The LoCo Experience

EPISODE 90 | Bob Flynn on Building a Green Business

November 21, 2022 Alisha Jeffers
The LoCo Experience
EPISODE 90 | Bob Flynn on Building a Green Business
Show Notes Transcript

Bob Flynn is the co-founder of Green Ride Colorado, which sold in 2018 to become Groome Transportation here in Northern Colorado. Groome specializes in airport-to-city shuttling between Northern Colorado and Denver.

Bob talks about the process, ethos and hard work behind building a transportation business that is environmentally friendly. The momentum that Green Ride created continues with Groome today, and Bob has retired to live a simple life sailing and wandering Canada and the US in his camper van.

Toward the end of this episode, you’ll find challenging debate over recent issues as Curt and Bob demonstrate the art of civil discourse and the right to disagree.

Check out Groome Transportation

💡Learn about LoCo Think Tank

Follow us to see what we're up to:

Instagram

LinkedIn

Facebook

My guest on today's episode was Bob Flynn, co-founder of Green Ride Colorado, which sold in 2018 to become Groom Transportation here in northern Colorado. Bob and his partner Ray Go Scofield were some of my most favorite clients from my banking days, and arguably one of my most successful startup SBA loans of my career launched and funded during the Great Recession. Bob grew up in Newfoundland and later in Labrador City and started his career in the Iron Minds of that. We spend a lot of time talking about Newfoundland because it's where Bob mostly makes his home now, and it's completely unknown to me, and I believe to most of our listeners, an engineer by education. Bob moved to Colorado with Honeywell, which had recently acquired Loveland Controls and had a 10 plus year career at that organization before a big shift. GM and later CEO of Shamrock Transportation offering airport and local taxi service in northern Colorado after the sale of Shamrock created super shuttle, Bob and his CFO at Shamrock Ray Goldfield started Green Ride Colorado with a $250,000 SBA loan from yours. Truly, they built momentum over time and focused on organizational culture in helping car drivers learn the value of leaving that car at home. over the next nine plus years. Green ride slowly and steadily ate super shuttles, market share and their lunch, and they departed the market around 2015 leading to strong growth at Green Ride and an unsolicited acquisition by groom transportation. Bob's been sailing and wandering around Canada and the United States in his camper van. Since then, living an intentionally simple life and spending time with friends from every step along his. Bob and I love each other, but we don't always agree. So keep an eye out at the end for some drama. Enjoy this episode with Bob Flynn.

Curt:

Welcome back to the LO Experience Podcast. This is your host, Kurt Bear, and I'm pleased today to be joined by Bob Flint. And Bob is the co-founder of Green Ride Colorado, which was one of the most successful small business startup loans that I made when I was a banker. And, uh, subsequently sold to Groom Transportation. And Bob has been wandering the globe and sailing a lot in the meantime. So let's start with that. Where was the, the last time you had the boat in the water?

Bob:

The last time I had the boat in the water was about two weeks ago. Okay. Newfoundland? Yeah. So the northeast coast of Newfoundland in an area called Notre Dame Bay, it was considered the Caribbean of the North. So lots of islands, lots of places to drop, anchor, lots of cold water. Right. That's the north part.

Curt:

Fair enough. And I remember you're from up there and did you, I feel like you inherited a home or something up there. Is that where you live now or you bought a home up there when we were in touch? I can't

Bob:

remember. Yes and yes and yes. Us to all of those. So I'm originally from Newfoundland. Okay. I grew up in Labrador, uh, moved to Colorado in 1990. Hm. And, uh, I have a house, uh, my dad's house in Newfoundland. Yeah. I also bought a house in Newfoundland. Okay. I sailed into this little port called, uh, in Lewisport, central part of Newfoundland. A few years ago, there was a house for sale. It was next to the marina. Uh, it was a bank repo. Hmm. I had it had a lot of the Right it attributes. Yeah, it did. Location, location,

Curt:

location. So that's your Caribbean house, quote unquote Canadian Caribbean house. And then the other one is the family heritage, which is your main, do you have one that you live in more? Uh,

Bob:

gosh. Uh, when I'm in Newfoundland, I spend a lot of time on my boat. And so even though I have a house there, I don't spend a lot of time in the house. Yeah. The, one of the purposes of having the house was to allow other sailors a place to say and visitors. Oh. And so in fact, there, uh, maybe a couple of people moving into my house this week or next week for a few weeks. Uh, there's a guy working on a boat right now. He's renovating it, stripped out the old engine, putting in all electric. Really awesome. Uh, project that he has going on. Yeah. Just overwhelming. Not your boat, but

Curt:

Not my boat. No. No. Oh, what a cool thing. Let's, uh, it's a resource. Let's work on, now let's describe Newfoundland. Like, tell me about the, the culture, the, the territory. Nobody that listens to this podcast has probably been up there hardly, or just a few.

Bob:

Oh my God. We don't have enough time. It, it's, it's a, it's a wonderful place. A lot of, uh, natural areas, very low population. The communities are spread out along the coast of Newfoundland. It comes from a fishing, uh, background. Mm-hmm. And although the fishery died out there more than 30 years ago because of overfishing from around the world. Uh, right now it's a wonderful place to visit. Great for tourism into summertime. Even in the wintertime. If you like winter sports, it's a wonderful place to visit. The culture is, uh, really connected, strongly, I think, to an Irish culture. Hmm. Lots of music, lots of friendly people, lots of helpful people. Uh, it's amazing to me that I hear stories from visitors all the time, who Salem to some little port. They Salem to a port, they meet some locals. Next thing you know, they're driving their car or going for a jigs dinner at their house. Yeah. They're just open, friendly, trusting, cool, wonderful people. Yeah.

Curt:

If you were gonna contrast it with somewhere in the States, would it be kind of like that northwest area or more like Michigan E or something? You can't really, cuz it's not the ocean or maybe even New England. Right. Like Maine and stuff, but they're not near. Open and receiving.

Bob:

I, I agree. I don't, I think, I think there's a bit of a distrust that's built up over the years in a lot of places that hasn't happened yet in Newfoundland. Yeah. Yeah. And, and so I think it's really hard to compare. Look, I love Colorado to, people here are really friendly, so I find the Colorado people to be fantastic. When I traveled with Honeywell, I loved coming back to Colorado. I loved coming back to Fort Collins. I've always connected well with the

Curt:

people here. I bet like maybe like Minnesota almost, that that Midwestern Nordic kind of heritage might be as close as anything. Yeah,

Bob:

could be. I've, I've traveled through various parts of the US and gotta find good people everywhere. That's fair enough.

Curt:

Fair enough. Yeah. So, um, So tell me about, let's actually, before we even get into the green ride story, cuz that's kind of the meat of this one. Let's, let's talk about young Bob and what the house that you got that was your father's, did you like live there as a child and everything?

Bob:

We didn't actually, uh, so when I was about five years old, we moved to Labrador City from the island part of Newfoundland. Mm-hmm. and Labrador City had a huge iron or operation. So mining operation. It was an open pit mining operation. My dad moved up there in 1959. Mom and I followed in 1961. And so essentially I grew up in the north, northern part of Newfoundland. Labrador had very, had a, an arctic climate Yeah. So minus 30, minus 40 was pretty normal at the win in, during the winter. And was

Curt:

your dad a minor or was he an engineer or He,

Bob:

he worked in the safety department. Okay. Uh, so he was a safety. Uh, support person, trainer,

Curt:

inspector, all those things. Yeah,

Bob:

that's right. Yeah. Inspected, uh, power distribution systems, inspected, uh, water systems, irrigation systems, all all sorts of things. Interesting. Did some training. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. So it was, uh, a. I guess that was the anchor of that community that, that mine was probably. And how big a town is Labrador

Bob:

City? Well, the, the only reason a town is there is because of the mine. Fair. Absolutely. One on all, if the mine goes away, the town goes away. Right. And the town, I think at its peak maybe had 15,000 people. Okay. It's probably in the area of, uh, seven, eight, 9,000 people now. Yeah. They'd drive through their occasionally to stop off and see some good friends of mine, but I haven't spent much time there in the last 30 years. And

Curt:

is it cold even in the

Bob:

summer? No, in the summertime it's just comfortably cool. Yeah. So not cool. So temperatures into sixties, seventies, maybe eighties sometimes. Yeah. Yeah. Or in the twenties, mid twenties Celsius.

Curt:

Fair enough. Yeah. That's like a, yeah. So you were obviously raised in, in Canada, raised in that system and things like that. Um, we were, when we were kids, we were sold. You know, by the time you're adults, we're gonna all be on the metric system, so you better learn this stuff. And it's basically the same thing. Now it seems like. Did you. Like become more Americanized with your weights and measures after 30 years here? Or do you still, are you ambidextrous on your meters and kilograms and all that stuff?

