20] Speaker B: It really is the Keystone cornerstone of our industry. Those relationships you want to talk to and learn from or do business with people that, you know, trust and, like you said, respect and have that relationship with. [00:05:34] Speaker D: Yeah, absolutely. And like, our company is smaller and we have competitors here, but we don't compete across all product lines. So people might come to us or they might need a larger drill, and then I'll say, well, we don't make that, but I have a contact at Vermeer or Ditchwich, and I'll help you. [00:05:48] Speaker B: Find your, that's, I love that aspect. [00:05:52] Speaker A: That abundance mentality that we talk about all the great, know we're all stakeholders in this industry, and when we can lay down our arms in moments like this, because really, this is where we raise the bar for our industry, is in these moments, in these rooms, in the committees and the board meetings and things like that is where the magic happens behind the scenes. [00:06:13] Speaker B: Agreed. We are asking folks to give your opinion because we know that there's a lot in the audience right now that may know about the DCA. They may be saying, we thought about joining, or we've heard of it and we're a small contractor or maybe medium sized, and they probably might be on the fence. Anything that you would like to say to them to encourage them to actually take that next step and come actually check out becoming a member of the DCA? [00:06:41] Speaker D: Yes. I think whether you're an associate or a contractor, it's a great way to get your company's name out there and to meet people in the field who you can work with in the future. It's not an inexpensive organization to belong to, but I think the ROI is definitely there. And if you tend to send the same people, you get to see the same people in the annual, the mid year, the fall event. And I think it's really worth the time and energy to do it. [00:07:12] Speaker A: Being involved as long as you have. Since you were young, you've probably seen some of the initiatives that have come out of the DCA almost from their genesis all the way through to now. Full programs and initiatives like the leadership program, things like that. Are there any of those moments or memories that you have of initiatives or things that have kind of moved through as you've went through? [00:07:37] Speaker D: Yes. Recently. Last June, I participated in the DCA fly, in which you can volunteer to go and you go to DC and you go to Capitol Hill, and then you get to meet with senators or their staff and then get a few minutes with them to talk to them about natural gas distribution, what is trenchless applications and machinery all about, and kind of educate them and then answer their questions that they might have so they can go back with a little bit more knowledge on our industry when they have to speak or vote on a bill. [00:08:04] Speaker B: A lot of respect for that. I also learned about that initiative that was going on here, and I think you and I talked about it, that this is great, that we are sending industry experts to help educate and let them be more knowledgeable. The folks that are voting on laws or something that could really definitely affect our industry, at least they are consciously competent as to what they're talking about or voting on. [00:08:25] Speaker A: So you actually went to DC for that? [00:08:29] Speaker D: Yeah, we had a really nice group of people, a pack, two days. It was a great experience to do that. We learned a lot and I think hopefully they learned a lot of. It's great. [00:08:39] Speaker B: Now let's share an event. [00:08:40] Speaker A: That's a perfect example. [00:08:41] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:08:41] Speaker A: Well, Sarah, thank you. Thank you for stopping by. You did amazing. [00:08:49] Speaker D: Thank you. Thank you so much. I can't wait to talk to you. [00:08:53] Speaker A: Hey, we'll be back. Michaels. Well, I didn't the Michaels one of them. What's that like? [00:09:02] Speaker C: Oh, super fun. [00:09:05] Speaker A: You got to live up to a certain standard as a Michaels. [00:09:09] Speaker C: Well, yeah, I mean, I am the first woman in my family who's actually worked at the company, so that's been an interesting ride to kind of figure out. But, yeah, I don't know. It's fun. [00:09:22] Speaker A: That's awesome. [00:09:22] Speaker B: Yeah, it keeps you busy. That's really cool. [00:09:25] Speaker A: So let's get into it. Let's get into it like we're professional podcasts. [00:09:30] Speaker B: Should we have Elizabeth introduce yourself? So we have it a little official. Please introduce yourself to the audience. [00:09:35] Speaker A: This is your moment. [00:09:36] Speaker C: First podcast, you said this is my first podcast. [00:09:38] Speaker A: It's our first one, too, yeah. [00:09:40] Speaker C: Good. Well, then I don't feel as. [00:09:42] Speaker B: No, no, not at all. [00:09:44] Speaker D: Good. [00:09:45] Speaker C: So, yeah, no. I'm Elizabeth Michaels. I'm a third generation attendee of DCA and a third generation family member of Michaels Corporation. I've been coming to DCA since I was two months old. Before that, my parents have been coming to DCA their entire lives. DCA was where they honeymooned in Hawaii about 30 years ago, actually. [00:10:06] Speaker B: Really? [00:10:07] Speaker C: Yeah. This is about 30 years to the day. They were here for their honeymoon. So it's definitely a family affair. And my grandpa Dale, he was an early adopter with DCA as well. He joined in the. It's just been something that my entire family has been just, I don't know, really coming to. Building a lot of relationships with. For a lot of know, we're one of the few family owned and operated companies left attending DCA. But there's still a lot of memories with everyone that we have here. [00:10:38] Speaker A: No doubt. [00:10:39] Speaker B: Yeah, fantastic. [00:10:40] Speaker A: We have worked with Michael's for a long time, so we definitely understand that. And what a legacy. That's so cool to be sitting here talking and that much history in this. [00:10:52] Speaker B: And, you know, the part that goes into my head right now is that you mentioned you were here at two months old and probably years and years and years growing up, and we were talking about the relationships that are formed here at the DCA, not just with people in the industry, but also, like, James and his family are here and they're meeting folks. Quick question for you. During those younger years, did you build friendships here that were part of, like, every year you're like, I'm going to be back at the DCA where I can see blank. [00:11:19] Speaker A: Such and such have like a crew. Like a squad. [00:11:23] Speaker C: We did DCA. We were really close with the Darden family, Robin, Sherry's kids and Andrew. [00:11:31] Speaker B: Yes, we know Andrew. [00:11:32] Speaker A: Andrew worked with us closely for two or three years. [00:11:35] Speaker C: Andrew's awesome. [00:11:36] Speaker A: He's a good place in my heart. [00:11:37] Speaker C: Yeah, him and Ashley were great. Really close with us growing up. And then the Solomon