The LoCo Experience

EXPERIENCE 84 | Wade Troxell on Innovating At The Intersection of Local Government, University, Business & Community

October 10, 2022 Alisha Jeffers
The LoCo Experience
EXPERIENCE 84 | Wade Troxell on Innovating At The Intersection of Local Government, University, Business & Community
Show Notes Transcript

My guest on today's episode is former mayor of Fort Collins, Wade Troxell. Wade continues to serve in a faculty role at CSU and in many high impact, low touch roles across our region. Wade's story is a fascinating one, solidly at the intersection of local government, university and the business communities. He was a standup football player at CSU, has been involved in multiple startup ventures and is an expert on distributed energy systems.

He's a reservoir of knowledge well beyond his primary area of study in mechanical engineering. He earned his BS Masters and PhD’s from CSU and has a postdoc in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinboro. Additionally, he was in the inaugural class of Harvard Business School’s City Leadership Initiative for Mayors.

We talk a lot about Wade's story, Fort Collin's history and future, and the future of energy innovation and distribution.

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Curt:

My guest on today's episode was former mayor of Fort Collins, Wade Troxell. Wade continues to serve in a faculty role at CSU and in many high impact, low touch roles across our region. Wade's story is a fascinating one, solidly at the intersection of local government, university and the business communities. He was a standup football player at csu, has been involved in multiple startup ventures, is an expert on distributed energy systems and almost everything else. I like to say I'm an inch deep and a mile wide, and by comparison, Mayor Troxell is a hundred feet deep and two miles wide. He's at Reservoir of Knowledge in so many areas well beyond his primary area of study in mechanical engineering. He earned his BS Masters and PhDs from CSU and has a post in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinboro and was in the inaugural class of Harvard Business Schools City Leadership Initiative for Mayors. We talk a lot about a lot with Wade's story, the Fort Collins history and future, and the future of energy innovation and distribution being significant areas of linger. I'm sure you'll enjoy listening to my conversation with Wade Troxell. Welcome back to The Local Experience Podcast. I'm pleased today to be joined by Mr. Wade Troxell, former mayor of Fort Collins and man about town that has got a lot of things going on and, and so thanks for sharing time. Uh, Wade, can you just start by saying, what are you up to

Wade:

these days? Well, you bet. Well always. Um, I find myself engaged in our community, engaged in our community to make it a better place. And Fort Collins, we're so fortunate that we've had leaders in the past, um, to, uh, really I think, uh, uh, position Fort Collins into I think not only a wonderful place today, but well into the future. But, um, uh, in, in saying that it's important that, uh, you keep that up. That's right. Keep that up and, you know, it's a great community, not by accident. But by intention. And I think it's that intentionality that's so important to pay attention to those things that, um, uh, make a community a wonderful place. It clearly being safe and, and wonderful for, uh, business and, and, and kids and family, but it's really more than that, the infrastructure that really, um, can transcend and be for the future 5100, 150 years from now.

Curt:

Yeah. Yeah. So when you think about what makes great places, like do you have like a, a, you know, a five or 10 most important things, right? It's not one thing, as you already suggested. It's, it's the infrastructure, it's the, the education system, it's the livability, it's crime. Education, Right?

Wade:

It's, it's, it's a lot of things. Uh, cities are a system of systems and, uh, it takes all these sorts of things. But if they're neglected or if there are, um, uh, cataclysmic kinds of changes that, um, uh, you know, you, you wanna build in the robustness and resilience into a community, ultimately the community. Is a reflection of its, uh, citizens, it's its residents, it's it's community, uh, folks. And with that, it takes a, a commitment of, and we have that. I mean, we're a very giving community, very people appreciate living here, but it, that isn't just a taking, it really has to be something that is a, a committed value of the community. Well, and,

Curt:

and driven by a diversity of things. When you were talking about what keeps the city great, I mean, Detroit was like the best place in the country, just about for economic wise in the fifties and sixties even. And then, You know, now it's trying to clot it's way back up into the 20th percent

Wade:

dial Right. And that's where I think, uh, it falls on, You know, I, I talk about the triple helix public sector, the private sector, and the, and we're so fortunate to have a research university, Right. And I talk about being a university city as a special kind of place. And so, um, playing on. Dimension of our community is, gives us advantages that differentiate us from many places. Now, when you talk about a place like Detroit, there were, you know, in the fifties, sixties, uh, when it was at the peak of, um, uh, uh, the industry, if you will, the automotive industry, but also, um, of employment and that sort of thing. Um, there are so many things that, uh, uh, um, were, uh, not built for the

Curt:

future. Misappropriated, uh, Planning. They didn't, they didn't, uh, squirrel away those acorns in different ways that they could have to reposition. That's

Wade:

right. And, and so the one time funds really have to be invested well into the future when I think about it from a public investment perspective and not just, um, um, there's, you know, a number of truisms that came to me being the mayor, and one of them is just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Yeah. And, uh, I see elected officials doing things that aren't necessarily our community at all. And with that, you know, should they be doing, even touching them with respect to, uh, our community and not engaging our community, honestly, in a full fledged comu, uh, conversation. Do you wanna

Curt:

call anybody out in that particular topic,

Wade:

Well, you know, you know, I think it's, uh, not really just Fort Collins, but I think it's

Curt:

a lot of places. There's a lot of fixers. Right. You know, and. Sometimes fixing problems that don't necessarily, aren't, aren't in the best, uh, interest of the people or this and that. Yeah. Fair enough. Very much. And

Wade:

one of the things that I come back to, um, and I did as, as the mayor, was what is the problem we're really trying to solve? You know, I, uh, I remember a work session when there was a, a staff, a city staff employee that was making a present. It was all about, uh, the code that this person was writing that for us to, uh, vote on it. And I said, What's even the problem we're trying to fix here? And so if you really challenge what's the problem? And I see this in a lot of things as I think it might be human nature where we jumped to answers, we jumped to solutions rather than fundamentally understanding the problem and deeply pro probing the problem to be solved, let alone, um, solution. I believe it was, uh, uh, Albert Einstein that said if you, if he had one hour to solve the most, uh, perplexing problem. Facing humanity. He would spend 55 minutes understanding the problem that needed to be solved in five minutes, solving it And so I think, um, uh, you know, one of the things I try to do is the hard upfront thinking of what is the problem to be solved? And oftentimes that changes, um, or even negates action required in

Curt:

the first place. Yeah, I, Have I ever described kind of the process that we use at local think tank to you? No. So it's, it's basically the Socratic method in, in group form, right? And so first you, you start with a question, um, in June of 1415, my question to the group was, you know, should I add a second food trailer to my mobile food business? Mm-hmm. so that I can run through the wintertime and have two trailers in the summer and create a sustainable business. Cuz right now I'm working my tail off and it's not big enough to live on. Mm-hmm. And so then step two, is clarifying questions. No suggestions. So you get questions probing that the first question from different angles and different types of thinkers. And that's one of the reasons I'm so invested in diversity. And then step three, after at least 15 minutes of probing questions, now you can start making suggestions. Mm-hmm. And, And you have to, that's why the facilitator is there to stop people from making suggestions right away. Or if you start asking questions that sound a lot like suggestions, then they can call you to account cause, Right. And then, And then only after all those suggestions are out, then does that member say, you know, here's really what I heard. Here's what I'm gonna do. And have that accountability to come back. And so engaging the community, probing the question from different angles. And because we don't all want the same thing. Mm-hmm. like we kind of all want the same big thing, but we don't all want it from the same perspective. And

Wade:

oftentimes you find the answers that people jump to. And, and delivered is, um, to, uh, to it it tends to be, um, inoculated or smoothed over through these kind of things. We all kind of agree as important and Sure. And, and, but in the probing, there's absolutely no foundation to that to even go forward. Yeah. And so it's very much, uh, I would agree grounded in the Socratic method of, of really probing as to what is the problem to

Curt:

be solved. Yeah. So, um, one problem I find is that you didn't quite answer my question. When I ask you to describe what you're doing these days, um, you work for csu. So that's your main muscle? Yeah,

Wade:

so I'm, uh, regular faculty in the college of it, um, and in my home department's, mechanical engineering. But I've also helped, um, over the years form and, um, affiliate faculty and systems engineering and also biomedical engineering and, uh, and together, um, uh, with their atterbury will help, we help to form what is now, um, the master program of public, uh oh yeah. Practice administration in the, uh, political science department. So I serve on that as well, so, Oh, interesting. I serve in a number of different. Academic roles. My main, uh, home is, uh, in mechanical engineering where, um, I, uh, am, uh, integral involved in our design program and senior design, and we do a lot of projects with, uh, uh, private sector companies. Okay. And, uh, um, I enjoy that immensely, the notion of design. And that tends to, um, uh, fall in line with a lot of things that related my public, uh, policy

Curt:

arena. Yeah. Well, systems design is kind of what. What I see and you're wearing a connection, uh, you know, fleece jacket here today. Yeah. You know? And so that's been one of your keynote, one of your probably legacy projects as you were departing the mayorship on the Fort Collins basis. Right. I,

Wade:

I, I fortunate, Uh, I think at a key time, one of the things helped us establish at the city was, um, this notion of this futures committee, uh, which was a subcommittee of the council where we would, uh, basically have topics that weren't on our normal council agenda. Uh, so they're not something you're currently working on. And the purpose of the futures committee was really to think about, um, the future, obviously, um, where we're going. And the way I, uh, describe it is lift your head up, look to the horizon, and. Are we on even the, the vector? Yeah. Towards the horizon that we think we are and those kinds of conversations, particularly in the public policy setting arena is a differentiator because if you're talking about the future, 5,100 years out mm-hmm. it's a different conversation. A lot of the things I found in, in, uh, as being mayor and being city council member is the issues that come up tend to be for next week or next month or Sure. You know, they're very immediate. Yeah.