Bob:

I'd say I'm ambidextrous. Uh, I certainly easily switch back to Celsius and uh, kilometers when I'm in Canada. Yeah. And in fact, uh, it feels better when I ride my bicycle and I go a hundred kilometers. Like that feels better than just going 60 miles. Like who wants to just only go 60 miles when you can go a hundred kilometers? Fair enough.

Curt:

Fair enough. When my wife and I went to British Columbia some years ago for our 15th anniversary, we had a BMW convertible as our rental car. Yeah. And we tweeted all the kilometers per hour signs, like there were miles per hour signs, pretty much It was a hoot. That car was the right car for it. It

Bob:

is a hoot. And, and Celsius is so much easier in Fahrenheit. Like, uh, gosh, what's the freezing point about zero? What's the boiling point? It's a hundred. That's

Curt:

so easy, right? Everything from there. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, what kind of a young man was. Was Mr. Bob. And, and what kind of family outside of you have siblings too?

Bob:

I, I'd, uh, I'd say he shy and introverted. Okay. Yeah. Uh, not an academic, uh, achiever in any way. I, uh, I was one of those kids that, uh, flew under the radar. Mm-hmm. I think I was one of those kids that barely made it through high school. Um, and, and I think I, later on in life, yeah. Later, later on as in, uh, in my mid twenties or 23 years old, I went to university, went to college. Mm. And, uh, that started me on the path, I think, to gaining confidence in Bob Flynn. Yeah. And understanding that, hey, I can do stuff. Yeah. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. And, Like to what do you attribute, because the Bob Flynn I've always known was pretty confident and outgoing, or at least seemingly, so even though I think you probably have an introvert side and an extrovert side a little bit, um, why do you think that was? Were and do you have siblings or were you the like the youngest kid that didn't get enough attention

Bob:

or? Oh my gosh. I have such a complicated family background. So I have, uh, I have four brothers mm-hmm. and uh, and I didn't grow up with any of them, so I grew up with my aunt and uncle. Oh wow. And uh, and so I was really in an adoptive kind of family. Uh, I know two of my brothers really well with three of my brothers really well, one that I found when he was in his mid fifties. Wow. So that's a long, complicated story for another venue. We don't have time. It's good to go through. Yeah, I understand. But, uh, but no, I grew up as a single, single child. Yeah. Essentially, even though I had brothers. Yeah.

Curt:

And they were nearby and everything and

Bob:

whatever. One of my brothers was nearby for a while while he was young, but then they moved away and so no, they weren't nearby. In fact, uh, the older brother who was adopted from birth was an FBI agent working outta the New York office in New Jersey, office f the fbi. And when I met him, that

Curt:

was cool. Yeah, I bet. I bet. It's neat to, you know, in my own family, I've watched my siblings grow up and do different things and you know, I'm proud of the people they've become and stuff, but it's gotta be so much different thing to be like, Hey, haven't you know here you are.

Bob:

Indeed, indeed. You know, the wonderful thing about connecting with Jerry, Jerry Stano, that's my brother's name. Okay. Adoptive name. And, uh, when we met, it was the first time that he had met anybody in his family direct blood relationship, and it was a very, very huge emotion. Time for him. Yeah, and it was a great emotional time for me. We get along so well. We really That's so cool. Yeah, we

Curt:

really connected well. Did you initiate that? Did you just get curious or how did

Bob:

that shake out? We both initiated because we were both looking for family members and in the social services program in Newfoundland, if you have two members of the same family looking for family members, even if they're not looking for each other, they'll allow you to get in contact with each other by sending mail. Old fashioned male to social services and they would then forward it, and then it would be up to us and whether we contacted each other. That's so cool.

Curt:

It was so cool. Well, I don't wanna get stuck on that too long, but, so you went off to university, you're, you're a big guy. You weren't an athlete in high school or any of that kind of stuff.

Bob:

Yeah, I was, I was a bit of an athlete, but, uh, again, I think I was a late bloomer. I think I became more athletic as I got a little bit older when I, I went to a, a school called College of Fisheries to do electronic technology program and I started playing some sports there, but I played sports before that as well. Growing up in Labrador City with the support of the Ironer Company of Canada, we had facilities for all sports. Everybody had had access to sports, so we had ball fields, hockey, basketball, volleyball, everything was all there and it was easy to access. So I think we're very, very fortunate to have available to us all the things that we did.

Curt:

Yeah, probably compared to the more rural agrarian parts that, you know, like you said, they were, it was a fisheries. Land for a long time and the fisheries are gone. And so what sprouts up in

Bob:

its place? Yeah, very much so. Uh, well, what sprouts up in its place is that a lot of newfound landers love Newfoundland. Yeah. In, in search for work. And so there's a lot of fly in flyout now. There's a lot of newfound landers who work in Alberta and my brother Sandy works in British Columbia. Interesting. And so he'll fly in there for several weeks and fly back to Newfoundland for a few weeks. Yeah. So there's a lot of

Curt:

that. It's a culture. It is. Um, but I guess, you know, it doesn't really offer, like geographically it's pretty removed. It doesn't get that much sunshine or warmth to grow things. You know, nobody really wants to live in cold places, so you can't really be like, we're gonna be a tech hub. Well, Fine, as long as I can work

Bob:

remote, you know? Yeah. Well, interesting though. That whole tech area is growing a little bit as well. The, the real advantage I think that Newfoundland offers to some other places is the cost of housing can be somewhat less. Mm. Sure. Cost of living is high there because everything is shipped in. Uh, but the quality of life there is incredible. You, it's not crowded. Uh, if you're an outdoors person and you like a wilderness environment, a wild environment, Newfoundland is an incredible place to be. Cool. And there's still lots of arts and culture as well in the main cities.

Curt:

I'll put it on the list. I'll play this segment for my wife and I'm pretty sure she'll

Bob:

be in, you gotta come for a visit. You gotta see for yourself. All right. You'll put us up for a few days. I'll put you up for a few days and we can go sailing. Awesome. That

Curt:

sounds really good. So, uh, so where'd you go after college then?

Bob:

So, let's see. University. Yeah, I went to university in, in Montreal. Uh, Concordia University. Interesting. Got an engineering degree. And, uh, I found out surprising to me that I loved academics. I really enjoyed learning, and I think the best thing that I got out of the university education was that I knew so very little that I needed to keep learning. Hmm. And I think that was the biggest part of that education. Yeah. And you learn how to

Curt:

learn once. learn how little, you know, once you start learning and you get to be even kind of knowledgeable about a subject and you realize how many subjects there are, like there is no smartest person in the world that can have a 1% sure of what there is to know, or a one 1000000th of a percent.

Bob:

So true. I, I'd learned some sub subject matter and, and as you dig deeper and deeper and deeper, all it did was open it up more and more and more. You found out that the more you learned, the less, you know.

Curt:

Yeah, yeah. Totally. Mm-hmm. So, um, did that lead into an academic, uh, like did you go on and get a master's or be additional education

Bob:

after your engineering? Not then, but it certainly planted the seed. Yeah. You know, even then I thought about going back and maybe getting the law or business or something that was different than engineering that broadened my horizon and allowed me to learn in a different area entirely. You know, long time later after working for Honeywell, 4, 0, 10 years or so, maybe less than that, um, did an MBA with cu. So I, so I did get a Masters of Business administration,

Curt:

uh, for While you were still with Honeywell? While I was still with Honeywell, yeah. Yeah. And so was Honeywell kind of your first big job in your career that led to that? Or what was, what did you do after university, I

Bob:

guess? Well, after university I worked with the Ironer Company of Canada. I worked there as an engineer. Yeah. And previously that I worked as an electrician and a labor and a whole bunch of different roles with the mining company. Yep. And so working there with them as an engineer and that moved into management roles and so I had quite a few management roles. Leadership roles. Yeah. Supervisor roles With the armor company.

Curt:

Did they pick you and say, you're pretty smart, maybe you should be a manager kind of thing? Or did you raise your hand or what was that like? Not everybody becomes a leader. Some people become really good engineers for a long time.