kids, Bill and Christie Solomon's family, that was kind of our crew, and we were always looking to see who's going to be there. Are we going to go to DCA? And that's when I was 8910, twelve years old. But now coming back as an actual attending member of DCA. Participating member of DCA. It's kind of interesting because Mr. And Mrs. Solomon have become just Bill and Christie, so to kind of graduate to that next level with them, but it has been fun. But they're also looking at how are they going to engage their next generation, too. So it's fun to see people come back in a real capacity. [00:12:18] Speaker A: Well, I can speak to that. I was blessed to be able to bring my family this year. And being first timers, you can definitely see that being a big part of this event. And like you said, the multiple generations, it's not a new thing. It's been here for a while. Really neat. Also, there's a lot of business that happens here just down this hall. There's committee meetings and board meetings. And as the week kind of gets started, what's some of the business that you see going on here? [00:12:47] Speaker C: Well, there's business done in the boardrooms. There's business done at the bar, at the beach. At the beach and at the bar and in the hallways, informally. [00:12:57] Speaker A: Golf course. [00:12:57] Speaker C: At the golf course. And everyone is really great because whether or not someone's quote unquote competitor of yours, you don't treat anyone differently. Right. Everyone is really kind, welcoming. They're excited to see younger members joining the organization as well. So no one's been anything but kind and helped mentor me into this next generation of DCA. So, yeah, it's been a really eventful week here, actually, there's a lot more people at DCA than I thought would make the trip out to Hawaii, which is an awesome thing to see. So, yeah, it's been, I'd say, fairly successful so far. [00:13:32] Speaker B: Yeah. No, I would agree. And I love the idea that you hit on the idea of mentorship with the next generations, too. My daughter is, I think that's number fifth five generations in my family associated with the energy industry, from the oil patch of Oklahoma on down. And the mentorship, the things that we can share with that generation. And it's nice here because I know you just said the open communication, I'm sure a lot of people know, having just conversations about our industry and the awareness of this. And again, as you said, too, things don't end at 05:00 so to speak. These conversations happen. I mean, they do. [00:14:06] Speaker A: It don't matter what time phone you're on. Sometimes they start at 05:00 well, our. [00:14:12] Speaker B: Industry is at nine to five. We're twenty four seven. And our conversations happen 24/7 so they could happen at the beach, at the bar, or whatever. And that's a positive thing. [00:14:22] Speaker C: No, it's really great because you can just catch anybody, and the name tags are helpful. So if you haven't seen someone in two or three years, you're like, oh, James, Jim, how are you guys? And it kind of brings you back. So everyone know, whether they're first timers or have been here for so long, everyone's just trying to get to know each other still. [00:14:41] Speaker A: Elizabeth, can we ask you one question? Because we're trying to motivate other people maybe, that haven't been here, number one, or not involved with DCA. What's one thing that you would say to them that might kind of urge them to come our way? [00:14:56] Speaker C: DCA is really unlike any other organization. It's not stuffy and it's not overly formal. It's really know. It takes a little bit to kind know, get comfortable with the different type of organization that it is, but the work that it does for the industry, I think, is unparalleled. Right. It's great. Because it's not about Michaels or Miller or anything like that. It's about the gas distribution industry. And how can we all just hold up that industry and make it as, I don't know, world class as we can support it, bring it into that next generation? And we've done a lot of really good work so far with workforce development, too. So a lot of our early work, probably 1012 years ago, was starting to talk about getting more kids into the trade schools. And you're really seeing the fruits of that now happen. Yes. So early work that we put in a while ago is starting to really come to reality. And so I'm really proud of everything that's been done. [00:15:57] Speaker A: Cool. [00:15:58] Speaker B: So that's awesome. [00:16:00] Speaker A: One last question, and we've been sneaking this in just at the end and you've kind of grown up in it, so I'll be interested to hear your answer. The staff here at DCA, amazing. I mean, top to bottom, the attention to detail, to the way it's ran, the experience that it really is. What would you say about all that? [00:16:20] Speaker C: Oh, my gosh. I will sing Terry's praises. She is. [00:16:25] Speaker A: All the emails. [00:16:26] Speaker C: Oh, my goodness. [00:16:27] Speaker A: She keeps me. She's like my personal assistant this week. [00:16:29] Speaker B: Every day, every day, we're alerted to what's going on. Yeah. [00:16:32] Speaker C: She ringleads this operation in a way that I think a lot of people don't realize. And if you're not sitting on committees or an active member in some capacity, you don't understand how much work is going on behind the scenes. Everything is, you know, break. Everything is timed out perfectly. [00:16:49] Speaker A: It's all in Becky's three ring. [00:16:51] Speaker C: It is. It really, really is. [00:16:54] Speaker A: You're not on it. You're not on it. [00:16:56] Speaker C: There are edits being made to know 3 seconds before you go up there. Exactly. [00:17:01] Speaker A: It's amazing. We joke about it, but it's true. And you can see it in how well this is running. [00:17:06] Speaker C: Yeah, no, it's not an easy feat, but they do an awesome job and they do it multiple times a year. [00:17:10] Speaker B: And it comes off flawlessly and it looks perfect and it looks like, oh, there's no effort because everything just runs smoothly. [00:17:15] Speaker C: Right. [00:17:16] Speaker B: But when you see the. [00:17:17] Speaker A: That's when you know it's special. And a lot of people don't realize that the moment, even before, but the moment this closes, the next one begins planning wise. Right. And long before, but it never ends. [00:17:30] Speaker C: If you go on the website, you will see we're booked out for the next five or six years right now. So you know where you're going to go. [00:17:37] Speaker B: That's awesome. Yeah. [00:17:39] Speaker A: Thank you so much for joining us. [00:17:41] Speaker B: Thank you so much. [00:17:42] Speaker A: You can hardly even tell. You haven't been on a podcast now. [00:17:46] Speaker B: You'Re a seasoned professional. [00:17:48] Speaker C: Keep it coming. [00:17:50] Speaker A: We'll be back. [00:17:51] Speaker B: Thanks. Okay. [00:17:53] Speaker E: Fired up. [00:17:54] Speaker A: We'll do it. [00:17:54] Speaker E: How many questions we got? [00:17:55] Speaker A: Just a hand. 74 questions. [00:17:57] Speaker B: Good. [00:17:58] Speaker A: It's a three part series. [00:17:59] Speaker E: I'm used to 80, but that's right. [00:18:00] Speaker A: Okay. Mike came back by earlier. Was that yesterday? The day before? Day before. And he said, hey, you're a big green egg guy. So if you think people don't read your title on LinkedIn, that's your elevator pitch of all. And if you tell me that what you sell in it, first thing and only thing, I'm probably not going to look any further. Right. [00:18:25] Speaker B: You want to know what people really do? Is that what you're saying? [00:18:28] Speaker A: And so you had one chance. And look at that. Retained it. [00:18:31] Speaker E: Totally retained. That's exactly right. [00:18:33] Speaker A: Take that LinkedIn. [00:18:34] Speaker E: I saw yours and I went, I. [00:18:36] Speaker B: Don'T know what he does. Yeah. [00:18:38] Speaker A: You know what's funny? If he would have led with big green egg, you would have been the one to sit down with both of us, because he's a big green egg guy. [00:18:45] Speaker E: Also, he's got the big green egg color going well. [00:18:47] Speaker B: Yeah. And I have. Tammy bought me one for, I think it was last year, and I've been playing with it. It's an art. It is a passion and a purpose, and I do enjoy it, but I'm definitely in the novice because having, let's just say, a dozen to 20 burns under my belt. I haven't even scratched the surface. [00:19:06] Speaker A: But you're in the colt, and we have a big green egg guy. Shout out to Matt out there. He keeps us in the business for sure. Well, Mike, we're not here to talk about big green eggs, although we are. Do us a favor. For those that don't know, you introduce yourself to people back home. [00:19:23] Speaker E: Glad to. My name is Mike James, and I'm with Isco Industries. I've been with them for about 18 years, but I've been in the business for about 30 years. And as I told the guys yesterday, I grew up in the construction business. My dad was a contractor his entire life, grew up digging ditches, and my mom joined the business later in life. And so just kind of grew up in the construction business and not afraid of hard work, I quickly realized I'm a sales guy. I love developing and building relationships. I got in the pipe side of the business. But my dad was a contractor most of his life, and so to me, this is home. This is, like, where we should be. [00:19:59] Speaker A: So was your dad and just not knowing, was your dad a part of the DCA or you a first time kind of generation of joining DCA? [00:20:07] Speaker E: He was a mechanical contractor mostly. So they did a lot of piping, a lot of duct work, and a lot of big projects, but mainly kind of in the west, in Arizona. So Tucson, Arizona, is where I live, and my wife Nikki's with me on this event. And we love the DCA. It's been fantastic. [00:20:23] Speaker B: And how long have you guys been coming? [00:20:25] Speaker E: I think Isco's been a member longer for sure, but we've been active in it for about seven years now. Of course, you got the pandemic in between, but tried to really dive in and get to know everybody. It takes a few years. Like they've told me in the beginning, you can't expect to get everything out of it in the first year. But seven years later, I can tell you the relationships and the things I've learned. These are all great business people here, right. There are 100% infrastructure superheroes is who we're hanging out with today. And most people don't know that, but that's what they are. [00:20:59] Speaker B: I think that needs to be a t shirt. [00:21:00] Speaker A: Just so you and mavens to the industry, I mean, any question you could ask, they know the answer, know somebody who does. And this group is so tight. Niche. Yeah, it's important when you're here and in these groups, but really, the work here is what translates to the entire industry, because majority of the work is being done by contractors. [00:21:22] Speaker B: Correct. [00:21:22] Speaker E: And it's out of sight. Most people, as you know, they don't know it's a black box switch on where's my power? Or when I flush the. We are infrastructure superheroes. And we're quiet about it, but that's what we do every single day. [00:21:35] Speaker B: I had a discussion with somebody in California one time, and we were talking about energy and power generation and the whole bit. And I said, respectfully, I said, well, where do you think your electricity comes from? And they said, it's obvious. It comes from the wall in my garage. And I'm like, enough said. But it was more of an educational thing where a lot of people really don't understand the whole infrastructure. And from a to z, where it begins, how it begins, and how it's delivered. Correct. [00:22:05] Speaker E: Yeah, I think it's my duty now. I got a little bit of gray hair. And I feel like spreading the knowledge, the tacit knowledge that we have as an industry. Right. Those of us that have been in our while, it's our duty to spread that knowledge down to the next generation. This conference is a good example. There's some people here that it's their first time, and you could just see that they are learning so much from it. [00:22:29] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:22:29] Speaker E: I try to do the same thing with my kids or any of my coworkers, any of these events we go to. I'm like, let's go walk around. Let me show you what we're doing. [00:22:36] Speaker A: Let's go booth to booth and learn about what our industry does. Right. That's how I learned it. I still do. [00:22:41] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:22:42] Speaker A: Because when there's a booth I don't know, or a person I don't know, or an initiative or a tech that I don't know, I'm going and knocking on that door and I'm asking those questions. [00:22:51] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:22:51] Speaker A: And really, that's what our show is about, is filling in those gaps the same way. Well, another way people consume this, obviously, through podcasts and video and whatnot. It's an extension of these events. It allows us to take a minute, slow down, and have the conversation you would have if you were drinking coffee with know while we were there and. [00:23:10] Speaker B: Somebody is going to be watching this and say, you know what? I really need to get a hold of Mike and ask him whether he. [00:23:15] Speaker A: Wants to cook on the big green egg. Well, that could be it. What is your favorite thing to cook on the big green egg? Just be honest. Top three, I'll give you that. [00:23:22] Speaker E: You may not actually guess this one, but I'll tell you, one of the first things that I cooked on a big green egg was at an event I had in Tucson, Arizona. So I think I told you guys. Outside of the pipe business, my wife and I own a little outdoor business, so it's easy to be passionate about these really cool products. I was at an event, a golf event in Tucson, Arizona, and we cooked breakfast on the green egg and ham steaks that we cooked on the green egg. [00:23:50] Speaker A: Wow. [00:23:51] Speaker E: Came out with that smoky charcoal flavor, and it just changed the profile. Is that my