Curt:

Next quarters earnings

Wade:

kind mentality. Yeah, that's right. And, and so your head's down and so you're always, and one, you're not really understanding what's the problem we're trying to solve too. You're, you're really not framing it in a context that I think you should be, um, in a city government perspective is thinking about it in the long term, we're. Not for next month or next year. We're here to be, uh, we're just about ready to celebrate our hundred 50th year as a incorporated city. Mm-hmm. Um, my church just celebrated we're 150th. Uh, uh, And

Curt:

you want your great grandkids to celebrate the 300 year anniversary. Exactly.

Wade:

It'll be well beyond, uh, my time, uh, here on earth. And, and so with that, uh, you know, I think it's important that we really frame. In the time dynamic in which we are serving. And it's, it's simply not this, uh, move by move chess game, which oftentimes, uh, sells us short as

Curt:

citizens. Right? Well, and like the, the, the, the liberal wing takes power and they try to slam through as many things as they can while they have power. And then the conservative wing, because the people revolt against all of this, like, action, like push the other side in. It's a slam,

Wade:

slam kind of a dynamic. And the cer and the community, the, uh, your, your citizens, your are not served well. Right?

Curt:

So certainty, you know, like knowing where the, the nation, the community, the economy is going, having some confidence makes people want to invest in it, right? And trust is like the great, so social lubricant that lets transactions flow so much more smoothly. And both of those things are like, Not headed in the right direction here.

Wade:

Right. And you hit on it. Exactly. It's, it's trust. It's, it's basically, um, the, uh, uh, there's been trust built in the system and I think we've had, uh, a, a large well of trust here in Fort Collins and, you know, uh, I and others, you know, don't want that squandered on, on this, that, and the other thing. That may be of, particular of interest this week, but, uh, you know, what's the depth of that and what's the benefit to our community Yeah. Long term.

Curt:

Yeah. Even like putting a 10 or 20 or 50 year lens under, under major policy initiatives, it helps to give a better frame. It does.

Wade:

And given, you know, the, the city budget at uh, um, you know, about north of 1.6 billion over a two year cycle. Right. You know, we invest in big stuff and big stuff. Um, historically, to the credit of Fort Collins has been in vested well, we see, um, you know, our sidewalks and how the, the, the, you know, I have a, a faculty friend at CSU that grew up in Iran and, uh, he, he remembers watching, you know, missiles fly over his house in the evening and he doesn't remember a sidewalk that wasn't cracked. And so now living in Fort Collins and the, the infrastructure in sidewalks is just an example of, of, uh, the curb cuts and the ADA accessible. And I think of our bike system and how well that, It's amazing. It's amazing. And when you go to other cities and, um, and another one I talk about regularly is our undergrounding of our electric power system. You know, that was a decision made by city council in 1969 to underground our electric system. Why? Well, there was. One thing that precipitated, it was boy being electrocuted because of a kite or something like that. Sure. But because of that, we, we benefit from so many things. People come to Fort Collins, see how clean it looks in our old town and downtown. You go to other communities. Oh yeah. It's trashy by comparison. Well, and I just think of Little Hoya, you're always looking through power lines, looking at gorgeous views of the ocean. Yeah. And we made a conscious decision to underground. Now does that mean next year? No, it took over 30 years.

Curt:

Yeah. To back, I probably would've weigh one of those people that was like, it cost way too much, you know, raising

Wade:

my taxes. Right. Well you mentioned, uh, connection. Yeah. Uh, as, uh, and as an example, so Fort Collins is a comprehensive utility. A community with then four, uh, municipal utilities, water, waste water, storm water, and electric. And we've added connection and that was very deliberate. I talked about the futures committee. Well, the reason I was bringing that up is because we asked the question of ourselves and we brought in, uh, some, uh, the incumbent, uh, Uh, internet providers in Fort Collins to say, What's a digital future of Fort Collins? Their answer was, um, less than uh, uh, enthusiastic. They basically said, um, we are about programming, we're not about infrastructure. So to me, that was a red flag that, um, you know, in order to be a digital connected future community was to, to, uh, have connectivity. Um, and so we started pursuing and we've on, they're still on the books, um, at the state level that, um, uh, we had to go for a vote just to have a conversation. And so we, uh, went to a vote that past 82%. And then, um, uh, we looked at various option, public private partnership, uh, um, municipally owned utility, so forth, and we went to. Route out of a, a public private partnership. And in the 11th hour, um, that fell apart. And then we went the route of a municipal utility and uh, and had to bond 140 million for that and went to the voters for that. And that passed 74%, I believe. And then from that point, um, the build out and we're about towards the end of this year will be a hundred percent build out in Oh, really? Before Collins.

Curt:

And how is the, the uptake?

Wade:

You know, I haven't heard an absolute number, but you know, it's, uh, important that, you know, I hear we're gonna be on the positive side of the, uh, uh, of, of you won't be

Curt:

bleeding red ink soon. That's

Wade:

good. So, you

Curt:

know, Right. I mean it's a, it's a beast to, to put all that infrastructure in while you're still waiting for customers. But every new customer is, is marginal revenue. Right. That's, that's right. Goes straight to the, to the bottom line, whether it's positive or negative.

Wade:

It is. And so that's so important and, and uh, um, and you know, Fort Collins will, will be there. It's one of those things, I think in a hundred years it was kinda like, Wow. That's, uh, that's

Curt:

the other thing is back in that time, well, especially with everybody moving here from other places and bringing their jobs from Omaha and their businesses that are basically online businesses. Yeah. From wherever they

Wade:

were. And we saw that during the pandemic. Absolutely. When we all, uh, basically went on Zoom online, that sort of thing, how important that was. Uh, and um, the other thing is we've undergrounded it so when our neighboring communities and all Northern Colorado is putting in, um, uh, uh, uh, broadband, same. Yeah. And, uh, we are, um, undergrounded so ours is more expensive, but it's one of those things that, you know, you won't have, uh, the wires hanging in front or back of your house or, um, because of that. Um, and so, you know, I think there was a article on the Wall Street Journal that was saying, if you are connected to high speed broadband, we're, we're gonna be a megabit up link, down link. Um, which, uh, uh, your, your health has a, has an appraisal of 5,000 more just being connected to high speed broadband.

Curt:

Interesting. So, I understand we're gonna jump in the time machine now. I understand you were, um, at Fort Collins just from, from the start and that as like a young teen or something. You were mayor for a day. Um, can you just start earlier than that even and describe your family. Were they also Fort Collins native? Were they moved here before you came

Wade:

along or So? Um, my family moved out here in 1947. Okay. My dad, uh, uh, uh, had a, a position at Colorado State University. It was post World War ii, obviously. Yeah. I was gonna ask. Yeah, he was a commander, uh, in the Navy and, and, uh, he finished his master's at that time at Duke. He got his bachelor's there as well. And interesting story he played in the 1942 Rose Bowl when Duke played Oregon State, the only Rose Bowl up until the pandemic that wasn't played in Pasadena, because of the less than a month bombing or Pearl Harbor, they picked up and moved the game. To, uh, Durham, North Carolina. Interesting. There's an interesting book out there called Fields of Battle where, um, it talks about that game and the decisions around it, and there's interesting stories in their post. Um, that game immediately things, uh, uh, uh, shut down and, and, and men went to war, and including Wallace Wade, which was the coach at Duke, and that's where I got my name, Wade. And, uh, um, uh, and there's stories of, of Oregon State and Duke football players finding themselves in the same, uh, Fox Hallal Yeah. Foxhole together in, in the, the, in, in European theater. And, and, uh, you know, they played against each other in the And did your dad win? No, unfortunately, uh, uh, Oregon State won that game. That's, uh, you know, Wallace Wade was a heck a coach. He coached a number of national champions at. At Alabama and then, uh, transferred, uh, coaching to, uh, Duke and they actually were undefeated and had a, the best team at that time until, got upset in the Rose Bowl. Got upset in the Rose Bowl, uh, 20 to 16 of,

Curt:

And what's your dad's name? Harry. And what was his, uh, position?

Wade:

Uh, my dad was a faculty member in forestry wood science. Um, and he finished as an associate dean in the College of Natural Resources, now a Warner School of Okay. Our College of Natural Resources. And, and, uh, I was thinking it

Curt:

was football position. Oh, I'm

Wade:

sorry, That's okay though. And then, uh, yeah, he played, uh, A guard. Okay. Um, and I played center at csu, so there was, uh, we played in the line, um, and uh, uh, and he had, they had a quarterback timing prothro. He, uh, uh, played for the Rams, played a name for a quarterback. Yeah. Right. Yeah. That and uh, uh, and he was a coach at U UCLA and that sort of thing. But my folks moved out here in 1947. The story goes that, uh, you know, uh, and he was in gonna be a forestry professor and, and drove across the United States on before the interstate. And, and halfway across the Kansas, my mom asked him, uh, you know, Harry, do they have trees in Colorado? They haven't seen a tree in days, Right. And, you know, Levy North Carolina. So, um, and so, Had a, had a career here. He was also NCAA faculty athletic representative, So he represented CSU and, and, and faculty matters with the ncaa and was a vice president with the NCAA for Cool. A

Curt:

while. Um, really a model of a leader within the Yeah, especially within that academic organization. Well, and in

Wade:

the community. Uh, my dad was on city council. He was appointed, I believe it was in 1964 and then served through 19 70, 71, I think 71 because we have elections on the on year. So, um, he was a council member and, and, uh, I remember, uh, um, you know, uh, how

Curt:

old were you during this? So I'm And how are you? Describe your, do you have siblings as well? Yeah,

Wade:

so I have, uh, uh, uh, two older brothers and an older sister. So I was the baby. Okay. And, uh, the family, uh, um, I have my oldest brother, Harry, the third, uh, tiger as he was called, passed away a few years ago. Yeah. And, uh, I Great, uh, older brother and, and great athlete. Uh, um, Allstate quarterback and, and, um, and then mother, brother Jim just finished his career as being an oral surgeon in the city of Fort Collins and Okay. Northern Colorado and, yeah. Yeah. And then my sister and her husband, Wade Smiley, they live in, uh, Bonnie Wellington. And, uh, um, you know, Wade, uh, Just for note played on the, um, last, uh, city football team that won state Oh, the 1969 Puter High School team. Okay. So, um,

Curt:

being quite a, quite a football legacy in your

family.