Bob:

The, the, you know, it's really interesting to try and figure out how those connections are made. Now. I played basketball with a team of managers from the Irony Company of Canada So I had personal connections with a whole bunch of people that got to know me in a different venue. Yeah. And I think their confide in who I was as a person became more important than what I had learned academically. Yeah. Yeah. I like that. Yeah. And so I think, uh, you know, part, part of our growth and part of our evolution in career in life is who are you as a person? And, uh, yeah, the academics are necessary, I think, to get you in the door sometimes. Mm-hmm. to get you started. But to really thrive in anything, you have to be able to get along with people. You have to be able to do things, learn things. Mm-hmm. adjust to new

Curt:

things. I think that's, uh, super insightful. So I was. Wondering to myself, like, what does that look like? Did they invest in you then? Like do they have new managers, trainings and stuff like that? Like how do they get you to believe that you're a leader? They, they did and

Bob:

do it well. Yeah. They certainly did have training programs, great training programs, and, uh, they invested a lot in their people. The, the trouble that the Ironer company of Canada had is that they had to treat their people really, really well to hang onto them, because who wants to go to Labrador and have the rest of their life in this isolated community where the next community is 400 miles away? Oof. Yeah. So that's a challenge right now. So they, but they offered a lot. You know, we, we really had a high

Curt:

quality of life. Yeah. And if you could do a five or 10 year tour of duty there, that could change how your retirement looks 20 years from now, whatever. Right? Absolutely

Bob:

true. And some people would go up there for a few years expecting to make some money, put some things away, get some experience and leave. Yep. But some would stay Right. And they became the core of the operation for many years. Yeah.

Curt:

Well, I'm from North Dakota. As you remember, probably, and, and it's, you know, fairly remote as far as the states go. Mm-hmm. nothing like what you're talking about, but, you know, for people to move to some of those towns, especially the not Fargo, you know, not Bismarck, but the James Towns, the Devil's Lakes, the May knots, it isn't, uh, it's hard to pull people to there from other places.

Bob:

Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's not New York City is it? But not, and not that that's possibly a good thing,

Curt:

right? I'd rather live in Labrador for sure. Lab city.

Bob:

Well, you know, a surprise to the heck outta me sometimes that, uh, people in, in big cities who are stuck in traffic and, and have all kinds of challenges, don't look outside a little bit more and find a place like Newfoundland. Find a place like North Dakota totally. Where quality of life is high. Uh, great. And uh, and interactions between people become more personal. Totally.

Curt:

When I, you know, I think about some of the, the inner city challenges and unemployment and things like that and, and poor educations and. Go to North Dakota and work in the oil fields for a while, for $35 an hour, and that will change your life, you know, even if you do it for a few years. Mm-hmm. Um, but nobody does much, you know, it's only rare. Yeah. Um, so take me to Honeywell then, I guess. Is that the next big step for you, or not quite yet?

Bob:

Uh, well it was kind of it yeah. Down the road a little bit. So I worked at the Iron R Company of Canada. Went to another company for a while. I was teaching for a little bit. Oh. So I went teaching at a technical school. It was the school that I went to, uh, earlier on. Mm-hmm. college of Fisheries that turned into the Marine Institute, which is now the College of North Atlantic, which is now part of the, part of the University of Newfoundland Memorial, university of Newfoundland. And so I was part of that for a little while. Then I went back to the iron or company again, worked as a, as a maintenance supervisor and superintendent. And then made connections with a company in Colorado. We bought a piece of software from a company in Colorado from Loveland Controls to use at the mine. And, uh, and that blossomed into a really great connection. Uh, long story short, they offered me a job and moved to Colorado in 1994. And how

Curt:

long was that? Was it a couple years in that time of relationship building?

Bob:

Yeah, about six years, actually, probably about five years. I went back to the r r company of Canada in 1988. Worked for them, found the software, developed a solution, and, uh, got to know these folks in Colorado. Yeah. And never thinking that I could possibly move to Colorado. It just looked like a great place to visit, a great place to retire to. And what do you know?

Curt:

Yeah, you know, it, it actually demonstrates something that, you know, a lot of times people that are looking for a job like go, go through the job postings. And a lot of times I say, you know, the best companies barely ever have to post outside. And so go look for a company, let them know that you wanna work for them. and then see what happens. Cause they will have an opening and if, if they really think that you like them, it'll be a lot easier than if you're one of. Bunch of outside applicants that mean nothing. Right. You know, but ultimately relationships, you know, that Loveland controls may or may not have even had an opening when they first met you, that for somebody like you, but over time it's like, Hey, you know what, what

Bob:

about that guy? Yeah. You know, it's funny, I, I had lots of conversations with Dan Wer, who was the founder of Loveland Controls. Mm-hmm. uh, Dan and Jane were the founders. And, and I look back at my notes sometimes and the notes are just shocking to me actually, because clearly I was interviewing them more than they were interviewing me. And I just remember having all these questions for their business, their philosophy, their culture, their interaction with the community and those sorts of things. And uh, and I met a really good group of people. Yeah. In fact, I just had, uh, dinner with, uh, with a group of them, uh, on Saturday. That's cool. We went to the Rio and Reenacted rehashed some of the old times we had.

Curt:

That's pretty cool. And so how were you looking to move to the States or was that part of the, part of the draw? It wasn't just a cool company that you could learn things with and

Bob:

whatever, but. Yeah, when I reached out to Dan, my, my statement to him was that, Hey, I love it up here in Labrador. Uh, I wanna do something else with my life. I wanna explore something else. I'd like to move somewhere in the US So if, you know, if a company that's using your software and are looking for someone to help them implement that software, then just let me know and I'll reach out to this company that you're working with. And so he came back to me and said, well, how about coming to work for us? We have

Curt:

lots of companies that want to implement this software. I travel over. Was that what you

Bob:

did then? And that's what I did. I helped them implement. I, I worked in the training, the customer support. Yep. Uh, part of the Loveland Controls company that was now part of Honeywell. Yeah. Yeah. When I

Curt:

joined. And so, You were there by the time you joined, it had already been acquired by Honeywell there, it had been,

Bob:

it was acquired the year before. I think it was acquired in 93. I joined in 94. Okay, cool. We had, we had conversations going on though for about three or four years at that point. Yeah,

Curt:

yeah. And so what did the software do and what was, what was that training element like and who were your customers? The

Bob:

customers were industrial companies, kind of all around the country. So everything from, uh, Anheuser-Busch, uh, breweries to pulp and paper mills, to pharmaceuticals, to metals,

Curt:

chemical companies of commodity. Things moving. Big things. Yeah. Anything

Bob:

with, uh, industrial measurement requirements. For example, if they're measuring temperature, flow, pressure, any of those sort of things, our software and hardware or the Loveland software and hardware enabled them to check the accuracy of those instruments and record

Curt:

that information, keep an eye on those things really well. And whatever became

Bob:

really critical in quality control programs, you know, you need to know how well your instruments are measuring your flows and pressures and levels.

Curt:

I'm reminded of a conversation with, uh, I, I went to the Budweiser beer tour forever ago when I first moved to town. My wife and I, uh, she wasn't even my wife yet, I don't think, actually. And they, they said, well, we Beachwood age it and, and we used the Beachwood, you know, from three to five times. And I was like, so my question was, you know, do you soak it longer on the Beachwood on the third or fourth or fifth time than you do earlier? Because it's got that much more. Potency or whatever. And she's like, we use the exact same process every time. And I'm like, well, it can't be though. You

Bob:

know,

Curt:

there's always a variable. And uh, Jill was like giving me the elbow, like she's just a tour guide, baby. Anyway, I digress. So, um, I guess take me through that, that Honeywell experience here. And did you land right in Loveland then or in Fort Collins? In effectively,

Bob:

the office was actually in Loveland when I first arrived. And, uh, less than a year later, we'd moved to Fort Collins. The office moved to Fort Collins, Honeywell took over. Dan and Jane, the founders of the business went away. Mm-hmm. And so we became part of the Honeywell organization. And uh, and I don't wanna speak too harshly about that, but you take a small company and build it into a huge company. Yeah. And the small company doesn't get the attention that it had before, obviously. Yeah. Yeah. And there was no way you can do that. And Honeywell being a huge company, I think that if you're not a hundred million dollar company, then you really don't count that much. Mm-hmm. And Loveland Controls is truly a, a five to $10 million company and, and doing really, really well in their niche. Right. But as part of the big Honeywell organization, uh, I think they was was they founded? Yeah. Yeah. And I think the intent was there from everybody from all sides. Honeywell wanted to build in this instrument. Calibration documentation seemed like it made sense. You know, they wanted to have a competitive offering to Rosemont at the time, so they wanted to fill this portfolio of everything that other companies are offering to make sure they're offering as well. Yeah. But it was a poor fit. You know, taking the culture of a small company and dropping it into a huge company is really

Curt:

hard. If Loveland had been already a 50 or a hundred million dollar company, it. An easier fit in some

Bob:

ways. Absolutely. And there were some people who came through Loveland, I'll call 'em Loveland, even though they're Honeywell who tried to turn it into a a hundred million dollar company. You know, they had big visions, big ideas, and, and uh, you know, they worked really hard

Curt:

at that, but the market maybe just wasn't even there for that scale. I think.

Bob:

I think the investment, it was really hard to justify. Mm. Because you could justify investment in a hundred million dollar company and turn it into a $200 million company. Right. Or you can invest the same amount of investment into a $5 million company and turn it into a $15 million company,

Curt:

Right. What are you gonna do, Yeah. Because it's the flywheel, right? It is. And uh, so, um, I guess take me, take me through that chapter a little bit and cuz you left Honeywell to come on board with airport.