favorite? No, but it's something that most people don't do on the green egg. Certainly. Chicken and ribs and brisket and all that. I love cooking cedar plank salmon on the green egg. Stuffed jalapenos. [00:24:09] Speaker A: Sure you can't help? What are you talking about? I like when someone else cooks on their big green egg. [00:24:18] Speaker B: Some of my favorites are the chicken wings. I think I told you if I did the chicken wings on them, where you hang them down those and you cut the top so they kind of do the lollipop. Yeah, that was really good. And then I did bacon with barbecue sauce on them, so they almost became candied. [00:24:37] Speaker A: Would they import those here? [00:24:40] Speaker B: Yes. Audience, some people are out there sitting on the fence, should I join the DCA or not? We've been thinking about it for a while. What can you do to inspire them to join the DCA? [00:24:48] Speaker E: I would say, yeah. If you're in the Pipeline industry or you're an associate member like us supporting the pipeline industry, you should definitely consider joining it. Come as a guest. It takes a few times. You're not going to get everything out of the first meeting. But the value that we have had out of this. The relationships, it's really the key. The relationships and the people in the room that you're talking to. You're going right to the top when you need to. [00:25:13] Speaker A: Right. [00:25:14] Speaker E: And then the associate members, too. The friendships and the things we learn from the other associate members, too, and how to help use them and spread the word with each other. There's a ton of that as well. So it's not all about the contractors, which is the main driver. It's the associates as well. Definitely. It's one of the best organizations we belong to. [00:25:32] Speaker A: Amen, Mike. Appreciate you stopping forever. Friends. We're going to share recipes after this. Hey, we'll be back. No, just to get around the chair. And he didn't. [00:25:43] Speaker F: Oh, yes. [00:25:44] Speaker A: I entered trip hazards. [00:25:47] Speaker F: Let's see how I exit, though. [00:25:50] Speaker B: Did you feel safer knowing that I had explained the way in? [00:25:54] Speaker F: Safety first. That's our number one motto at cat. [00:25:58] Speaker A: Fine. Okay, you got me there. [00:26:02] Speaker B: That was a tailboard meeting. That wasn't a tailgate meeting. Tailgate happens on Saturdays at the football game. Tailboards happen at 06:00 a.m. On the right of way. [00:26:10] Speaker A: Laura, I swear we know what we're doing. Do us a favor. Introduce yourself and who you're with. [00:26:15] Speaker F: Okay. Yes, I'm Laura Mason. I'm with Caterpillar financial and pleased to be here. [00:26:21] Speaker A: I've heard Caterpillar a lot this week already. They keep talking about the silent auction and all kinds of stuff. It must be awesome to be this integrated into the DCA event this week. [00:26:36] Speaker F: Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, it's just a blessing that we're here and we're thrilled to be part of. [00:26:41] Speaker B: Well, you guys did a great job and again, a little shout out. Last night we went to a wonderful hawaiian luau event, and so great. You guys did a wonderful job. [00:26:50] Speaker A: I drugged my kids here and my wife, and they had the best time last night. [00:26:55] Speaker F: Yeah, that fire dancer. [00:26:57] Speaker B: Wow. [00:26:57] Speaker A: Incredible. Yeah. [00:26:59] Speaker B: And then I guess a replica of the gods that were on the stilts, somebody sent me a note on. Yeah. Somehow they're like, awesome. You be nice to those. I'm like, I was very nice to know. [00:27:13] Speaker A: It was such an experience. Very cool. Well, we're talking to folks this week about the value of DCA and the work that goes on here and all the initiatives. What's some value that you've seen being involved here? [00:27:25] Speaker F: Yeah, well, actually, this is only my second DCA convention. [00:27:30] Speaker A: Well, I'm a newbie. [00:27:31] Speaker D: I'm a welcome. [00:27:33] Speaker B: Yes. [00:27:33] Speaker A: You didn't even welcome me. [00:27:35] Speaker F: I'm sorry. We'll talk about it. Welcome. Officially, since I'm such an expert. After two years, the DCA, I've been with caterpillar for almost 21 years. [00:27:45] Speaker B: Oh, wow. [00:27:45] Speaker F: This is my second time I've been able to be associated with this. And I remember for the last ten years, hearing about the DCA, and now it's just such an honor that I'm finally able to be part of this association. I mean, at the end of the day, to me, the DCA is valuable because we all have a common platform, right? We're all here because we want to provide energy to the world, right? So even if you're intimidated to walk into a huge new group that is a very tight knit family, obviously, you've heard a lot about that. Such a family. It's such a family. At the end of the know, we're here for one reason, to get energy into the world the most efficient, cost effective way. And you can't do that without establishing relationships between associates and contractors and everything. So energy and safety first. [00:28:34] Speaker B: You already said that's a great platform, and we were talking about that. We're in this environment, and it seems to me when we overhear some of the hallway conversations or out at the dinner last night, or outside, people are in this environment. It seems like the normal walls that are up. Not saying that they have walls up, but the chaos that goes on every day in the normal business life come down, and all of a sudden people are having really cohesive conversations. They could be competitors just talking about what's some good safety initiative, what are some good items like that. [00:29:07] Speaker F: Right? I'm glad that you brought that up, because my competition is here. I'm an equipment manufacturer. I represent an equipment manufacturing company, and I see John Deere. I see all these other competitors, but here they're not a competitor. Right. We want to get our contractors equipment to be able to have them do their job effectively and efficiently. Right. So whether it's caterpillar, John Deere, whatever, we just want to support them, and that's what we're here for. And I think those walls are really kind of dropped during this week. And that's a healthy drop. [00:29:41] Speaker B: Yes, it is a very healthy drop. [00:29:42] Speaker A: And you make a good point. Our boss, Jeff Isabelle, has been an integral part in the OQIP process. For some, they would look at that, we're in the OQ business, right? We keep people qualified. Some people in that industry may look at that and go, well, that doesn't support my business model, but at the same time, understand that it's an issue we have to solve and some people don't show up to that table is the truth. Right. And those of us, the stakeholders that do are shaping this industry right here at DCA. [00:30:18] Speaker F: Yeah. I mean, our equipment is here to move earth, and we just want to make sure that our customers have the proper equipment to get the job done. [00:30:27] Speaker A: Absolutely amazing. We're trying to