Wade:

Yeah. Huh. And, and, uh, and I had the opportunity and was recruited and, and, uh, didn't, and, uh, chose to play here at csu. Mm-hmm. uh, for then Coach Sarks Elian. And we had some good teams during those ear years and, uh, um, was a good, uh, I, I enjoyed football a lot. Uh, I st I think I still have the bench press record at csu, uh, for the football team. Wow. 455 pounds. Holy crap.

Curt:

I didn't know people pushed weights that hard back in those days. No, I

Wade:

was kind of a gym rat. Uh, and, you know, the, the weight room at, uh, CSU at that time was an old cleared out storage room in the bottom of Mobi Gym, which, uh, you know, now it's a, it's, it, it's a quite a

Curt:

facility. Yeah. It's got, uh, $280,000 worth of gear, or probably twice that. Right, Right,

Wade:

right, right. So, um, uh,

Curt:

anyway, That's cool. So tell me about that part of you and, and maybe even take me back into like the, the school years a little bit and stuff. Were you always like, Focused on athletics, but it sounds like you were focused on community. Yeah. Like, I don't know. You're, you're a weird polymath kind of a guy, I have to say. Well,

Wade:

I, you know, I'd really credit again, my, uh, mother primarily and my father, um, my mother. Um, you know, it was really a value growing up is, is uh, you know, citizen. Yeah. And athletics and scholarship are not mutually exclusive.

Curt:

Well, you were the baby. You're supposed to be the screw off. No

Wade:

But I think, you know, that's the love of the home. I think that's the magic of, uh, of, of, you know, uh, the blessed in, um, so many ways and, and doesn't mean I didn't screw up. And, uh, but also, uh, you know, I think the support and, and community, you know, values,

Curt:

um, Yeah. Even the accountability around that. Accountability showing up when you say you're gonna be and whatever.

Wade:

Yeah. You know, I, I'm very fortunate in Fort Collins, you know, when I was born, Fort Collins was 20,000 people, you know, it ended at Prospect Road going south, and, and now it's 177,000. And, um, you know, I, I, I state without equivocation that Fort Collins is even a better place. but growing up in a small town where you're literally riding your bike all around town. Yeah. And, uh, and you, you know, um, the butcher baker, candlestick maker, uh, so to speak, um, you know, there's this accountability around town. Yeah. Um, and when your dad is on city council and you're in junior high, uh, there's accountability there or in elementary school, um, and, you know, um, you know, it's. Your, your, your decisions. But, um, you know, I was raised in a home while you're, you know, you, you were a good student and, uh, and uh, and you know,

Curt:

did you ever want to like, go off to, uh, LA and start a band or anything like that? You get out from that.

Wade:

If, if anything, I was probably, um, more event guard than the rest of my family, but that still pretty mainstream. Very nice. Fair enough. And, uh, um, and, you know, I majored in engineering as an undergraduate and, um, you know, I talk with recruits even today about if they're interested in engineering to say it can be done, but it's difficult, it's challenging and it takes, uh, that challenge and some do. Yeah. I mean, uh, There's, uh, a line of, um, engineer football players that, uh, you know, that I have great respect for that, uh, that that went through here. And, and, um, uh, and just, you know, now I'm at a point where I look back and, and connect with some the, the, my teammates and they'll be coming back this weekend for Legends weekend, uh, at, and I get to see a lot of 'em. And, you know, um, prob, you know, they're probably exceptions, but they're all leaders in their own fields. And, you know, that's one thing that, um, athletics, um, with academics, you know, this leadership notion of and, and commitment data to community. And I think about leadership a lot, and I try to incorporate that within the classes that I teach. And, but it, it, you know, for me it was something that athletics really brought to the fore. It's really, um, I, I tell a story, uh, that I'll just tell right now. Um, when I first played tee-ball as a kid, and I credit my mom a lot for these kind of values and, um, uh, my, we went and got my uniform for tee-ball and uh, it was a T-shirt and it was the goers, uh, the team and uh, um, putting on that t-shirt, I was the short little stocky kid. The first guy in, in your class that reached a hundred pounds but

Curt:

not because he was so tall. That's

Wade:

right. Exactly. Yeah. I was the short little stocky kid. We had to go to Denver to buy back to school pants to fit my legs, So I was that stocky. Little chubby. You were a chunk. Yeah, I was a chunk and, uh, and so I brought home, uh, tried on this uniform and this t-shirt and I couldn't get it over my head. And you know, you can't be on the team unless you're wearing the uniform. And so, um, my mom said, No problem. So she, she was a seamstress. She kinda opened up the, the collar a little bit. So I get over my head. I was on the team. But that is a memorable time when the hurdle didn't seem to be a hurdle. Yeah. And uh, and for me it kind of, um, led to, you know, particularly in team sports and, and football. I remember a junior high game when a. Guard, I played center guard next to me, jumped off sides, and I said, Come on man, we need you and everybody to play together in order to win. So it was, it was a stepping up and, and encouraging him, but not in a very deliberate way, you know, that we all have to work together in

Curt:

order to have a well in those, those chubby thighs that wouldn't fit into the pants, they turned into powerful legs. That, that's pushed back the opposing defenses. That's what

Wade:

it ended up being. And, and so, um, and you know, I captain in high school, I captained at csu, and, and it was really, um, one of, uh, you know, I think the leadership came from respect and, and going back to that trust of people have in a leader to, uh, move forward. And, and so, um, again, that all to me,

Curt:

I think we circled back to trust just now that. Yeah. So, um, how did your early career play out? Were you, were you good enough to be considered a pro prospect or anything at that time or, So, you know, and when was this, by the way? Can you circle me? Sure. I know it's kind of revealing how old you are. No, that's

Wade:

right. I graduated from high school in 1975. Okay. And, uh, um, and major in engineering went right on like that summer I started taking classes and so forth and, and, uh, so I played 75, 76, 77, and 78 was my senior year. Uh, our records were, uh, six and five, six and 5 9, 2 and one, and five and six. Um, and, uh, so overall, uh, a career that had, uh, you know, we finished 27, 20 and one or something like that. Yeah. Over

Curt:

one pretty solid season. The rest was all classic csu Right. Basically, but just the last decade

Wade:

or two. But winning seasons. Yeah. You know, now those go to, to bowls. Right. Back then they did. Back when we were nine, two, and one, we were half a game out of the Fiesta. Oh, wow. And, uh, um, you know, uh, that tie was,

Curt:

uh,

Wade:

burning, huh? Yeah. And, and, and, and then it was the Old Western Athletic Conference, which we had. Arizona. Arizona State. Utah. Utah, Uh, not Utah state yet. Yeah. Utah State. We had Ute, we had Air Force, uh, Wyoming and New Mexico. Man, that's a big conference, huh? And um, and Hawaii came in and so, um, but good conference, you know, So, you know, my senior, my. That nine, two, and one year we beat, that was the last year of Arizona and Arizona State in the WAC before they went to now the Pac 12. But we beat both of 'em. That's cool. And that's cool. And my first game as a freshman, so I played all four years. I was a long snapper my freshman year and then played regular center starting uh, a regular center as well as a long snapper. Um, but my first game, my freshman year, we played University of Texas down there. Wow. Uh, Darrell Royal. And I remember just being, you know, a wide-eyed kid and looking around what is now Darrell Royal Stadium in Austin. Okay. And saying, Man, this is cool. This is what college football is

Curt:

all about. I was four, so I don't remember any of this stuff.

Wade:

And uh, and then that year we also played Tennessee down. Okay, cool. Neil Stadium. And

Curt:

what else? A neat thing though, right? For That's awesome. Young kid.

Wade:

We played, uh, uh, Oregon State that year. Beat him. Uh, that's fun. And you know, um, so, you know, now, you know, we're still playing, uh, you know, teams like, uh, uh, um, Wyoming That's right. Well, we, we were two and two with Wyoming. Yeah. And, uh, you know, my, uh, how's the team look this

Curt:

year? I haven't been paying

Wade:

enough attention. You know, I'm, I'm still positive. Um, you know, uh, it,

Curt:

I like their new coach. He came to visit our rotary club and I was like, Yeah, I like that guy. He's a

Wade:

good fit. He, um, and, and I think he's a good coach and he's a developer of, uh, of, of men in their, uh, positions. And I'm, I'm hopeful. And, and I, I, I, you know, the important part is I always. Personally stressed is getting that first win cuz that first win leads to other wins. Mm. Haven't have and until you, they don't have a win yet. And, but they've had a couple of, uh, um, real close losses, you know, starting to Michigan and, and, and, uh, and then last week of Washington State. Well, those are tough. Those are, but you know, the thing is get win and then start winning and, and, uh, you know, I'm, I'm hopeful that, you know, by getting that confidence and you know, we were two and two against Wyoming my sophomore year. I got the ball for the game because, um, I went against what was their all American linebacker. Oh. And held to, uh, two tackles in the game. And so that was, uh, you know, that's pretty cool. A big moment. Um, so I have that football. and uh, um, you know, uh, in that year they went to the Fiesta Bowl. So, you know, they were a good team. Yeah, Yeah. Very

Curt:

cool. Um, yeah, so talk about your, your, and we'll kind of breeze through some of the career stuff. I really want to get into some of the, the ventures that you've been a part of, whether it be. Ventures in community, or especially ventures in, you know, business pursuits and things. So yeah. What, how does that young engineer, uh, what's you go from there?