Bob:

Yeah. Uh, so I was with, uh, Honeywell for 13 years. Okay. Uh, started in 94, finished in 2005. Is that, is that 13 years? Sounds about right. Mm-hmm. my math is out there a little bit. Anyway, uh, so, uh, around 2005, uh, Honeywell, Honeywell, Loveland was really starting to not get the investment and uh, and they were turning into a support organization for the customers that were using the software. And so they weren't building much, but not growing, not

Curt:

creating, not growing, creating. Exactly. And that was where your specialty was, was helping new customers

Bob:

growth and Yeah. Yeah. Helping new customers get on board, implement that, that sort of thing. Training, all those sorts of things. So you were getting board,

Curt:

they were,

Bob:

well, they were getting, uh, they

Curt:

were getting tighter. Paid you so much. That's exactly right.

Bob:

That's it. That is exactly right. They were looking at ways to cut cost and here's an easy one, right?

Curt:

Yeah. So tell me about that time, that season where you. Like free agent then on the street, or you just put some whispers out and you'd made a lot of relationships around the community. Or, for

a

Bob:

little while, I worked with this company. We'd met through Honeywell, Intertech, now a company based outta Sweden. So I did a little bit of consulting work for them. Uh, not much. They were, they're a great company, really. Uh, fantastic. They provided all the support for Loveland software in Europe and so they were really great. Um, but around that time as well. Where am I going with this? Um, stepping back a little bit, when I first moved to Colorado, uh, the lady who sold the house for me or thought I bought the house through had a neighbor. Tom Hoffman. Tom Hoffman owned Shamrock. Yeah. And so when I move from Honeywell to nothing Tom said. I need an operations manager. And I said, that's crazy. No I'm, I'm not a transportation guy. You're looking for a transportation guy. I'm an engineer, right. I work in industry. So anyway, long story short, I went to work for Tom as a cab driver and as a airport shuttle driver. Did that for three months and then said, Tom, okay, I, I see how your business works a little bit. Now I'm ready to come in as your operations manager. Interesting. And so that happened in 2006.

Curt:

Okay. So after a little moonlighting period

Bob:

and whatever. Okay. And so 2006, uh, you know, worked closely with Tom. Uh, we, he taught me a lot about the transportation industry, about his industry. Yeah. And he did shuttle, he did cabs and he did charter. So he, he really hit a lot of it. And he worked very closely with regulatory agencies. Local regulatory agencies.

Curt:

Yeah. Well, and he had maybe made an acquisition or something and cuz it was, there was the, something the airport shuttle was one segment in the cab. Business was another or something.

Bob:

Mm-hmm. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Poor Tom. And actually, I guess it worked out in the long run, but just before nine 11, Tom bought airport shuttle, bought them out, brought on their six buses. I think they had six buses at the time. Yeah. Invested a lot of money and then boom, no customers disappear. No passengers. No passengers. So he struggled through that period. By the time I joined in 2005, he was starting to become positive again in terms of cash flow, revenue. And he was starting to come out of that. And then really, really sad, um, a year and a half after I joined them, Tom passed away. And so it was a blessing in disguise, I guess, that Tom had brought me on earlier, right? Just enough time for me to get to know his operation, and his board of directors trusted me enough to keep me on and let me lead their business. For another year and a half until Super shuttle bought Shamrock. Yeah, yeah.

Curt:

What a, what a tremendous time. I'm, I'm assuming he had become a, a friend as

Bob:

well. Very close friend. Yeah. Yeah. In all those years from the time that I first met him, which was, you know, I arrived, started working in October, 2000, uh, wait, 94. 94. And uh, by November we were playing basketball together. In the summertime we played softball together. We'd go out and hang out and have beers together after games. So yeah, we became good friends. Yeah. And Tom was one of those incredible people who brought people together. Yeah, so all of the friends that I met through sports, really, I met through Tom.

Curt:

Well, in the bank where I worked, and it wasn't my client, but the bank where I worked, had a little bit of business. Airport Express, I believe. Uh, and I don't remember it maybe was a shamrock too, but there was some kind of either a letter of credit or something. And that's how, how we got acquainted was probably in those first months after the board was like, you're a man, Bob. Can you help best make this work?

Bob:

You're absolutely right. And, and I don't know where, I wasn't there during the Airport Express, uh, acquisition that Tom had, but right when I came on board, we were working with the capital west. Yeah. Uh, the, or Shamrock was working with Capital West and, and, and so that was where we made our first connections. Yep. And, and so it was kind of interesting that. You know, one of the things that Ray and I did raise the other founder of Green Ride, Ray Schoolfield. And, uh, one of the things that we did, we considered offering and did offer Kathy, Tom's wife, uh, an opportunity for us to buy Right. The business. Now she made the right decision saying, nah, I want to get out of it. I don't wanna hold a note because the only way we could do it is if she held a note.

Curt:

Yeah. Because you brought Ray on board to really help the operations work right. At

Bob:

Shamrock Airport. Yep. Yep. Tom, God bless his heart, didn't have a really good financial system. Yeah. And so what we tried to do is get these various spreadsheets where he was tracking cost and revenue and different, uh, things into a single place. And Ray brought all that together. Mm-hmm. using QuickBooks.

Curt:

We got kinda a key performance indicators and all that. It was.

Bob:

Gave us really clarity for the first time. Once Ray got on board, we could see, okay, what's happening with this business? Where, where are the adjustments that we need to make? Where are the things, what things we need to do and make this financially

Curt:

solid? And where did Ray come from and did you know him before?

Bob:

Yeah. Yeah. He was a neighbor of mine. Okay. So I've known Ray since about the time that I moved here as well. Okay. And about 94, 95, I think Ray, Ray and Ann, their kids showed up and their kids are, uh, very close in age to, to my kids. And so our families hung out together. We've went on vacation several times together. Oh, that's fun. It was really great. And so here was a person that I knew well, trusted completely. Mm-hmm. and uh, and to have him come on board, you know, luckily HP was going through some rough times and he was with HP then I think Allegiant. Mm-hmm. and uh, and uh, and then he had some time available. Right. And so he was able to join and it was a contract at the beginning, gonna bring you on for a month or two to get these things started, and then that extended a little bit longer. And then we started a new business.

Curt:

You know, I think before we jump into the green ride launch, I think the thing I would like to point out there is that there's utility in unemployment, like in, in both of your cases. Part of the reason that you were here at this place and time is because of kind of unexpected. I don't have a job no more. You know? And if, if there's never any of that, there's so many less things that get sparked and created and new opportunities

Bob:

developed. That, that is an awesome point. And it's so true. Look, uh, I think I would've eventually left Honeywell, but I'm not sure, you know, it was comfortable

Curt:

and only to go for work for some other corporation. Absolutely. That

kinda

Bob:

thing. You know, it was my comfort zone. It was my experience. It was where I thought I could get the best value for my time. Yeah. And I had, uh, I had no entrepreneurial experience. No entrepreneurial goals. Yeah. That, that wasn't part of who I thought I was, uh, until it was thrown in front of me that, Hey buddy, you better do something. Yeah. Because you got a family to take care of. You got things that, uh, you need to make sure we have an income. And when I worked with Tom, you know, luckily I did join Tom's Organiz. And I felt like there was incredible more opportunity Yeah. In that industry, even

Curt:

though you probably made 25% less than you did at Honeywell at the end of your career there. Yeah. Made

Bob:

less certainly at the beginning, but as I grew Right, uh, we were able

Curt:

to, willing to share that. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. So yeah, tell me about the, like that first business plan for Green Ride Colorado. And, and I love the timing of it also because probably by the time that you. Starting to try to get ready to launch was the 2008 financial crisis.

Bob:

Right. And there's a lot of things going on around that time. And, and really if you look back on it, you have to challenge my, my intelligence or my decision making capabilities because here it is, 2008, the financial crisis is coming on. I have a good job with super shuttle, you know, part of the acquisition. Right? I was the local manager for the super shuttle operation and, uh, my, my direct boss, God bless his heart, uh, Ross Alexander and I had a great conversation and I asked Ross, you know, how's this gonna work? And Ross, uh, I love this about him and said straight up said, well, you're gonna work for me. You're gonna do what I say. He said, okay, It was fantastic. You can't have better clarity than that. You know where you stand, you know exactly where you stand. And it was probably, uh, a couple of weeks after that I resigned. Oh, wow. And. Not because he didn't wanna work for Ross, but because heck, I've been there a year and a half now. Yeah. Running the business, you know, doing whatever the heck I want. Yeah. And that was going away. Yeah. And uh, a couple things happened internally, uh, the way some people were let go as part of the acquisition. Ray being one of 'em. Right. Ray was one of them. Yeah. He was let go and a bunch of other people and, and a bunch of people that I, I thought, uh, that I had a personal responsibility to, but they were let go without my knowledge. Yeah. And it happened once

Curt:

without even your discussion. Without discussion whatsoever. Talk to me about it and maybe you, and let me be the one that has

Bob:

to tell him. Absolutely. Right. That, that was, that was for me like a basic requirement. So I confronted the, the current managers at the time and said, you know, if this, I can't have it this way, I can't. It's gonna be, I'm out. And then, and then it happened again. Yeah. And then I resigned. Yeah. Yeah. So, but you know, you think about the lack of intelligence around that cuz here I am resigning with. The financial crisis coming on. Yep. I had good be good benefits. I had a great salary, I had a steady job. Like how stupid is that?