inspire people back home. One thing, you could tell them why they need to be at the next one. [00:30:33] Speaker F: Oh, relationships. It's super easy, right? You're here to develop relationships with people. You cannot effectively represent a company or do big deals or have those type of wins without relationships. I mean, you could sell all day long. Right. But if you don't have that relationship with your customers partners, then, yeah, you'll be by yourself. You can always sell things. But then how are you going to be there throughout the entire life of whatever you're selling with my customers? I've been in my position for about nine years with this particular national account position I'm in. And, I mean, I exchange Christmas cards with my customers. [00:31:16] Speaker B: Why? They're your friends. [00:31:18] Speaker F: They're my friends. They call me up on a Friday night at 06:00 should not talk about buying equipment. Right? Yeah. So, yeah, relationships, number one. [00:31:30] Speaker A: Thank you so much. [00:31:31] Speaker B: Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for taking the time. This is great. [00:31:33] Speaker F: Absolutely. Happy Valentine's Day, too. [00:31:36] Speaker B: Yeah. There we go. [00:31:37] Speaker A: We'll be back. [00:31:38] Speaker B: There you go. [00:31:39] Speaker A: Yes. [00:31:39] Speaker B: All right. [00:31:40] Speaker A: Continuous improvement. Our industry is built on continuous improvement, innovation. [00:31:49] Speaker B: Oh, yes. Absolutely. Everything. [00:31:51] Speaker A: Lando, check act. [00:31:52] Speaker B: Everything is a journey, right? Sure. Life's a journey, right? It is a journey. It's a great journey. And it comes with ebb and flows and ups and downs. Right. [00:32:02] Speaker A: If we learn from them, then we've. [00:32:04] Speaker B: Done something for sure. [00:32:06] Speaker A: That's what it's about. Inspirational. [00:32:08] Speaker B: And not making those same mistakes. [00:32:09] Speaker A: Right. [00:32:10] Speaker B: Well, we learn from mistakes. That's always the key. Right. And if we can be mentors to the next generations to help them not. [00:32:18] Speaker A: To repeat the same mistakes, they may just hear that in the keynote. [00:32:21] Speaker B: We did. We did. And as a professor, that's what I'm doing with my students, trying to park that knowledge. But they have to make their own mistakes. Right. If they're going to really succeed in life, you've got to make mistakes. Yeah. [00:32:33] Speaker A: Amen. [00:32:34] Speaker B: That's what you learn from. [00:32:35] Speaker A: Sam, do us a favor. For those that don't know, you introduce yourself and who you're with. And we're here at DCA. Why are you at DCA? [00:32:42] Speaker B: Absolutely. So, I'm Sam Aria Ratnam. I'm a professor and I'm the sun State chair of construction management and engineering at Arizona State University. And I've been involved in the underground utility industry since 1996. And, wow. Kind of specialize in horizontal directional drilling. I've been involved with the DCA for quite a long time. I think as an academic, I think it's really important to be involved with industry and vice versa. We help each other out. I'm here to promote the industry. Promote natural gas utility industry is 100%. And I think that's really important. I see the benefits of it. [00:33:20] Speaker A: Sam and I met. It was it at the opening reception, I think we were chatting, and I mentioned Steve Allen. Yeah, at the GPEC. Because he said, I'm on GPEC, and all of a. Know how many times does Steve Allen say GPAC a day? [00:33:36] Speaker B: That's like me saying a few things, but yes, absolutely. And then Sam walked in and I'm walking in and I'm like, we met each other. We're talking like a year, two years ago, maybe three years ago. [00:33:49] Speaker A: So, Sam, I know we're at the DCA, but I think it's a great learning opportunity for some folks. Can you explain just real quick what GPAC is? [00:33:57] Speaker B: So, GPAC is the gas pipeline advisory committee, and it's part of FIMSA, so it's a department of transportation. So we have 15 members in GPAC, and so five are public. So I come under the public. Five are government and five are industry. And we're all appointed by the secretary of transportation. So I was appointed by Secretary Buttigieg in March of 2022. We have a three year appointment. Usually you serve a couple of terms and that. And so we're kind of that board that makes recommendations for regulations and that regarding the industry. Yeah, it is important work and I think we have a wide range of people that are on the GPAC. So you have different views, and I think that's a good thing. But we discuss those and we work hard at those. And definitely from my perspective, I think it's important to listen to what the industry has to say. What does the industry feel about before we go and pass these or make recommendations for regulations and legislative changes? How does that impact? [00:35:06] Speaker A: Yeah, we think about everything that it goes into, and it sounds like you have a good mix of stakeholders with that five and five and five kind of built into the board. [00:35:16] Speaker B: Absolutely. It's congressionally mandated, so that's the GPAC. And we met in November. We're working on two regulations right now, and we didn't finish our work. And so we're going to come back in March. So March 25 to 29th, we'll be back in DC. And that there's a lot of people in the audience, stakeholders in the audience that are very interested in listening to what we have to say, and we give them an opportunity to actually present their positions as well. A quick follow up to that, because it just hit me, we've seen each other at conferences in the past, and what you're explaining or what you just shared right there, you're not only here giving information out, but again, taking information in kind of that conduit going both ways 100%. I'm a professor and I learn a lot from the industry. I mean, these guys are the ones that are their boots on the ground. Right. And so it's a two way street. They'll call me to help them out in certain things. And if I have questions as well, I'm calling my guys here in DCA and that and asking them what their positions are on various things, whether it's related to GPAC or just related just in general to the industry. [00:36:32] Speaker A: Well, that's a great. What a pro should. Are you going a lot of podcasts? You host your own podcast? [00:36:38] Speaker B: I don't host my own, but I've been on a few. Yeah, I can imagine. [00:36:42] Speaker A: We are here, DCA, and we know a lot of work happens in these halls. Great venue, awesome place to be. But truthfully, down these halls, a lot of that work is being done. Can you talk a little bit? First of all, how many years have you been involved with DCA? [00:36:58] Speaker B: Probably over 20 years. [00:37:00] Speaker A: Okay. Amazing right. [00:37:02] Speaker B: We call that a seasoned veteran. [00:37:04] Speaker A: What's some of the value that you see in the DCA that you could share with those people back home that might inspire them to come? [00:37:14] Speaker B: Like, these people