Wade:

Yeah. Well, um, I went on right away for my master's and I, my motivation, so that would've been 80 to 82. I just wanted to be a student. Yeah. You know, um, on Friday night, you know, study Sure. Right. Not prepare for the game. Um, and, and so I did my master's in mechanical engineering. Okay. And actually it was a, a funded project that I started as an undergraduate on a weight machine, What I called the TR size. And it was a, it was a microprocessor control 1980 oh. Interest weight. Interesting machine that ac actually, uh, uh, like variable tension or something. Well, based on your maximal capability of. Of output and multiple joints. So basically it had to vary the force. And so instead of lifting a a constant weight, it would vary the force to the maximum amount that you could take at that point in the lift. Huh. So it, it actually varied it. Um, and it was modeled on a bench press and so there's a force displacement curve that you know is nonlinear and uh, and then you're able to sustain higher. E cons eccentrically. So basically the the sh the

Curt:

what part of the, the gaps in the wave is how I'm

Wade:

imagining it, right? Yeah. And so it actually loaded you up on the negative lift and, and, and the positive lift, you know? And so what it was, is it, you could actually quantify work instead it how many reps at home? You could actually say I did. Oh wow. So much foot pounds of load. So you could actually use it for diagnostics, like, you know, if you're coming off a injury or something like that. So that was my senior design project that I also did that was funded for my, my master's and I did that. And so it was the TRX

Curt:

sensor. So basically you invented something your senior year. Was then cool enough of a thing to get as a funded master's

Wade:

kind of project. Yep. And did a, So my first invention disclosure at CSU was back in 1980 before they had all the tech transfer mechanisms they do now. Uh, but I did get a letter that I actually own the intellectual property of this invention. Okay. That, uh, and, and I did have conversations and was flown out and with a company, Kaiser Sports Health Equipment. And because mine was pneumatic, uh, that was the load. So air pressure mm-hmm. um, and you varied deer pressure. That's how you got that variable load. Um, this company actually had a line of pneumatic. Um, exercise equipment. And so, uh, it was just getting started and it's still a very viable company.

Curt:

Did they buy your

Wade:

intellectual property or, Well, didn't go so far as buying it, but uh, you know, I remember

Curt:

they sniffed it and said, Now we can get around that easy enough

Wade:

and, uh, if there's a market for it. Yeah, actually. Um, but I did help them sell some here in Fort Collins to Tom Gleason, that first National Bank. They actually equipped. And Tom Gleason was a man ahead of its time where he created an exercise room for, um, his bank employees and, and, uh, they use Kaiser sports cell equipment there. So there you go. You know it. And you know, that's kind of a role I find myself. A lot of ways it's here are ideas, but also here, you know, if there's a benefit in our community, there's a connection made. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. You might be the same type as I am in our, I haven't told you about the halo relational intelligence yet. No, either. Yeah. Um, I'm sure you studied all kinds of stuff like Myers Briggs, et cetera. So I'm a white green. Okay. In Halo, there's five colors. And your two essential colors like contend against each other. Ah, the white is the ideas, very principles. Values focused. Yeah. And the green is social relational. Okay. So they're people first always kind of, Yeah. And I like to say, well, local think thing is like local community think tank. Yeah. Uh, and then there's the organizer planner. The blue. Yeah. The orange is the achiever entrepreneur, which you may be some of that too. Then the brown is the systemic thinker. Okay. And so, I don't know what the heck you are, you may hear all the colors. I think well

Wade:

in some of those, and this was at Myers Briggs, but was another one. But I ended up, um, this uh, uh, there was a third dimension. So. And the third dimension was your versatility. And so I tend to, Here's a jack of all trades master I I can actually, or, or I think a chameleon I can actually map into different Yeah, yeah. As opposed to just be hardwired. A couple.

Curt:

Yes. Yes. Are you an alien?

Wade:

That's right. That's right. I, that's my, that's my secret power. Uh, my, uh, superpower.

Curt:

Superpower It's like when you just see somebody and you can just become them. Are you gonna walk out of here as me and go kill somebody or anything? Okay, good. Yeah. Yeah. That would be hard to explain.

Wade:

sounds like an interesting

Curt:

movie though, right? Could be. Could be. So, um, well that's neat. I didn't know about like this early invention and even how you got to kind of experience the opportunity for commerce. Well,

Wade:

and that kind of defined what I have done in design at csu. So I'm a regular faculty. I've done, I, I do high speed, I do uh, uh, intelligent control distributed system. So I. Apply that in robotics or now autonomous vehicles or, I've used it for the last 25 years and, and applications related to our electric power system. As we move from central power plant to more distributed energy resources with plugin electrics and solar and the roofs. How does the, the, that system manage from, uh, utility?

Curt:

It's not that easy. Just one big technology tube. It's different,

Wade:

right? It's kinda like cell phones. How does your cell phone work when you're driving around and going between cells and you need to have a system, that kind comment. And so, um, that's my particular specialty. But, um, you know, it's always been around design and this is how I've applied my engineering design as in this intelligent control distributed systems. I did a post after I finished my PhD. That's right. At csu at University of Edinburgh in Scotland. That's right. In their intelligent robotics group, in their department of artificial intelligence.

Curt:

So, so did you stay a student after your master's? You went straight into PhD or you go into commerce for a while? Yeah, I

Wade:

did. I, I worked at Kodak. Oh, that's right. And for couple of years in high speed automated equipment. Yeah. And that did ground me in a lot of ways as to, um, the relevance and, you know, um, and I remember coming back and being much more organized in terms of meetings and things like that than academics. So I tended to have this different flavor and then did my, uh, PhD in robotics at CSU in mechanical engineering. That's what I got my degree in my PhD. And, and so I was the robotics guy and done mobile robots. We've, you know, we've had robotics companies in Fort Collins. Sure. Wolf was Wolf. And prior to that it was ESOP and, and, uh, um, And prior to that it was, but it, it, you know, since it was right now where a republic, uh, um, uh, trash company, trash company, uh, those building, that's where ESOP was before they Okay. Relocated in Wolf, um, on Harmony Road. Okay. But we also had Hewlett Packard, um, where, uh, they invested in this mobile platform for delivery in, in manufacturing environments. Um, and it was a, it was a company, it was an HP technology, but it was a local company called a Apigee Robotics and here in Fort Collins. And, and, uh, there've been a few other robotics companies and now there's vector automation and, and others that, uh, um, I continue to work with and, and, uh, there's robotics in all different forms now. In fact, you know, whenever the word intelligence and inte controls that falls into a specialty that, you know, that

Curt:

interests me and. Is it true then that you've had like, uh, some commercial ventures in some of these robotics efforts and companies and things, but not really been like the, the person that ran the company took it to commercialization was more your ideas and somebody else do stuff

Wade:

or No? Um, so just said that, So I've, um, I've had a number of patent disclosures over the years that's issue and including one that included my son, who was three at the time. We were playing around and, uh, with Legos and he, he put something together that I was then looking at. I said, This is cool. It was, we called it a wobble motor, but it was a way to actually, um, have a drive from a shaft, but you didn't tie. The drive element to the shaft. Yeah. It was actually friction

Curt:

driven. I'm imagining almost like a worm drive that has gaps. So it's just like, Right.

Wade:

So, so basically we disclose that, you know, and an application would be, uh, you know, when, when, when planes land and the big puff of smoke comes up from their tires, it's when the tires and the gears engage with the runway. Right. And it wears out the tires. If you had this wobble motor mechanism, it wouldn't wear as much on the tires. Sure. um, you know, that's an, yeah. An example of how it might be applied. And, and, uh, so, you know, I had that invention with my son that he was three at the time, and, which is kind of cool. And, and, uh, but I've had others over the years, including in the electric power space. Uh, there is, I do have a patent where I'm, uh, unam on it in the electric power space. So I've applied intelligent control, distributed robotic systems to energy systems and yeah. And, uh, I have a patent out there on that. And, and with, it wasn't directly related to that patent, but with, uh, two. Former students. Uh, one got his master's with me, one got his master's PhD with me, but we started a company, uh, called Six Dimension at the time. And, uh, this was in 1997. It was in the basement, literally. Um, and, uh, uh, your basement or their basement? It was, it was everybody's basement. My, my, uh, my former students basement and uh, and we went through three rounds of financing. Okay. 18 million raised. Wow. Sold the company in 2002. Did you

Curt:

create customers and revenues and things, or was it Were

Wade:

developing? We, it was a technology that, um, we were, uh, still pre-revenue when we sold the company. And, and that company that bought our technology went from a thermostat company to a network company, which we were

Curt:

the network, not like an automated controls kind of thing. Right.

Wade:

Which we had a data center outta Fresno. Um, so

Curt:

it was worth it. They were happy. They bought you?

Wade:

Well, they went public and, and, uh, 2007 believe.