Curt:

You know, there's a, I love competing, uh, wisdom bits and there's one that I always think about the same cuz I had a, you know, a good job as well shortly thereafter. And there's a Fortune favors the bold. Mm-hmm. and Fools Rush in They're

Bob:

both true. Yeah. Yeah. And I'm not sure which one I was

Curt:

Right. Well, you know, you had a model, you had an interesting vision because the, the, a shuttle business like you guys created. And maybe, maybe we can have you z us out a little bit here and describe kind of the vision for what the reason for Green Ride Colorado. to be, to exist was mm-hmm. because it, in large part, it looked to the marketplace like it did a lot of the same things that Supers shuttle did. Mm-hmm.

Bob:

Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I agree. I think for the large part it did a lot of, a lot of the same things Supers shuttle did, when you look at they were transporting people to the airport. Yeah. Uh, what I thought, and what I felt, uh, while I was with Shamrock and while I was with Super Shuttle, is that there was an opportunity for a lot more people to get out of the curves if the level of service continued to increase. And I felt like we were making things better service, better quality, better. Yeah. The equipment. And I thought if people had a real high confidence in being able to be delivered to the airport dependably at a cost effective manner, then we could grow that business so much more Yeah. Than it was currently serving.

Curt:

And Yeah. It had a, had a 2% market share and we needed 10. Yeah, exactly. Right. Of all the people that drive the airport and park in the covered parking for 10 days, whatever. Yeah.

Bob:

And all, all you really have to do is make sure that hey, they, they shouldn't have to stay at the airport waiting for an hour or two hours or three hours for a, for a shuttle ride. They should be able to get on quickly. They should get as quick as reasonably possible, you know, to door to door service. Mm-hmm. And, uh, I just thought that there was a huge opportunity to, to grow and, and if one company wasn't gonna grow, then it probably actually is better to have a second company that helps growth because it really gives, I think it even help the other company grow. I think it does. I think it does. I think there's models that show that when McDonald's set up at a one corner and, and a Burger King set up at the other, they

Curt:

both did better. Right. Yeah. And it makes it more likely for the Wendy's to move down the street too. It does,

Bob:

yeah. It grows a market. And I think people, early on I reached out to super shuttle and they didn't wanna talk to us, which is fine. Uh, but what I would've loved to do is have our schedules half an hour apart, right? And then, and say, look, take super shuttle, take us, but take, take a shuttle. Take a shuttle. Right. Leave your car at home.

Curt:

Well, and the, the secret to that whole business in some ways is don't drive empty buses to the airport. If you can avoid it. And you know, the more times you can have. Seven or 10 out of 12 seats full or 12 the better. Right. Without leaving too many people behind. So it's really quite a logistical puzzle. Well, we,

Bob:

we, we took it a little further than that. We didn't wanna leave anybody behind because the, the feeling was that once you leave a person behind, they ain't never coming back. They're never coming back. So you gotta make sure you're there. So you gotta have built in over capacity. Yeah. If you really want to serve the market. Wow. So you gotta be focused on that

Curt:

customer. There's a bunch of money if you're too empty and if you're too full, then you piss people off and Yeah.

Bob:

But then you gotta have the patience, you know you're gonna grow. Right. And, and, The fear that I had and the fear, fear of failure was, was very real in the first few years because we had over capacity, we had lots of empty seats and very few passengers. Mm-hmm. But the vision was that we're gonna serve this market and we're gonna serve it. Right. And we're gonna not give anybody an excuse for taking their own car or having their son come pick them up. There's these great, great, I wish I could remember all the great stories, but I remember a guy coming to me one time saying, my 95 year old father won't ride with us anymore. He likes green ride. He wants to be picked up by green ride. That's a win. Right? That's a huge win for

Curt:

everybody. Yeah. Do you want your like, and like my wife really likes it when I drop her off at the airport and pick her up, and I still do that a lot of times, but, but frankly, for $50, You know, it's 30, 25 bucks worth of gas these days. That's right. At current prices. And, and my time has to be worth more than $5 an hour, you know, and, and whatever.

Bob:

So yeah. Yeah. It was, you know, it was so tough to, uh, to see people being left behind and, or, and we had a really hard time late at night. You know, a bus, a flight gets in a little bit late and our last shuttle is a one, and we'd hang out for 10 or 15 minutes after one o'clock to catch people. But if you get there at one 30, like we. Right. And that was painful. But then our next post was gonna be there at three o'clock in the morning. Right. So it wasn't too, too bad and it was rare, but you know, that happened. Yeah. Yeah. There, there was a, there was a level of service that we didn't provide, but we, we provided darn good

Curt:

service. Yeah, for sure. That was part of your, your growth model. And I remember it was one of the more interesting SBA loans that I, that I did because we, it was a, 250,000.

Bob:

250,000.

Curt:

Yeah. Right. And, and we bought like six or eight broken down old 12 passenger buses that Michael Berger found for you guys Mostly.

Bob:

Yeah. Six bucks bus. We bought six initially and there was a couple of 20 some passenger buses in there, a couple of bigger ones, and a 19 passenger bus. And uh, oh my God. Those things were, uh, they were life savers for us because we had capacity. Yeah. And, and they were expensive to operate, but they allowed us to start. Yep. And they

Curt:

allowed us to provide the service. And I think about a, a almost half of the budget of the SBA loan was for marketing. Uh, yeah. It was, you know, or, or some, 30% or 20%. It was like, cuz you gotta get the word out. You can't have all these buses ready for duty. And then not people in, well, no,

Bob:

I gotta, I gotta correct you there. You know, we, we, we didn't spend much money on marketing. Oh yeah. You know, crazy because we were, we were afraid to market. It was gor. Yeah, we were, it was gorilla tactics, it was word of mouth. We gave a discount. If you traveled with us, we'd give you a $5 discount for you and for whoever new person you bring in. So you became our market. Yeah. Yeah. And so there's a cost to that. There's a $5 cost to you and a $5 cost to the next new passenger. But that was our growth model. That was part of it. Yeah. We did, uh, doorknob hangers ran around to houses in apartment building to put door doorknob hangers out there, advertising green ride. We did go with, uh, one of the, one of the marketing groups for, I think it was 1600 bucks a month for a little while. And I forget what, like

Curt:

search engine optimization

Bob:

and stuff? No, it, it was those little things you get in the mail, you know, it's a

Curt:

packet of Oh yeah. The, the value pack or something. Yeah. It, it

Bob:

wasn't value pack. It was like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Fair enough. Yeah. And so we did invest a little bit of money there and did that a couple of times. And, um, but, but we, but we best was word of mouth though, but we, yeah, we were afraid to market because we, we were afraid we would grow too fast. Mm. And we, and that was another danger that we. Felt we had, whether it was true or not, we don't know, of course. Mm-hmm. that if we, uh, offered services and couldn't deliver Right. That we would turn people away and they wouldn't come back. Right. So we were growing slowly and organic. Well, we're growing really, really fast. I mean, we're growing fast enough, right? And we didn't need to grow faster. I mean, that, that was the key to us avoiding marketing early on. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. Do you remember that growth curve? Uh, like, like what was your first year full year revenues kinda thing? Well, first, and, and who were those first hires? Let's talk about that a little bit too. Yeah,

Bob:

for sure. Yeah. Well, the, the first year of growth, well, from first to second year, 283%. Okay, but that's not fair because you're so small to first

Curt:

like is irrelevant. Yeah. I did 200% of your growth for a few years when Local first started, but now it's, yeah. Not

Bob:

your life. But when it started leveling up, we're still doing 15, 20, 30% growth year over year. And, and we, we got recognition for that from, oh, what's the organization? Uh, the Mercury 100. We were part of the Mercury 100. So we were in the top one, two, or three, four or five for 10 years. Right. I think the worst we came in that 10 year period was 10th. Wow. And, and so that was pretty amazing to be in, in our, in our revenue category. Yeah. To be one, two, or three for many, many years. That's pretty cool. That

Curt:

was pretty cool. That was pretty cool. I wasn't big enough yet when the last time I thought about that thing, and then I, I might still be eligible. I don't know, but Yeah. But I think 500,000 revenues is the minimum. Is that what it's now? Yeah. So I might get there this year if I work hard. We'll see.