here are good competitors. Right. They're bidding against each other. They're doing that. But when you come to the DCA, it's like a family, right? They're all buddies, and they might be competitors outside of here, but when we're here, we're all here for the same reason, and that's to promote utility and particularly the gas distribution industry in that. And so I think it's a wonderful place. I know the first time I came so long ago, and you wear the red name tags and people come right up to you and they say, yeah, like you guys have. Right. It's a very warm, I go to a lot of different conventions and that, and I find this to be, I mean, some of them are not as welcoming, some of these organizations and stuff. But generally speaking, definitely DCA. You instantly become part of that family when you come to it. And I highly recommend people coming here. What I really love is, like I say, that family atmosphere. I call the grown up convention that we're at right here. And then the summer they have the family deal. Right. And you always go to, what's kind of neat about it is you go to a place that you've heard of, but you might not have gone to, like, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, or Stowe, Vermont, Williamsburg, Virginia, and you bring your kids. And my son's almost 16, and he's been coming to this thing since he was like six, seven months old. Right. It's kind of grown up in this. But he has friends here. He has a lot of friends here, but a lot of them now are older and they're not coming. And obviously he's at school, so he couldn't come to this, but he definitely comes to the summer. And then, of course, the fall, the meeting, that business meeting that we have, it's always good and productive, but DCA does a lot of good things. And some of the things we do with the, I've been to some of the fly ins in mean they make an impact. We're really promoting it. And this pipeline industry is not going away. I mean, it doesn't matter what people are saying, oh, we're going to ban natural gas and all that thing. I think it's ridiculous, right? I mean, natural gas is, I mean, we have generations of natural gas out there, right? Yeah. Safe, reliable. Natural, reliable. And so I think it's really important to remember that without natural gas. And we moved to Scottsdale, Arizona back in 2001 from Edmonton, Alberta. And I know we were looking to buy a house and my wife said, well, there's one criteria. It has to be a natural gas neighborhood. Doesn't matter what the house is, it's got to be a natural gas neighborhood. And told the real estate agents that. And of course that's it. I mean, she's from Chicago, so she's like, I'm not cooking. [00:39:53] Speaker A: Where is she from? Chicago. [00:39:54] Speaker B: She's from the city. The polish part. Okay. I grew up in Evanston, just north of. She's from diversity. Between Kimball and. Sure. Oh, yeah, the polish part. We both met at the University of Illinois. Okay. [00:40:06] Speaker A: Yeah, don't go ahead. [00:40:07] Speaker B: The car is great, but honestly, this is what the industry is about and the friendships that we form. And again, I cannot emphasize the importance of it because the conversations then could go to HDD and we could talk about outer wraps to help protect the pipe when it's being bored so it doesn't get scraped and doesn't become corroded. [00:40:27] Speaker A: We can get as nerdy as we want. [00:40:28] Speaker B: We definitely could. But those conversations happen when you're friends with people, and that's what this industry is about and that's what the DCA is about. So when you said it is a family, that's a wonderful, great thing. [00:40:37] Speaker A: I definitely felt it. There's respect. I love how it's very intentional and deliberate about the red name. Oh, and they'll stop you in the elevator and it may be someone's wife or family or it's all home. Someone who works. It's really neat. [00:40:53] Speaker B: Well, I mean, Jim and James, I mean, you're part of this family. Mean, you're here. [00:40:57] Speaker A: So we're like the weird uncles that just can't figure out how to get rid of. [00:41:02] Speaker B: Well, and you'll be coming to next year. We're in my backyard in Scottsdale. [00:41:05] Speaker A: Oh, man. We're going back. [00:41:09] Speaker B: It's almost our second home. [00:41:11] Speaker A: Sam, appreciate all the work. [00:41:13] Speaker B: Thank you, you guys. Thank you so much. [00:41:16] Speaker A: Appreciate you jumping on with us. We'll be back. That'll be the cheapest coffee I had all week, I'll tell you that. I'm just kidding. [00:41:27] Speaker B: Well, I tell you what, though. Hawaii is a beautiful place, but you have to think about everything has to. [00:41:31] Speaker A: Be shipped in, for the most part, convenience. [00:41:34] Speaker B: We went to the grocery store and I mean, almost $4 for a candy bar. And we bought some cranberry juice and it was $9 for a bottle. Really? Wow. I think we spent almost $100.01 side. Yeah, it sounds like I live in eat things. [00:41:53] Speaker A: Seasonal Florida. [00:41:55] Speaker B: It's crazy. Down in West Palm, we go to the grocery store and I'm like, what did we get? And we're like, two little bags. I'm talking plastic bags. Not even a good grocery store, so. [00:42:06] Speaker A: Beautiful place, beautiful resort. Randy, thank you for stopping by and chatting with us. For those that may not know you, if you would introduce yourself, who you're with. [00:42:16] Speaker B: I'm Randy Rough. I'm the director of customer care for Ditchwich. I've worked there 29 years and I've come to the DCA regularly for the last 15. You have? [00:42:26] Speaker A: Okay, so you are some sponsors as well. Thank you, sir. I happened to notice that I made that very clear. [00:42:35] Speaker B: Never mind, we'll get to that later on. Yeah. Over your tenure with the DCA, committee involvement, leadership involvement, what have you done? Let's share a little bit of that, please. I was the chairman for the workforce committee. Very important. Following that, I was elected to the board of directors as an associate member. And as a matter of fact, I'm just finishing my term here. Okay. This week. [00:43:01] Speaker A: Very cool. Our boss has been involved here. Do you happen to know Jeff, Isabelle? [00:43:08] Speaker B: I don't. [00:43:09] Speaker A: Well, he's been involved here and he's always told us how great these events were. And so this is actually Gemini's first one and Ashley's. And Ashley. Sometimes Ashley, sometimes randy. We're trying to paint in the value of everything that happens at these events. Right. For folks that maybe haven't made it out or wondering what goes on, can you talk a little bit about some of the work that goes on behind the scenes here? [00:43:34] Speaker B: Absolutely. The value, of course, we're an associate, so of course, there's, the number one value is, of course, we're able to interact with decision makers, and the contractor members that come here are decision makers. And so interacting with those decision makers enables us to showcase our brand and make sure that we're out there and we're available. The other piece that I love about