Curt:

And your investors were happy, I assume they invested

Wade:

less than they? Well, basically when we were purchased, they all that stock converted. Mm-hmm.

Curt:

or were bought out, especially if they held onto it to ipo. Yeah.

Wade:

And so, um, one of the, one of the two stayed with the company through the ipo. Okay. And, and now that each one of them are CEOs of their own companies. Cool. That's that a kill me. And so, you know, and it's in a, it's in a industry that was, uh, Before it's time. Um, you know, one of the things that happened in 2001 was nine 11. Sure. That basically kind of froze our customers. Yeah. Uh, to not do anything. Right. They would meet with us, say Cool, and Right. Thank you. Um, but it was a technology that was viable and, and, uh, clearly found it's a way to the market. Yeah. And, uh, continued to work in that market. I serve on the board for Grid Wise Alliance. Okay. Which is, uh, you know, uh, the, the, the chair of that board is, uh, CEO of, uh, CommEd Utilities. And so it's, it's utilities. So I still play actively in that space. Yeah. What, what's generally called historically the smart grid. Mm-hmm. Um, and, uh, and now with. Other things like vehicles, UAVs, um, and so forth. You know, this is a, And

Curt:

so your, your involvement in academia has been kind of consistent throughout this whole time since, since then. And then like the mayor thing was just a little side hustle, kind of

Wade:

I wouldn't describe it quite like, But, uh, you know, um, I would describe it this way. Um, I've always, uh, I think, um, I think since growing up bit been outward facing. And so my role as a faculty member, I would be doing the things that faculty members do, uh, research, write papers, have grad students and so forth. And I've had, you know, well over 70 students, uh, Master's, PhD graduate, and so forth. So I've been very active on that, but I've always been outward facing in relationships in the community for whatever reason. And so, um, back in 2007, uh, 2006, uh, people in the community approached me and said, You know, it'd be great if you would consider running for city council. And so I considered it and I ran for city council, and I, I was elected and I've been through five elections. I won all of them, uh, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017. and 2019, So, um, I, I had two, uh,

Curt:

two city councils followed by three mayors. That's

Wade:

right. Right. So yeah, the, the term for mayor is as two years each and three elections there and, Okay. And so, um, it, I, I view this as a, a service, uh, community to community and, um, and, you know, as a citizen legislator, so you keep your day job. That's the notion of a, a council manager form a government, which we have. And, uh, um, I'm not supportive of. Full-time pay for council members or mayor, because it's not a job. It's a service to your community. Yeah. And, and, uh, to suggest that, um, it's a job. I think, uh, um, kinda devalues the

Curt:

office a little bit. It does. I think

Wade:

it only begs for, uh, more mischief. I

Curt:

agree. I agree. Um, while we were talking about those distributed systems and stuff, I, I couldn't help but think. Like California and Europe and um, like talk to me about the future of our energy society a little bit and if you're willing, you know, I know it's a sensitive topic, climate change and all that I've taken to believing that windmills kind of mess up air currents and keep moisture from traveling. Very good. And we should shut 'em off at certain times even.

Wade:

Um, you know, I think there is something related to micro climates and. You know, studying the impacts of, of like a, a large device in the context of does it change the micro climate? Yeah. Um, I think that's, I'm a farm

Curt:

kid, so it seems like there's no free lunch, Right? That's just the world. There's

Wade:

no free lunch. And, and that's right. And, you know, uh, you know, these are big devices. If you've ever seen, uh, I've a three and a half, 3.2 megawatt, uh, wind turbine, which are typically a size on land or the five megawatt, those out to sea. Those are huge devices. You know, the, the, the blade, uh, you know, from blade to blade tip, uh, is, is over. You know, it's about a foot

Curt:

photo feed. Yeah. If you took the amount of air that's displaced by one revolution and just blasted it to you out of a 16 inch hole, It would like throw you across the, Well, these things launch you to

Wade:

gree. These cities generate energy and so it's not surprising that they have, it's hard big

Curt:

end, you know, to light a light bulb pedaling a bike. That's not even that easy though. Well,

Wade:

that gives you a, a, an insight into what it takes in order to generate, you know, when you try to burn a thousand kilo calories in a day, Well, we're talking big systems anyway, as we're, you know, my general feeling is we can always improve the systems that we have in our engineered systems, and they also work in the context. People and environments and, and, and we need to be cognizant of environments generally. That's the context in which they operate and then around people and, and safety and, and the security and, and all those sorts of things. And, and that's where systems engineering plays a key role is, is terms of technology and society. And I think we downplay that. You know, I think generally as society, we look at technology as good period. Yeah. Full stop. As opposed to understand it in the context of society in a broader context. One of the things I've worked on last 10 years and, and I, um, worked. With my son is this notion of technology in society. He's, um, you know, together we have this paper on a philosophy of engineering towards a philosophy of engineering and understanding, um, uh, really the role of, you know, there's philosophy of science, there's philosophy of technology. There's, um, uh, engineering ethics. Yeah. But there isn't the similar notion of in a philosophy engineer that first

Curt:

do no harm kind of thing. Thing. Right. You know, and that's the medical, you know, if you're coming up with algorithms, you know, do not create silos. Please. There's

Wade:

the three laws, robotics that Isaac Osmo, uh, let's hear. Well, you know, anyway, it's part of a, my robotics, lectures of things, of the history of, of robotics. But, uh, you know, but it, it follows on the line of the Hippocratic Oath, but the philosophy of, of engineering takes into account that it's different than philosophy of science a lot. Post World War ii, post budnic growth of universities in this country is upon engineering science. And that's, you know, understanding scientific principles and applying them systematically to engineered systems so that they work. And, and we've been very successful in applying engineering science post World War ii, post Spuing. Well, I argue from a design standpoint that engineering is different than science. Um, and in science is by its very nature. Yeah. That's just truth and Well, and, and it's hypothesis driven reductionism. Yep. It's how does things work? And we under, we reduce them to understand their general principles. Yep. Engineering on the other hand Yeah. Is what question

Curt:

are you trying to solve?

Wade:

Well, yeah. It, it gets to the point of, of, um, uh, Of design Bates synthesis, you're synthesizing a solution for something. Mm-hmm. So you're pulling something together and engineers are trained in that synthesis. Right? Those are the principles of design in which our education, uh, uh, are built in engineering. Well, we don't examine that. That's a whole different underpinning philosophy. If you think of, um, uh, I was just in, uh, in Scotland and, uh, David Hume and the great philosoph of, for, uh, David Hume and others. Well, there's different kind of philosophies for synthesis, like do we and others that, uh, can underpin our understanding of synthesis, um, and the practical utility of that activity. And so I think there's a fundamental way of thinking that's different. And with that, I think with our engineering students and with society generally, that would be useful to understand this is design based synthesis in the context of engineering, which we don't touch at all within the education.

Curt:

So taking it back to like the, how do we power our global economy without messing up our climate too much? Like what, what is your encouragements? Uh, like more of what we've been doing doesn't seem to be, well, super prudent necessarily, but I think you, what you're saying is we can always get better and to what ends are we trying to design for?

Wade:

Exactly. So I look at. Um, in relating it to energy and relating it specifically to electric energy, which a lot of us, there's motion to shift to more dominantly than we are today. Yeah. When we talk about electric vehicles Sure. We're moving from liquid fuels to electric vehicles, which, which

Curt:

requires that many more lines and

Wade:

Exactly. So there's much larger needs in the future related to our transp, uh, transportation system being electrified. Well, um, I think about it in, when you think about, um, you know, in the 1930s, well, you think, um, Edison and you think about, um, uh, our electric power, and it started in a very distributed way in New York City where neighborhoods were actually electrified and so forth, and they kind of grew organically. In the thirties, we actually move towards the power plant. Yeah. And if you think of our

Curt:

power plant, it's plant, plant, plant out of town. So you don't have

Wade:

these, and you think about the one on North college. Yep. That was our power plant built 19 35, 19 36, Which electrified Fort Collins. Well, and, and to the credit of, again, leadership in northern Colorado and Fort Collins. Um, uh, Al Hamilton being one created Plat River Power Authority, which created raw hide power plant. Yeah. In the seventies, um, that, uh, provided electric power of four cities. Four Collins, Loveland, Estes Park, and Longmont. Mm mm-hmm. Um, and so that,

Curt:

you know, and it got the power generation thing out of town, it outta town thing. Now was that the, the original plant, was that coal? Yep, that was coal too. Okay. Yep. They have

Wade:

coal bins and that's, you can still, they, they still mimic the bin up. You know, they, with uh, and there were four, uh, turbines. It was about a five megawatt. Okay. At, at maximum capacity.

Curt:

Um, same power, one of those offshore wind turbines now.

Wade:

Yeah. And so, you know, now, uh, rawhide power plant and there's, in addition to raw h um, about 51% of flat river's power mix is now coming from renewables. They have 50 megawatt, um, solar raw hide, flat solar, and, and they have a roundhouse wind project and other projects for wind and so forth. So, You know?

Curt:

So what do they do to ramp up when the, when the wind and the solar go offline, they buy it from outside? Well, it's a complex system, electric

Wade:

gas system that this, this system has been described and I think accurately so, and what we have in the United States is our electric power system is the most complex machine in the world, Okay. There isn't one operator owner, and I mean, it's in Colorado alone, there's 50 some different electric utilities. Wow. And so when you talk about how does it work, you know, there's the general power. Nobody really knows well, it's very com it's dynamic It's very, And so when you talk about, uh, rawhide supplying four communities, And they also have, uh, gas turbines do in case of peaking. Yep. Um, so they can turn those on at certain times. Uh, they have, so those are called peakers and, and uh Right. Um, and

Curt:

or they're not efficient for like everyday use, but you can fill in the gaps in whatever.