Bob:

There, there was a year we came number one and they didn't have things categorized. And I think it was around the time of that. Right. And it was with our 283% closing. Right, right. Okay. That's not really right. Okay, we'll take

Curt:

a small number. Yeah. So what were some of the dynamics? One of the things I remember, uh, cuz I was, which was, I think it was ethically just fine, but I was a, like an unofficial advisory board member, or not an unofficial mm-hmm. unofficial advisory board. So I'd come in even for some of your like meetings and stuff. You,

Bob:

you and Chris Hutchson. Yep. Yeah. And Yeah.

Curt:

Yep, yep. That's right. That's probably how I know Chris actually too. I don't, I don't know that I would've known him before that. I'm not sure. Anyway, so what, what I was gonna ask is like, who became those initial team members and like, how did you. like was it just a recreation of the systems that you had kind of seen at your previous location or did you like kind of start fresh plate on that and and how did you decide?

Bob:

Yeah, I think we started Fresh Plate. Honestly, I think we did. I think there's a lot of things we did that were innovative from a, from an organizational and from a people, uh, re from a respecting people perspective. Uh, I think, uh, I'd read too many silly books and I don't think they're silly at all, but silly books about, uh, how you treat people, you treat people well, you take care of your business by taking care of your people, your people take care of your business. All those sort of things. Yeah. You know, and uh, and I think that really was the core of Green Ride that people felt they were part of it. Yeah. They weren't, they weren't listening to Bob and Ray giving them direction on everything. Totally. They're, listen, listening to Bob and Ray, giving them boundaries. You know, the boundaries are, we trust you, we expect you to provide great service. We want you to be caring about this business and about our customers. Yeah. And you figure out what's right, within those boundaries. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, you know, that's, that. I think that's a recipe

Curt:

for growth. Well, and I think, you know, you were probably. you had happier drivers at 15 bucks an hour than super shuttle had at 20 bucks an hour. I

Bob:

was, I was surprised. And I shouldn't have been surprised. I guess people would ask me over and over again, like, where'd you get such great people? Where'd you get such great people? Right? I said, well, you know, if they come in there and they say that they're good people and they wanna do a good job, you let 'em I like it. Don't tie their hands. Don't put a whole bunch of constraints around them. Don't be looking over their shoulder all the time. Give them guidance. Give them training. Give them expectations. Give them knowledge. Yeah. But don't, uh, and don't beat 'em up when they make a mistake. They're not gonna, everybody's gonna make mistake. Yeah. Uh, and support them. And we can learn from the mistakes. Yeah. Like tell me your, tell me your mistakes. Yeah. So we can learn.

Curt:

And we might even share it with others so they can learn. Absolutely. Yeah.

Bob:

We did that lots. That's pretty cool. So, going back to your question a little while ago about our initial employees, we had, we did job fairs. We used to go down to the, uh, to the boar. Uh, the, the wild boar. Wild boar, yeah. Yep. That was our hangout. Yeah. The, the wild boar. See, we'd go there. We have our meetings in there. We had our job fairs in there. Right. And I remember having job fairs. We had 80 people showing up. Oh, that's cool. Isn't that. Yeah. You try to get 80 people to show up now for a job fair for this new company coming outta nowhere paying terrible wages. Right. And, and who knows? You know, who knows what they, what if they're gonna survive at all. We had 80 people show up consistently for weeks. Wow. And one of those first MA meetings, we had, uh, this young lady by, uh, name of, uh, Megan Coen, who I remember Megan and, and

Curt:

Megan. Uh, she was the, the bring all the shit together kinda girl. Yeah. She, she

Bob:

forget. What was her title?

Curt:

Oh, I don't know. I forget. Oh, it was like, it was a crazy title. It was super

Bob:

fun. But yeah, it was a lot of fun. Yeah. We liked to have fun with the titles whenever we could. She, she did a great job with her titles, but she kind of came in and as a, as an applicant, took over. Hmm. And so she started taking notes and started taking names. And so, damn. We had to, we had to hire her Right. Uh, and she became a great hire. Yeah. I remember. She was key. She was key. Uh, but in that, in the first round of hiring, I think it was six people that we hired. Yeah. And we had training classes at my house. Yeah. And, uh, and we, them, and at that time we still did not have an authority to operate, so we were a little ahead of the curve. Wow. We had applied for an authority through the Federal Motor Courier Safety Administration. Yeah.

Curt:

Cuz the Colorado had like a cock block on you to use a technical term.

Bob:

Right. That's, that's another whole story. Right. And we should go into that a little bit cuz we applied to the puc, uh, the transportation. Yeah. The public utilities, those commission and they regulate transportation. And uh, and we know that we would've been. By the puc. Now we didn't go so far as to have a judicial hearing. Yeah. Cause it's a judicial process with a judge. Oh gosh. To verify whether you are qualified and whether there's a need for another service. Doesn't the market supposed to do that? Well, you would think, but, but the law is written in such a way Yeah. That it favors a monopoly. Mm. And so if the monopoly is not, if there isn't

Curt:

a damn good reason. Yeah.

Bob:

If they're not totally failing in their responsibility, then they stay in power. Wow. And nobody else get. And is

Curt:

that protection monopoly, is that associated with the airport rules and they just don't wanna clutter up the space

Bob:

there? Or I believe, and I don't know this because you have to go back in history to decide when that law was put in place, what was the goal? Yeah. And I suspect the goal was to try and encourage a company to provide the service. Oh, right. And so you, you provide the service. We'll give you a monopoly. You got, you don't have to worry about it. Just make sure you provide good service. Yeah. Safe, dependable, all that kind of stuff. You know about good

Curt:

intentions. Yeah. Sometimes they have unusual outcomes.

Bob:

So there's another company who applied for an authority to operate through the PUC before us. They went through the hearings. Oh yeah.

Curt:

Jay, something is lively in my mind. I think I met with them. You might

Bob:

have met with them. Yeah. As a potential good people. They were gonna provide service directly from Harmony to Dia, harmony, DIA, that's all they wanted to do. Yep. Yeah. And uh, and. Uh, you know, for, for, for, well, it's too bad. Really, the lawyer did not understand the law that was around this particular industry because he was in talking about what we would think would make sense, right? Comp competition is good for the public, like competition, right? Doesn't matter what

Curt:

makes sense. It's what those

Bob:

laws say. The judicial judge said competition is irrelevant in our discussion. It's not perfect the discussion whatsoever. You have to show us that there is a need for your service because the other company's not provid. or they're providing it in an unsafe manner. An un dependable manner, right. Or something. Yeah.

Curt:

Which is a high standard to pass. Oh,

Bob:

it's almost impossible. Right. And you go up against a company like Supers show, who's a billion dollar company, right? What, what are you gonna say? They can't afford to put more buses on the road.

Curt:

Right? Right. And so you sidestep that really by going to

Bob:

Wyoming. We side stepped up by going to the federal motor and getting a federal, uh, operating license. And, and part of that, uh, was applying under the, um, under the heading of providing interstate service. Right. And we clarified that to ensure we were providing interstate service by going to Wyoming. Mm-hmm. we didn't need to go to Wyoming.

Curt:

Okay. You could have still gotten a federal license, but it would've been, it was more motivational to serve what maybe is, was arguably a more unserved marketplace that

Bob:

way. True, true. Um, the, the law, there had been a court case that, uh, the Colorado Mountain Express had, um, I guess sued the PUC saying, Hey, we operate under a federal license. We don't operate under. Colorado puc. Yeah. Therefore, because the Colorado, so stop

Curt:

asking us for our papers.

Bob:

Stop asking for that information. Stop. Stop telling us that we can't change our rates. Stop telling us you can't change our schedule. Stop telling us all these things because the PUC regulates all of that. Yeah. If you wanna change your schedule, change your rates, change anything. Wow. You go to the PUC and you get all that approved before you can do any of that. Yeah. Uh, and, and, and maybe there's reason to do that,

Curt:

but it mostly seems like an exercise. And exercise. There's

Bob:

definitely not free market type stuff.

Curt:

Right. Fair enough. Yeah. Fair enough. And so, so you're hiring people. You're training them, you've got a couple of drivers, a couple of dispatchers or something like that. So you can provide good coverage or did you have a dispatchers?

Bob:

At the very beginning. Ray and I are the dispatchers who we're also the reservation agents. We are also the drivers. Right. We were everything but we had, uh, trained and hired some people. They, we didn't have them on payroll yet. Right. But we trained them. And so we were prepared that once we got our license, uh, and once we grew enough and had vehicles, then we could bring something board. Okay. Cause we didn't, uh, we didn't have any way of, uh, begin with.