the DCA is a true sponsor and is in every aspect of the gas distribution industry, whether it's Washington fly ins or supporting horizontal directional drilling. We've had events where we were in front of ocean describing and demonstrating how directional drilling is safe and a value resource for putting product in the ground. The DCA isn't just an organization to support members. It's an organization that is out there making sure it's protecting and supporting the industry as a whole. That's interesting too, at the very much of the cornerstone or keystone of that are the relationships that are being built here and continue on. And again, when I say that, I mean that very sincerely, that that is so important in our industry, because then on top of that becomes the knowledge sharing. And so many times I've listened over the last three days to some of the conversations that are being talked about, about the industry. And again, the knowledge sharing, it's more. So what can we do for the betterment of the industry? And I tell you that really, I know. I'll speak for James. We thrive on that because everybody is working together either to be more productive, safer, provide reliable natural gas, all those items. [00:45:10] Speaker A: Randy, we are also trying to motivate more people to get involved. Right. And maybe people who are not in our industry, maybe people who are outside of that bubble. I know the DCA has made a large commitment towards future leaders and other. I know the workforce development side. I went to a conference myself several years ago and I know those are all initiatives that are very strategic by the DCA. How do you feel about where we're headed and attracting more people into our industry? [00:45:47] Speaker B: I think I'm excited because of some of the things you just mentioned. The industry is changing. Consolidation among contractors and even consolidation among manufacturers is kind of changing the makeup. But what I like about what the DCA is doing is they're not sitting waiting to see what's going to happen. They've already put together a strategic plan and they're working on it. Some of it's that future leaders piece that you were talking about, workforce, I mean, they've helped us as individual companies understand better how to interact with kids in junior high and high to help them understand there's good wages in this industry and a college path is not always the best path. And so the DCA is out front. I will see a chance for Mike Rowe to get an oat. Wait, I'm just kidding there. Come on. I just need to talk to you too. [00:46:40] Speaker A: We'll take it. So, one last plea to the folks why they should be at the next DCA event. [00:46:48] Speaker B: You mentioned these events, and one of the things I love best, especially about the annual convention, is it's very spouse and family oriented. Yeah. And there's just not many times that in a business setting you have that family to back you up. And what I mean by that is sometimes the best business relationships I've built is because my wife met somebody else's wife. I agree with you, my kids interacted with somebody else's kids. And so that family, that spouse relationship of the BCA helps you build a stronger bond with the customers that you hope to sell stuff to. [00:47:22] Speaker A: I just got cold. You know, it's kind of fitting being here. Almost Valentine's day tomorrow, right? That's awesome. Hey, Randy. Appreciate you, brother, stopping by and joining us. We did a great job. Thank you for all the work you've done here at DC and continue to do. [00:47:39] Speaker B: Yeah, thank you very much. [00:47:40] Speaker A: Be back. We were just sitting here watching know. [00:47:48] Speaker B: Isn't it amazing? [00:47:49] Speaker A: Right there, nonstop. And Ashley's like, guys, we gotta go to work. [00:47:55] Speaker B: Hey, I was watching the Super bowl and Wells yesterday. [00:47:59] Speaker A: At the same time, say less. [00:48:04] Speaker B: What is this utopia we right now? [00:48:07] Speaker A: Let's not get too far down the road. For those that don't know you, please introduce yourself. Who you're with. [00:48:12] Speaker B: Randy Bunch, director of operations with eastern Utilities. We know eastern utilities. That's cool. That's great. So this is your first DCA. You've never been here before? No, I've been coming since 2014. Have you really? Yeah. Okay. With different companies. I've actually been operations manager, vice president of another company, and all four companies I've got involved in the DCA. [00:48:37] Speaker A: Well, that's cool. That's a neat kind of dynamic to dig. Why? So you've been through different organizations and still been a part of it. Why? Why is it so important? [00:48:48] Speaker B: It's just, honestly, it's the camaraderie of all the other contractors that you meet finding out the newest information. And you build friendships over the years. Right. And you get to watch Wells. There's a lot of information that we get here, if it's through the government relations committee. What's going on in Washington with all the pipeline, the FERC stuff? Just the information and the way the DCA puts on the events is amazing. Yeah. Anytime I can be at a knowledge sharing event, that's what it is. I mean, really, you pick up. I learn each and every time that I'm involved in something like this, and I cherish the time that I'm here, because, again, if I can learn one thing, take it in, digest it, and then share it with somebody else, I feel like I'm doing the thing, because James always tells me and us, we need to get out of our echo. [00:49:46] Speaker A: And I know a lot of the big work happens here, especially on these first couple of days. Board and committee meetings all day long. You want to talk a little bit about the important stuff that happens, kind of behind the curtain here. [00:49:59] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, the leadership committee that we just come out of just kind of sets the tone for the week. [00:50:06] Speaker A: Okay. Kind of what we're going to go. [00:50:07] Speaker B: Through and what our goals that we met last year is and kind of what our agenda is going forward for not only this convention, but the two that we have, one in the summer, one in the fall, the people here are just outstanding. It's like you're saying the first thing I did when I got the new company in July was signed up for the DCA. I feel like it's that important to our company. Okay. That's a testimony right there. And I don't know if I told you, but somebody might be the chair of the safety committee where we know a guy and some other two guys might be given a keynote tomorrow. [00:50:49] Speaker A: Thank you. You all signed up for? [00:50:51] Speaker B: No, but we're excited to. [00:50:56] Speaker A: It'll be great. The topic itself that we're talking on is really about kind of that passing of the torch, that next generation bringing more people in, and that there's a seat at the table for all of us. Right? [00:51:12] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:51:12] Speaker A: Sometimes that's a podcast, sometimes that's speaking, sometimes that's participating in boards