Wade:

Right. And say they, they do heavy planning that, you know, the have a predicted load for the next day. They do day ahead planning. Wow. And they actually schedule, and this is what NERC for and these federal agencies, and we have wapa, Yeah. Western Area Power Authority and so forth. They all play a role in, um, in this day ahead planning that then when the day comes, that uh, you know, there's enough capacity and so forth and capacity plus reserve, there's usually about a 15% reserve margin on top of what's necessary for that

Curt:

day. And is that, That reserve is kind of sloughing off into the rest of the system somehow where other people suck it up or whatever. That's

Wade:

right. So, um, and or it might be something that's not engaged, but it might be running. Hmm. So you just think of putting in your clutch and then pulling your clutch when you need it. Yeah, Yeah. Um, it's a similar notion there that it's available and, um, it may not be engaged and, but it's still

Curt:

checking away. So how's our system here, like both it's, uh, resiliency, it's ability to be strengthened and grown in the future to support, you know, another quarter million people or half million people in the 20 years ahead?

Wade:

Well, um, in just Northern Colorado

Curt:

or Colorado. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. Yeah.

Wade:

Northern Colorado especially. Well, in northern Colorado we have the four cities, and then otherwise you're talking about the Rural Electric Association. Sure. So you've got pd, r e a, and, but you're also talking about Excel, for example, the foothills. Mmm, West of Fort Collins, west of, um, a west of Overland Trail is, uh, Excel. I see. You know, in fact, I would say, if you wanna know what's Excel and what city, Fort Collins, just look for the power poles Right. Because that's one way I say you're in the county and you're supplied by either your RA or by Excel. Sure. Because it's a power pole system, it's above ground and it's less reliable because, you know, a storm heavy wet, a spring snowstorm can, you know, take down that wire. Well, we don't have wires in Fort Collins to take down. They're undergrounded. So we have an incredibly reliable

Curt:

Yeah. Reliability wise. Yes.

Wade:

And, and so forth. Um, getting to your, the, the point to your question is what's happening in the future? And that is there's this transition from central power plant, big, uh, uh, uh, fossil fuel oriented power plant to more distributed energy resources. We're getting solar on your roofs, neighbor's roofs and so forth. And it's designed not to have power flowing this way, but from the central power source. And so you need a system that can actually accommodate, you know, all this supply Yeah. Coming from solar on your roof, your neighbor's roof and so forth. And you also have these batteries that, um, if there were three right now without any accommodation, three, um, Teslas in your, um, distribution system within the city, it would put it under stress where it may not work properly. or it can be utilized such that it can benefit the system. Mm. Such as, um, you, you drive your Tesla in, you plug it in at work or like in a parking garage downtown, you know, that might be used to benefit the system in the afternoon peak. Yeah. And you

Curt:

would be And we fill it back up before you notice it.

Wade:

Yeah. And, and you would be compensated. Yeah. You should, you should be a fair participant within the system. Yeah. Right now you're not. Yeah. Basically it's usually a closed system and you're an only an offtaker. Yeah. Yeah.

Curt:

No, I love that notion of distributed generation. And actually I'm a pretty big fan of like rooftop solar panels and more so than big solar farms. They just seem like they're gross for whoever's backyard they're in, you know, and, and whatever. Well,

Wade:

it, you start to get to a system then that actually the supply benefits that local need. Right. As opposed to building a, a, a large and having this distribution system get it to you, there's actually huge losses. Oh, yeah. Relatively speaking from getting it there to here and, um, you know, I've taught the energy engineering course and we've actually have an assignment where we look at what is this? Take a, like a square foot on the table in front of you. Yeah. And the so many lumens coming from the light. That's the functional component of that light in the first place is lighting this room. So it's taking a, a known energy equivalent for the square foot in front of you. What did it take to generate that? Hitter and y Yeah. And so you start crawling up the wire, if you will. Sure. And you go to, um, the, the, the, uh, the neighborhood, uh, uh, distribution system and the dis and, and there, there's losses there. Sure. And you start going up and, and there's losses over the wire.

Curt:

Right. And there's a hydropower plant and all the wires that take it from there and all the guys that maintain it. Right.

Wade:

And, and so you actually go right to the source and it, it's actually, it requires 10 times what you actually functionally utilize Right. At the point. Interesting. But, but that's all kinda lost now in the counting because they, you know, you, through your bill, you actually pay for the entire system. Sure. And there's demand charges and things like that. Right. Built in. And if you be, if you actually think about, to get that functional light. Or that functional energy at that point of use. Right. What did it take? Um, and so if you think about then having it on your roof, it's not 10 times. Sure. You know, you can generate 10 less, 10 times less. Yeah. You know, to actually, and, and so when you start thinking about distributed energy and mapping and matching the needs at the local, you can actually much do a better job. And, um, that's, Let's digress a moment and think about distributed energy

Curt:

systems. Well, like houses with batteries, like you could have a few days or even a week's worth of electricity so that it fall the, if it was cloudy day after day after day or the wind didn't blow or blew too much, you just have that backup there and it's just like, no, you're tapping that down

Wade:

and, and, and you can build storage and people just jump to batteries. There's a hundred different ways you can store. Batteries

Curt:

are kind, kind gross. You can store

Wade:

and heat pump, pump water, pill that pump. Yeah, you do uh, that pump hydro and so forth. But there's many different ways. And so you can actually tune it to the system and the attributes that you have. Yeah. We actually have some nice elevation next to us here. Right. And that could be pump tiro, right. Now let's, like laid reservoir, is that being thought of as pump tight or No, it's only being thought of as pump into, not pump out of, Yeah. Um, and so you can, Huh. You know, you start approaching these, these large systems. Yeah. I think for

Curt:

people that haven't, like read a meme or anything, Like pump hydro is basically like during the day when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, you're pumping water uphill. And then when you have those higher peak needs or whatever, you can run it down the hill through a turbine and That's right. And

Wade:

make some So done. Some work over the years with ski resorts. Mm. Ski resorts have elaborate snow making systems. Sure. With water, typically at the top of the mountain, which they pump up there Right to use for their snow making. Well, we've actually talked with them about en engaging more distributed energy and utilizing that during other months of the year. Like the summer. Okay. For, uh, hydropower micro hydro, uh, uh, and utilizing, there's snow making infrastructure, their pipes and their, their, their, their ponds and so forth for local generation. Cause these places, like a veil, like Aspen, like others, they're at the end of a long feeder Right. From, you know, when you think Holy Cross energy they've got two big communities and not much else. Right. And to get 'em their

Curt:

electric power. Yeah. All that power goes down from the power plant and it's a rough day. Well,

Wade:

and it, and cold. That's the thing about central power. You have a single point of vulnerability. Right. And so, um, through distributed energy, you can actually create a more robust system. and I just think about it in terms of a head injury where you just don't shut down fundamentally from a head in. You just learn. You lose certain functions. It's a similar element with distributed energy, is it can be limited and isolated. Yeah, Very isolated. Yeah. As opposed to what happened on February 14th, 20. 21 in Texas, that in Texas, that was, uh, um, I would argue a mis design of the system. Sure. They knew that they, they were tied to gas in other states and so forth. So Icot is simply not the state of Texas. They actually had linkages into other states and, and, and the requirements necessary that, and, and they had a similar event that happened in 2011, I believe. Yeah. And they didn't heed the, the understanding of what came from the reports that do this next time. And, and they didn't. And so that's, uh, um, that's been a recurring, um, aspect of failures of electric systems. There's one in 2004 in the northeast that a tree branch in Ohio took out a, a quarter of the, the electric system in the United States. Whoa. And, um, the, the, the lessons learned were never heated and it went from crises. To crises without much in between. And, and, um, you know, this is one positive element that come out. Distributed energy integration with our electric system is a much more robust, reliable system if it's engineered properly. Understand what I don't see happening now. There's bku bucks that have just been, uh, voted in the inflation act in the, in the building back better kind of stuff, and it's targeted towards the electrification. It would be a shame if this money isn't. done in a way where the system is engineered to function even more robustly and reliably than our current one. Yeah. I don't sense that. I think the policy is not tied to implementation in an effective

Curt:

way. Yeah. Well it's not a performance based kind of thing in a lot of respects that what's that automotive company that just went belly up, uh, you know, for fraud and whatever And did you see the Beyond Meat Impossible or whatever results from this quarter? No. They had a negative gross margin They like lost 97 million on 150 million in sales or something. And it's like, well as it turns out, like only vegetarians want to eat that stuff. Yeah. You know, Anyway. And it's the same kind of thing for certain elements of these, these forced marketplaces based on Right. You know, the news or whatever. Um, I would like to talk to you for another hour on energy systems and things. Yep. If you were going to, like the US is in pretty good shape, you know, but, but Europe, you know, not in a six month long struggle. They're in a six year long struggle potentially. Yeah. Um, how should they spend their efforts? Cause you're a systems design kind of guy, like, I mean, Sue for peace with, with the Putin so they can get some gas. That seems silly. Well,

Wade:

and it was just in Scotland and basically their prices, um, for the winter have already let, energy prices have always doubled and so it's a. Uh, impact group. And so how do you, um, you know, there's a number of things that they're trying to do, but to replace, you know, someone in control of the knob, uh, Yeah. And, and some, and that person is turning it off. Um, what's the effect? And, you know, um, you know, a lot of this stuff takes time, takes planning, takes infrastructure development, takes building, I said they approved

Curt:

Shala sea gas in England. Yeah, right. So that's, you know,

Wade:

I think about Fring, but, so it'll be interesting, I think, well, how it plays out in one way, but I think how the debate will change, um, because it's, it's simply not, uh, wouldn't it be nice if it's kinda like we need to engineer these systems to work? Yeah. And it takes money and so forth. And, um, I think that will change a lot of the debate, you know, to it. It's, it, there's, you know, I, I I just want robust, reliable in systems. you know, sensitive, uh,

Curt:

systems that work. What, what do you think about nuclear power? My sense is, is that the nuclear advocates feel are feeling their oats for the first time in a generation. Yep. Uh, we'll just say it that way. And so, but I also respect those who fear, like we can't have nuclear everywhere. Cuz then basically everybody's got what they need to make a nuclear bomb. Yeah. And we can't be having

Wade:

that, you know, we're four or five generations beyond the China syndrome. Mm. So literally, and it's more modular and so forth. So it, so nuclear today is not your dad's nuclear. Literally. So, um, the technology is, and it's much more modular, uh, it's, you know, the waste are, are not in, in, in waste. Doesn't say magnitude in self lesser. And so there, and then there's other discussions going on too related to hydrogen and so forth. So, um, what I see is the whole, um, spectrum of all the above energy resources is back into play in its full. Color in what's happening literally around the world today. Yeah. Yeah. And uh, I think there's a lot we can do with doing things better and differently, like through distributed energy management and systems and so forth. So, Sure. The thing is, is use all the resources, keep the lights on robustly, but you know, no more right now when heat was going up the stack, you know, there's a lot of waste. Sure. Yeah. And uh, and now there's kind of this checks and balances on that waste and how to better capture it and reuse it in certain ways. So it's been waste in heat in other things that can be used for process industries like our breweries and others. Do you have

Curt:

any policy ideas on like addressing. The climate challenge, the caps and trades and things like that seem very authoritarian and like, frankly, punitive, likely to all of the developing or whatever nations. They're like, Oh, well you used to have cheap oil. Why can't I have cheap oil? Right? Like, well, how do we like address the climate concern and not like, keep poor people poor or make

Wade:

people poor? I tried to do with the city, um, with our climate action plan, which was voted on seven oh, in 2015 was talk about the climate economy and the climate and economy where solutions are coming out of Fort Collins. We were featured in the Museum of American History and, and, and Smithsonian about energy innovation and we've got companies and technologies wood. Spray others that are, have solutions that only benefit, can provide solutions for Fort Collins, but literally the world. Sure. So what we need to do is I think create these market if these needs are truly, if

Curt:

they're actual needs, let's solve them and

Wade:

not have all this, uh, you know, government push right now. You know, there was a lot happening into George Bush. Yeah. And, and, and, and you know, so, you know, uh, and, and, and, and now there's kind of, you know, there's floods of money and, but you know, where's the action? You know,

Curt:

so I think, and what is really gonna work, you know, unfortunately there's a lot of risk of mal-investment when Exactly. Technologies aren't proven. And if is good enough, it can

Wade:

prove itself Exactly. And it will scale fast. Yeah. Because when there's a market and there's a need, you

Curt:

know, just there definitely is a need. I mean, energy is money. Yeah. You know, if you're a, a poor African village, You know, if you've got access to clean, affordable energy on the internet, you can make stuff and sell stuff. You bet. You

Wade:

know, and, and so I think there's a lot of thing, and I'm in favor of market based solutions to get, uh, that scalability, um, and the outcomes that are desirable for the community.

Curt:

Yeah, fair enough. Um, you know, we gotta wrap up in about 15, 20. We, I have so many more fun things we could talk about. You just came back from Scotland, you said. Um, and so aside from observations on energy and, and things like that, what, uh, what's going on over, across the pond and, and how was your time there?

Wade:

Well, it was interesting. Uh, the Queen, uh, uh, death and funeral, uh, took a big portion of that. Uh, so she died at Belmore and she, her, her, uh, Not a wake or whatever. Yeah, right. Um, uh, came to St. Gil Cathedral. That's right. On the high street, on the morro mile in, uh, Edinburgh. And that's where you were, That's where we were. Uh, and, and we saw the Did you wait in line? No. Well, you couldn't help but try to get around. But, uh, uh, we actually saw the, uh, the hearse and the come into, uh, Um, come into Edburg, uh, you know, couldn't help but see it on, uh, on tv. The, the commentary, which was, was amazing. And, and then she left last Tuesday, um, to go down to, uh, London and, and, uh, Uh, and that kind of opened things up. But yeah. Um, you know, uh, I wonderful, you know, quite a lady, wasn't quite a lady, and I think, you know, her humility and her leadership and her, uh, she had a lot of respect. And I think, uh, uh, that spoke volumes to me today, um, with leadership. Yeah, fair enough. Um, and, uh, it was, it was interesting, uh, just, uh, to, uh, to see Scotland 32 years after spending a year there and, um, a wonderful place. The thing that's remarkable that, uh, as, as a me Americans, um, how much influence they had in the 17 hundreds on us in our formation. Totally. You know, went, visited, uh, John Adam Mill and Adam Smith's, uh, grave at, uh, uh, Can Gate Church, Kirk is, they call it, uh, there and, and, uh, but, um, Alexander Graham, Bill. Um, the advances in medical technology, a lot of the things like aseptic conditions and, and uh, anesthesia were perfected there. You know, there was a notion of grave robbers of taking graves and, um, and utilize them for medical practice. Hmm. Um, and, uh, you know, the in grave fires Kirk, they actually have cages over the grave um, so that the grave robbers wouldn't take them. They'd be foiled by the bars around it. Yeah, that's right. Um, uh, and, and, and so those, um, the architecture in the new town of Edburg is the Georgian architecture that. You know, look so lovely in Washington, DC So, you know, and their new town is, is, is lovely. Um, uh, we rode bikes, uh, their bike infrastructure's much better there now than, yeah, than, um, uh, their old town, which is a amazing history in terms of sanitation and, and, uh, and the conversion there. But, uh, you know, you really see the advancement of, uh, western civilization, uh, in, uh, focus in Ed Bur Scotland. Yeah.

Curt:

Have you ever, uh, do you listen to podcast, by the way? I do. Have you listened to Lex Friedman yet? Do you know Lex Friedman? No. Oh, he's a, he's an MIT engineer that has now done something over 300. Really? Oh. In, He's a Russian Ukrainian. Oh. Uh, by birth. Uh, and, uh, he always, in his podcast, asks his guest, um, what is the meaning of life? Would you like to take that one on today? Sure. In honor of Lex Friedman. If you're listening l you can get Wade Trel on your show. Okay. Uh, he's pretty famous,

Wade:

so, uh, the, the direct prompt is what is the meaning

Curt:

of, Yeah. And you should start listening to Lex Friedman podcast as well. You'll

Wade:

like it, you know. Um, Well, first of all, um, I think each individual needs a purpose and, um, and pursuing that purpose. And, uh, for me, yours has been pretty steady. Well, and I, you know, I think in part, and I, I think this also reflects my reflection in being in Edburg is, uh, my personal faith. Um, and, uh, uh, you know, I think that. There's, and, and it's interesting to see the Monarch, um, you know, I think it's more than, uh, there's a higher being and the higher being isn't necessarily, you know, the queen, the queen or a government official. Yeah. Um, it's really, uh, one of more self-reliance, but trying to have a, a, uh, insight into, um, purpose and, uh, to a betterment of, of not only one's self, but to others. Yeah. And, and what's the construct around that to do that? And that's where I think, um, the framework of, of, you know, government and, and you know, that's where I think our system of, of the people, by the people, for the people really coming from. Us collectively as opposed to Yeah. Uh, being told or being projected. And I think in a lot of ways, we, uh, advocate that role and our responsibility,

Curt:

or we vacated. Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I was thinking about a conversation where somebody said, you know, basically with, without God, the state is the highest power. Yeah. Necessarily, and if that's what you. Then you are not gonna like what you get. No. In a way. Well, I, And but some people do they embrace that they

Wade:

want? Well, I think, um, you're always disappointed with people, right. When there's people involved. And this is where, um, you know, I, that's where the grace comes in. That's where the grace and, and uh, you know, we're nobody's perfect and nor should we project and suggest. We, I you are. And so, um, that's where I think I being and the greater purpose and, and, uh, and our responsibility too that, um, uh, and you know, I believe it does start in the home. And there is something I think magically beautiful about, um, uh, a nuclear family. Now, again, we all have our individual circumstances that Sure. We have to ch our challenge and overcome. We all do. You know, And I think, you know, this is where, you know, I, uh, I disdain. Um, the pitting of, of one group against another of Yeah, exactly. Um, as, uh, as destructive. I see. And, you know, there's, and so, you know, these destructive forces, you know, have to be counterbalanced with something that is much more than that. And it's not authoritarian, but that's where I think it comes from. Each individual doing the kinds of things

Curt:

owning their own self be That's right. Yeah. I like that. Uh, uh, be responsible for yourself first, and if you have enough bandwidth, then also be responsible for others, kind of,

Wade:

you know? Right. And, you know, and believer of the least and, and, uh, among us, and, you know, I think that extends to, you know, birth, um, you know, to death. Widows, moms, whatever. And, uh, um, so there's. Um, uh, you know, there isn't a, a nice clear, not a

Curt:

one meaning of life Exactly. But find one and, and pursue it. That's right. Fair enough. Um, how, uh, how long are you gonna like keep serving this community so hard and Cause I'm, I'm hearing you talk, by the way, and I'm thinking, Man Wade would be an amazing Rotarian Um, and so know that the, the Breakfast Rotary Club, we meet tomorrow morning, Thursday morning, 7:00 AM at Ginger and Baker. Now, I don't know if you knew that. They know that. Yeah. So, uh, once a month it's bacon day, you know how their bacon is anyway, so, uh, when you're, when you've got some volunteer hours to scrape together, you, you really should consider Rotary. But what, what's your timeline? Look, do you have a, a horizon that's in your mind, right? Well, you know, and what next chapter looks

Wade:

like. You know, lot of what I'm trying to do now is engaged continually in the community as it relates to, I think, underperforming assets in our broader community, Northern Colorado, Colorado, um, and how we might be able to leverage, utilize those more, whether it, and it's not disparaging to. Resource other than I think there's a lot more Yeah. Benefit and bang than we we can get from our communities, uh, collectively than we are today. Um, you know, I think of the airport as underperforming that Yes. And how we might utilize that, um, great asset, great vision, and let's lift it to another level. Um, and, you know,

Curt:

um, you and Martin need to take that project on together, I think.