Curt:

It's just somebody's gonna take a van every hour down the airport. And So Rays on for four hours. That's right.

Bob:

That's exactly right. Yeah. Yeah. Ray, I, and we did, uh, I think it was four hour schedule at the beginning, and then we, you know, shortened that up as quickly as

Curt:

we could. Right. And well, it was reservation only at first. Right. You didn't wanna run an empty bus

Bob:

down. Absolutely. It was, yeah, absolutely. Reservation only. Yeah. If there was anybody coming north from the airport and we didn't have, if, if we didn't have a reservation, we didn't go down there. Right. Yeah. So, uh, so there was that, because there was only two of us, right? we're doing it all. We were taking reservations while we're driving. Sometimes you're stop and take, take a call and say, okay, yeah, we'll put you in the reservation system.

Curt:

So now later, Deb's, uh, your, your then wife, Deb, and, and Ray's then wife Ann, uh, became very involved in the company. But early on, were they doing their own thing? I don't remember how much involvement they. Like in the earliest

Bob:

years. Yeah. So, so Deborah was working at Walmart to try to give us, uh, health,

Curt:

health insurance. Yeah. State income and health

Bob:

insurance. Yeah. Yeah. Cause we didn't have health insurance for ourselves, uh, for the first few years. Right. Wow. And, uh, and so Deborah eventually was able to move from Walmart to Green Ride once we were able to provide health insurance. And this was probably two years down the road, I think A year and a half down the road. Yeah. And joined us maybe 10 years into the operation, eight or nine years. Gotcha. Not too long before

Curt:

you

Bob:

sold ultimately. Yeah. She came in and did a market, took it on a marketing role. Mm-hmm. you know, we were finally at this point where we needed to grow our marketing. Now we didn't need, we, we couldn't entirely do it just by word of mouth. Right. Right. Couldn't grow anymore anyway. We could grow and we had capacity and we're looking for more. Yeah, sure. And so we're reaching out to community. So it became a full-time job then.

Curt:

So, um, how do I ask this question? Right. Like, was it, was it, did it change you a lot? I remember for me, when I left banking and became a food trucker which you were like, you're doing what, probably at the time. Right. Um, you know, I really gained a lot of appreciation for the quality of people that I could hire at a, at a different price range. You know, I got into banking and they started raising my salary. You got in a corporate and you started making more and more money pretty quickly and being nominated for leadership. And then, you know, you had a couple years probably where you household that had negative cash flow. Yeah. You know, and you know, at least poverty level. And you've got teenage kids at the time. Or maybe not even quite that yet at the time. I don't even know. But like, did that change your mindset about the world or justice or? My,

Bob:

my mindset changed in many, many ways. Yeah. Uh, and initially it was really difficult for me to go to networking meetings and luckily Fort Collins was filled with networking meetings at the time, and so I would go, you'd have to talk to people. Like, I didn't like doing that. Then I don't mind now, but that was a huge learning for me. I remember my, my good friend Heather Collins reaching out to me and saying, you, you just gotta get out there and you gotta meet people and you just like, just be, just be yourself. Just kind of relax out there, talk about what you're doing, be passionate about what you're doing, and Yeah. And, and that became kind of my mantra. Okay. Just go out there, I'll talk to somebody, I'll talk to one person. Yeah. And of course when you get one person, you can talk to another person and then you can talk to another. And so that brought me outta my shell. Yeah. You know, we talk about my childhood where I'm more introverted. Right. And now really, uh, I think I came outta my shell more than any other time in my life. You were in your fifties.

Curt:

Yeah, I'm

Bob:

in my fifties Exactly right. At the time. Yeah. And so, and, and so you have this business that you want to succeed. You have to get out there and you have to meet people. You have to listen to people. And, and again, Fort Collins was filled with wonderful organizations that were trying to help other businesses. I remember the, uh Oh, the local organizations that were Or be local. Be local. Exactly. Yeah. That was one of the first places I sat down and, and met with people and found out that, uh, that there's a whole group of people out there that wanna see others succeed. Uh, and we worked closely at the very beginning with New Belgium Brewery. Oh. And they were fantastic. They gave us their employee manual, which we copied and modified somewhat as really, really great organizations who are successful and, uh, community minded and environmentally minded and, and, and so many different areas that matched what we were trying to do, what we would like to do.

Curt:

That was one of the funny things to me as I look back from afar as, as Green Ride captured more and more market share from what had become super shuttle, is super shuttle, like, put on this effort to be like the greenest company around. And I don't know if they painted their buses green, but they, like, they couldn't stop talking about how renewable and socially responsible, I think they got some natural gas or whatever buses. Right. And they, they didn't focus on the right things. They were so busy looking over their shoulders at your greenness that they didn't. Ask their customers what they wanted to be different.

Bob:

Yeah. I, I wanna go back briefly to, to, to Ross. Remember I mentioned Ross Alexander earlier? Ross. So Ross is gonna be my boss at, uh, at Super Shuttle. Well, years later, Ross gives me a call and says, Ross, I'd like, or Bob, I'd like to have a conversation with you. So we sit down, we have a conversation, Ross, uh, wants to start a green ride, uh, option in Boulder. Oh. And, and so, you know, we're, we're thinking, oh, you know, it'd be nice to be able to franchise. Maybe this can be a test case and we'll see how this works out. And so we, we did that. We worked with Ross. Ross created an operation of Boulder. And, and he did really well, I think. I think he did really well. He'd have to answer for himself on how he thinks he did. Did he sell a groom as well? He did not, no. He kept it going. Okay. And, and I haven't talked to Ross in the last few months, but I think Ross has sold Green Ride now. And so I think Green Ride officially is finally gone. Oh. From everywhere. Even Boulder. Gotcha, gotcha. But it was there until last year at least. Yeah. So, uh, so Ross was really, uh, Uh, just a great guy to work with. I loved working with him. That's funny. Even though I wouldn't work for him before,

Curt:

but I'd work with him if you could tell him what to do. That was fine. That's

Bob:

right. That's absolutely fine.

Curt:

Hey Ross, hope you're

Bob:

listening. Me too.

Curt:

So, um, yeah, so I guess kind of expand on, like from a, from a market branding competitive position, you guys kind of just, it seemed like both, you created a lot of new riders and you kept nibbling away at the market share that super shuttle had a hundred percent of before you

Bob:

started. One of the, uh, I guess, uh, awards I'm most proud of was getting the environmental, uh, company of the Year award. And when I look at the list of companies that had received that award previous to us, yeah. Uh, I was just humbled, uh, to be in a category with those kind of companies. Yeah. And. That was so special. And I, and I think that's when maybe super shuttle started responding as well to what we were doing. And we weren't doing anything other than how you were just being, you. We were just being us. We, we were doing what we could. Yep. You know? And, and, and if we could, we could have, would've and should've. And if we could've done more, we would've, we would've loved to go to cng. We looked at that. We didn't have the capital to convert vehicles. We didn't have the capital to put in

Curt:

infrastructure. You put in a refueling center and all that. There's so much. Yeah. Your banker was like, I don't know about not gonna work. It's

Bob:

a little risky. That's right. And so, so we, we didn't do that. And uh, and. And, and there were people who said, well, how can you call yourself green? Uh, you know, there was this idea that we were using the name right within our name without really being able to validate that. But we, we drove slower on the highways. We were part of climate wise. We, uh, we really tried to be efficient in picking people up. We were same as super shuttle, getting more vehicles off the road. Yeah, we'll put 10 people in the van as 10 cars off the road. Like all that is good for the environment. It's better for the environment. Maybe it could be better again by going to see ag or something else, but when

Curt:

you were a crazy guy for a while though, you rode your. All over the place. I still do I still do. I believe it. You appeared it on your bicycle today. My bicycle is here today. Yes. I just about rode my bike today. I went home for lunch, but I had a flat, you a had a flat tire and so I just jumped back on the motorcycle. It's only like a mile. Yeah, yeah. That'd be fine. Yeah. But yes, I,

Bob:

I, I got, I got bitten by the environmentally environmental bug in 1973 when the embargo hit. And I think I've been, you know, I grew up in that era where, turn the lights off. Do what? You can save water. All, all the, I'm looking forward to shower with a friend, you know, save water,

Curt:

So we're back. Um, when did you first start thinking about selling green ride? We ne we never did.

Bob:

Never did start thinking about it. No. Well, we, we were thinking that. We would sell in maybe five to 10 years. And this is going back now four years ago, so we'd probably be into the, uh, idea now of selling. Assuming pandemic didn't happen, things were normal.

Curt:

Right, right. So you're taking us to about 2018? 2017. 2017. So, so set the stage. What's, what's life like in 2017 by now? Anne's working for you guys. What's the size of the team? Um, you can, you know, share us a rough revenue ish if you want to, but kinda like more, especially like what's the operation look like, is what I'm curious about.