and committee. [00:51:18] Speaker B: Well, it's an important topic. The workforce is the most important thing going on right now. It is when you can't get stuff from your vendors because they don't have enough people working to make whatever. It's important to the DCA. Yeah, important to all of us. Let me ask you a question. We could talk for hours, and we'll talk more after we get off this, but I just wanted to ask you a question from James and know there's some folks that are maybe thinking about joining the DCA, maybe have thought about it. What could you say to them? To say to themselves, no. Almost like what you said when you took the new be. We need to be here. Any words of advice? I think you hit on it right off the bat. It's the information. The information you gather from the convention, whether it's on the safety and risk committee side or. My personal favorite is the government relations. Knowing what's going on in Washington with our industry. It's an important topic. [00:52:19] Speaker A: It's very important. [00:52:20] Speaker B: And the workforce development that the DCA is putting in itself is top notch. [00:52:27] Speaker A: Always has been. Well, man, I appreciate you stopping by. Thank you joining us. [00:52:33] Speaker B: Thank you. Appreciate you. [00:52:35] Speaker A: We'll be right back. And once you hit record, it's already started, so you're on the hook. No getting out. [00:52:43] Speaker B: How about a cup of coffee? [00:52:45] Speaker A: Yeah, we'll give you a free. [00:52:48] Speaker B: Speaking of, before we start, one of us came across email trail. I was the guy that had Kevin Ishimura coming tomorrow, vice president of operations for Hawaii Gas. I don't remember if that was. We were communicating via email. So he's headed over, flying in the. [00:53:06] Speaker A: Morning, and we're recording with him right after he's done. [00:53:11] Speaker B: Good deal. Absolutely. Thank you. [00:53:14] Speaker A: Perfectly. [00:53:15] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:53:15] Speaker A: Because we were talking on the backside. He had no clue. So once we sing kind of all merged together. [00:53:22] Speaker B: You're welcome. Absolutely. [00:53:23] Speaker A: That's our industry, right? I mean, that's what these events are about. [00:53:27] Speaker B: Well, that's a really good example, because when you come to these events, and one, there's so much to learn officially, like, in the rooms and the sessions and all that. The things that we learn also in the hallway, conversations at dinner last night, when we have conversations with fellow people in the industry, it's epic. And we've been for over two decades. I continue to learn each and every time, which is great. [00:53:50] Speaker A: Alan, do us a favor. For those that may not know you, introduce yourself and who you're with. My name is Alan Goodman. [00:53:55] Speaker B: I'm with Hammerhead, trenchless, and live in Houston, Texas. [00:53:59] Speaker A: Fellow Texan. [00:53:59] Speaker B: I'm in Dallas, Sugarland, southwest. [00:54:02] Speaker A: I was in ranch. Hey, we're neighbors, buddy. [00:54:05] Speaker B: Well, I moved to West Palm beach. Now look at James again. He's like, the last one. [00:54:09] Speaker A: It's worse when it's Minnesota, though. [00:54:11] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, sure. There. Don't you got Centerpoint down in Texas? That's what brought me down. Okay. Yeah. Or back in the day. [00:54:22] Speaker A: Then he retired to Florida, and we put him to work. Alan, we're live from the DCA talking to folks. How long have you been involved here at DCA? [00:54:32] Speaker B: A little bit over ten years. [00:54:34] Speaker A: Wow. [00:54:34] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:54:35] Speaker A: Started when you were just a pop. Four. [00:54:37] Speaker B: Little baby. Yeah. [00:54:39] Speaker A: That's Jim's joke. No, but it's a valuable place. There's a lot of work that goes on here. We're trying to paint in that value for folks that maybe have never been involved or not members. What's some value that DCA has brought to, you know? [00:54:53] Speaker B: DCA brings all levels of know people in the companies and contractors, clients, vendors, suppliers, gas, utilities. As we just mentioned earlier, it brings them all in together into one room, and it's a great opportunity. I'd say this group is probably the most competitive. So it's really interesting to see when you're fighting the day to day battles. Right. But we all come together as a family. And really it's just to better the industry. [00:55:21] Speaker A: Yeah, we've heard it over and over. [00:55:24] Speaker B: We've heard it over and again. Being the newbies here because of the red badge, I know you all are competitors, but everything that I have seen here is cooperation. And when I say collaboration, it's more. So how can the industry be better collaborative, safety topics and such like that. So that has been footstomped, as James say, day in and day out since we've been here. [00:55:46] Speaker A: It's wonderful to see. [00:55:49] Speaker B: Question for you. There are a lot of folks out there that are watching this and are probably saying, I've heard of the DCI, I know of them. I'm thinking that we should maybe join, maybe, you know, they're on that fence. Any further things you want to tell them to maybe help them come over the fence and come explore this great environment and organization, probably the expertise, the innovation, those are some things that really stand out to me within this group that we're always trying to think of the next thing out of the box, how can we do it better, more efficiently, and most of all, safer? So you really get to see that begin here within this level. And obviously the contractors are the ones that are interacting with utilities and kind of pushing the envelope there. When they see something that they want to explore, there's the opportunity to jump on it. [00:56:43] Speaker A: Well, it's like a safe space a bit for contractors, and I'll be honest, we go to a lot of shows and I'm sure you do as well, but depending on where you're at, a lot of it's built for operators. I don't want to say contractors get fingers pointed at them, but I just mean the environment is not safe, let's say that. And what I mean for those types of conversations here, you're all, I don't want to say the same stakeholder because there's vendors and stuff, too, but it's nice to be in an environment like that where you can really talk about good, bad and uglies and to move that needle forward. [00:57:20] Speaker B: Everybody learns from their mistakes. [00:57:22] Speaker A: Right. [00:57:22] Speaker B: And how to do it better. [00:57:23] Speaker A: Hopefully we learned from someone else's. Right. Also conducive for it. [00:57:28] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:57:29] Speaker A: Very cool. [00:57:29] Speaker B: Helen, appreciate all the work you do. Pleasure to meet you. [00:57:33] Speaker A: Appreciate you being our sponsor as well. [00:57:35] Speaker B: Yeah, thank you. [00:57:36] Speaker A: Hey, we'll be back.

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