Wade:

Well, and, and Martin's been a, a, a steady, uh, voice there. And I, you know, I'm going back to the triple helix public sector private sector research university. I think by bringing those three together, you getting leverages. In ways that wouldn't happen with just one of 'em. Yeah. And so when they are collaborative, um, I, you know, this notion of hyper collaboration, but working together in ways that can help, you know, leverage those assets. You know, I think of, um, uh, that I think there's, in terms of transportation, I think using the third dimension, flying Sure. As being, uh, underutilized. And we have this airport and so how can we think about it regionally to leverage it more for us? And right now they're building, uh, an Amazon. Um, yeah. Uh, facility there, it has no connection literally to the airport in terms of you know, And it's adjacent, It's adjacent to, you know, it,

Curt:

you know, you'd almost think Amazon would wanna fly enough trips up there just to make it work. You,

Wade:

you would think, and you think about the supply chain, or you think about, um, uh, advance their mobility, these air taxis, and you think about mobility there, you know, that's an alternative to surface transportation, not a one to one replacement. But, you know, as you begin to have options, you actually change the dynamic of what you got.

Curt:

So, I'll rephrase the question. When do you think you'll start working less than 60 hours a week in service of the community? You know, I, I really enjoy,

Wade:

But you enjoy, doesn't even work. I, I enjoy literally being in the community, uh, working with others and actually sharing our ideas and, and. You know, pursuing wonderful things. You know, the one, you know, I, I just met with a, a local company on, on improvement of some of the stuff they wanted. I love that stuff. And, you know, I think whenever you're trying, and, and this happens with students as well. If someone is, um, trying to accomplish something, do something better and ask me for assistance, I'm in because, you know, um, you know, I think, you know, I've benefited from that as well. Yeah. You know, people that have, uh, uh, uh, have been committed to community and individuals and, um, just, uh, and I'll share one of 'em. He just had Memorial on campus a couple weeks ago, but Bernie, Roland, um, a fabulous man, fabulous thinker, fabulous inventor, actually, you know, Opta brand and, uh, uh, we were working on another technology, but, you know, I, I love those folks trying to do stuff and make life

Curt:

better. Yeah. I'm sure that given. 20 minutes, you could write down a names of a hundred or 200 people, like making a real active difference in the community right now, would you, would you care to like name drop some 3, 4, 5, or something that you really feel are putting their shoulder to the, the yolk alongside you and others?

Wade:

Yeah, you know, there's, um, there's some startup companies, folks, you know, that probably under the radar. But, you know, the thing is, is, and I've worked with these my entire career at csu, people that have an idea, and it might be, they might come to you and it might sound to be the silliest thing in the world. And the one thing that I always. Caution myself against was being judgemental in that regard, because it wasn't up to me to figure that out. It was up, you know, if there really was a market right, It would, it would, That's his job. It would discriminate in the, in the market. And, you know, I relate. Just a simple example and I, I, you know, that proved true just recently, but this lady, 20 years ago came to me with this elderly lady, sincere as anything, had this idea about a furry purry, this thing that you'd hold in your lap. It would warm up. It would per, it would be a simulation to

Curt:

a pet, a cat, what doesn't, uh Right. Bite your legs

Wade:

randomly and, and need, uh, uh, food and all that. And you know, it's kinda like, you know, we'll do what we can, you know, and, and try to point her in the right directions cuz a lot of stuff we don't do at the university. But other, you know, uh, people might be interested. Um, Well, somebody just pointed out to me a furry purry. Oh, really? Yeah. Wasn't called that or sold it or something, or it was a similar, or somebody stole her idea.

Curt:

You know, they, they actually was sounds like brilliant to

Wade:

me actually using it in a, uh, assisted living facility to, to, to help the, with

Curt:

my wife would love a furry prairie if we didn't have a cat. Especially, and sometimes our cat isn't on duty,

Wade:

That's exactly. it, it for a day or two,

Curt:

whatever she wants to not be on duty. But,

Wade:

but I, I just use that as an example because, you know, and that's what's beautiful about the world. It's

Curt:

thousands of people. It's not to me, in little, small ways or making a difference. And that's probably the encouragement I hear is, is find your way and make your difference. Right.

Wade:

Uh, whatever that looks like. And, and also have confidence in it. Um, you know, I think we live in a world oftentimes it, it, well you're told no. Yeah, don't do that. Uh, you know, discourage, you know, uh, and it's kind of like, you know, you might be onto something. Go for it. Yeah. Yeah. You're doing that, you're doing that through this and changing community and creating the opportunity for conversations and, and, and, and thinking about things, you know, Um, you know, and critically, you know, and encouraging too, you know, and, and, um, that's an important part of a great community.

Curt:

Yeah. Well, thank you. You know, thanks for, you've been an advocate and a fan for Loco Think Tank ever since I think you heard about it probably. And so I've always appreciated that. And, uh, and even coming on here for the, for the pod, it's, it's great. Um, I don't think we let you do the Loco experience last time. Um, do you have the, the craziest experience of your lifetime that you're willing to share in a public forum? Uh, ideally something that is semi scandalous, but not that many people listen to this podcast, so you'll be fine. You'll be fine. You know? Um, not that your wife doesn't know about though. No. You know,

Wade:

there, there, there isn't any, you know, uh, anything out there, you know, being elected multiple times and so forth, you know? Um, but I think just growing up and, and, uh, you know, been so fortunate to live in the community, to see this community at various times over a period of time. Yeah. Um, and, and to experience it, uh, firsthand. Yeah. Um, in, in various ways, whether it's, you know, growing up here or, or playing for a, um, Coach Canard or, um, uh, being in the classroom with a Ted Blevins or, um, uh, you know, Yeah. You know, um, Having, uh, uh, teammates that, you know, get drafted in the NFL as Mike Bill was, and, and, uh, to, uh, uh, continue to, uh, uh, have relationships with outstanding faculty at SY CSU that are making a difference literally around the world, um, on a regular basis. Oftentimes it's the best kept secret here, but it's, um, they're a real difference. And just community members. You know, I come back to community and I think we can be intentional about, Our community and, and, and as we talk about our community, we talk about our community and should in very positive, constructive ways, you know, and other places they don't. No. And I think it's reflective. Um, you know, we can be the safest, best, most innovative, uh, most dynamic, wonderful place and great environment for living learning. Loving, you know, and working. But

Curt:

if people bitched about it all the time, it would change the whole thing.

Wade:

It, it changed dynamic And, you know, we have such a community too that, you know, somebody looks you in eye and says Good morning actually means it, um, someone that looks like they might need some guidance, we say, Can I help you? Yeah. And you know, again, that's not my accident. I think, uh, it's an ethos and I think we can be intentional about, um, And, uh, and, and not be phony. Yeah. Be authentic in, in us as individuals and our contributions and what we're trying to do and what we're trying to do together. And if we do need help, let me know, you know, that sort of thing. And, and uh, um, you know, and to me that, you know, makes a special

Curt:

place. Well, I imagine your place in life and, and people call me Fort Collins famous cuz I've been around for 20 years and know a bunch of people, but you've been around here for, you know, 60 years and know so many more people in so many more spheres. So, uh, it's an honor to be here with you. Well,

Wade:

and you know, it, it's, it's just not me or my wife. It, it's also our kids. It's fun when, you know, we run into folks that know us through our kids. Yeah, yeah. You know, so it's, it's a generational thing. And then, you know, they're fewer and fewer, But my dad would've been 100 years old yesterday. Oh. And so I think of that, uh, in this contributions in this community. And my mother, uh, she, you know, I started talking about, um, uh, the, you know, that wasn't mutual exclusive, academics, athletics, and scholarship. You know, she started with Glad Saidi. Um, I don't, uh, that famous name from the past, but Yeah. Uh, Willard, Eddie's wife. Okay. Um, you know, he's the Eddie Buildings named after him. But Gladys and my mom were good friends. And, and, uh, um, uh, They jointly developed this, um, uh, this, uh, um, uh, academic athletic award at the high schools that recognize not just participate, not just excellence, but if you participate in athletics and they had a certain grade point average and you're good in your citizenship, they recognize that. And my mom, uh, after she passed away, she was killed in an auto accident on South Shields. Um, in 1973, my, uh, Gladys Eddie created this award at the high schools called the Ner Trak Award. And it's recognizing, you know, the citizenship difference, athletics and, and scholarship and that, um, you know, that those are all important together. Well, and, uh, establishing that

Curt:

cheers and salutations to Eleanor and Harry. Mm-hmm. uh, a couple brilliant, uh, leaders of their own right. So thank you. Well, you bet. Got speed.