Bob:

Yeah. The operation is rolling pretty good at this point. I have got a, I don't know if it was around 2016, might have been 2016 or 2017 that uh, uh, the CEO of, uh, super shuttle approaches. And so, and this is a really interesting story I think as well. Uh, they were struggling and, uh, it was, and

Curt:

we were doing well. This is Veolia Transportation in general, or CEO Super shuttle is the US branch, US super shuttle, but it was still part of that French conglomerate kind. Yeah.

Bob:

They they were owned by Veolia. Yeah, the French conglomerate. Yeah, so David Bird reached out to me and uh, and we had a conversation. He came to Fort Collins, we went down to Odell and a brewery and had a beer and had a great evening out and got to know each other a little bit. And he, he was a very honorable person, you know, he's out front straightforward and said, yeah, we're struggling here in this market. And he mentioned a couple of other markets they were struggling in, and they're looking at getting out. One of the ways that he could see them getting out is by allowing us to manage the super shuttle operation and becoming a super, super shuttle operation. Right. So

Curt:

almost like a franchisee of sorts. Yeah, it

Bob:

was kind of, it was called a super franchise. Yeah. Is what they called, whatever that means. Uh, yeah. Ray. Ray and I said, well, we'll, we'll think about it, but you know, we don't think we're gonna go there anyway. Ray and I talked about it quite a bit and said, you know what? We don't wanna be part of this big corporation. We don't want, uh, um, to be. subservient. Yeah. To, to, to them at all. And so we counter proposed and we counter propose something that says, Hey look David, how about you go away completely SuperSoul, just disappear and let us have your customers and uh, and we will take care of your customers under Green Ride Banner completely. And we will pay you an amount of money each year, depending on how many of your customers we get. So if we get X number of customers, the bottom end, we give you $150,000 a year if we get the maximum that we think you have. Now, if we get, you know, most of those 80 or 90%, I forget what the numbers are, right? We'll pay you $400,000 a year. Yeah. Well, for several years we paid them $400,000 a year. Oh really? And you know, so we got their customers. We continued to grow tremendously. So we were really doing well. So we were into maybe the second year of this arrangement with Super Shuttle when we were approached by another company. Okay. And so one of their managers had, and this is Groom. Yeah. So one of their managers had arrived in Denver. They never heard of Green Ride. He sees all these buses around going to Fort Collins in Boulder and all around. And he's on his way to meet his daughter in Boulder. Yeah. And he's thinking, what the heck is this company? Right? So he reached out to us to have a meeting and he called us and we said, well, we're not really interested in selling. They were in a buying mode. They bought several companies already. They're in

Curt:

buying. Did they have private equity behind 'em looking for deals? Kind

Bob:

of. They did. They did. And, and so long story short, we set up a meeting with, with their owner, with the owner of Groom and, uh, Kevin Groom. Mr. Groom. I was gonna say, yep. That's his last name. And, uh, and they put some ideas on the table. And then after we, that we went through a due diligence and they, they made us a great offer. Mm-hmm. I think they made us a great offer. It, it was interesting indeed, uh, to work with them. The con conversations and the actual execution are always gonna be a little different. You'll never, things never match up perfectly. Sure. And, and I think the, the thoughts were that, Hey, you guys are doing a great job. We're gonna continue, we don't wanna change

Curt:

anything you're doing. That's right. your people, all your employees will barely notice the difference. Their paychecks will take the room instead of green ride.

Bob:

And that's the story, right? That's the story of most acquisitions until you come in and say, oh wait, now we know how to do this better. Because, you know, groom has been in business for 80 years, so they have their model, their ideas, their thoughts, their processes, and they come in and they improve, you know, from their per. and they change things because that's what they should do. That's their, it's their business. They do what they do. You know, fortunately, I think for, for me at least, uh, I had no involvement. Uh, once we agreed to a sale, there's no follow on, oh, you gonna hang for a while?

Curt:

It was a cash deal. Cash deal done. Yeah. And race helped to make the sale more. Is

that

Bob:

true? Ray, Ray was, Ray certainly was involved a little bit more. And, and Ray's brother Scott continued to work with, uh, with Groom for quite a while for I think maybe a year or more. Mm-hmm. uh, Ray son Thomas was a great guy, really ran the dispatch system and a lot more became their local manager as well. When, when Scott moved on, Thomas was still there and so they had, they picked up a couple of the great people from Green Ride. Yeah. What bothered me somewhat is that some of the great people we had, To get us to where we were, we're let go, you know? And so that, that was sad for me. But look, they bought the business. They do what they want. Yeah. Yeah. Fair enough. And I gotta be able to step back and say, not my business anymore. But I do, I do carry some guilt,

Curt:

you know? Um, you mentioned, uh, was it like zookeeper or something like that? Megan?

Bob:

Oh yeah. History. Was it zookeeper? It was

Curt:

yeah. Somewhere that town. You mentioned her already and you mentioned, you know, Ray, of course, and, and his son now. Are there others that deserve a special shout out either from the early days or even from the evolution days? Kind of.

Bob:

Oh yeah. There really, there are so many. You, but I can certainly talk about Nelson Greenley and, uh, and Kevin Hoyer. You know, they're, they're the core part of our, our, and I never like to call 'em the management team. They're the support team. Yeah. You know, the, the terminology we always use is that our people who are in these positions of where they're able to provide. Guidance, they were supporting the dispatchers, the drivers, the reservation agents. They were there to support them, not to boss 'em around. Not to boss 'em around. That's the notion of servant leadership, right? Absolutely, absolutely. And they did a great job with that. And then if you reach into the agents that we had and the dispatchers we had in so many people who contributed so many ways, I can't remember the guy's last name, but Tom helped us evolve our software so that we were, instead of copying from this reservation system, we had into our distribution system where we could, uh, organize the routes, organize the pick up times, locations, routing. And we eventually went with another company to develop something way better. Yeah. So we developing That was bounce.

Curt:

That was bounce. I remember. Yeah. He's teased around the edges of local membership forever, but I've never got him yet. Oh, good guy. If you're listening out there, Jeff.

Bob:

Jeff, yeah. Jeff, Jeff Hill. I'm ready for you. Yeah. Well, and I owe Jeff a lunch dinner. So Jeff call,

Curt:

I'll give you my card. So, um, so you guys basically cashed out? We did. And you know, you didn't get like few money, but enough to have a boat and two houses in Newfoundland and go to the Caribbean sometimes and stuff and raise, yeah. Chilling. It was, cuz you, you were basically at the end of your careers anyway, right? Like you needed a retirement play Cause you put all your chips into green ride. Yeah.

Bob:

You know, and that's the sad thing a little bit, is that I started late, later in life. I was in my fifties, as you mentioned earlier on when I, when I started Green Ride. And if, if there's anything, if I had a magic wand could change anything, I'd start in my forties, uh, to be an entrepreneur. Hmm. Because I, I loved it. Yeah. I loved everything about it. I loved being connected with the community, connected with the employees, connected with the customers, connected with the businesses, connected with the community, the uh, the social networking that we did. Like it was fantastic. So fun. I even liked some of the bankers At least one, not many

Curt:

That's awesome. Well, Anything else that you wanna reflect on the business journey? People to shout out anything like that.

Bob:

Yeah, yeah. You know, I think it's really, really important for me to shout out to Ray. Yeah. Cause uh, it wouldn't have happened without Ray on board. I remember there were times when I was ready to throw into towel. We had, revenue is growing, but cost is also growing. Right. Profits shrinking. Those lines are never gonna cross. It's like, when are we going to get revenue above cost? Like, when is that gonna happen? Yeah. And, and so we'd grow and our revenue would go up and our cost would go up. So we had another bus, we had more employees, we had more support. And well, eventually the lines crossed and we became profitable. But boy, that took forever. Yeah. How long did it take for you? Well, it took us three and a half, four years. I think it was three years before we had a quarter that was profitable. Wow. You know, and the $250,000 loan helped us get through those first couple years,

Curt:

you know, clearly. Right. Well, and I seem to remember you drained some of your retirement and things like that when Kurt. I'm sorry. I can't loan you anymore money. You Right,

Bob:

right. You know? Yeah. No, I did, I went into my 401k. I went into, I had a retirement package in, in Canada Yeah. That I liquidated. And, uh, you lose a lot of money that way.

Curt:

a lot of money. Not only the growth that could have happened, cause plus the market was still depressed at that time and stuff. So you're selling shit that's already discounted and there's a penalty.

Bob:

Right. And you pay taxes on it. Right. So, so there's a 20% penalty. I'm

Curt:

sorry, I would've gladly loaned you more money if I had some of my own, but at the time. But

Bob:

you, you know, but that's interesting. We, we had people who were interested in loaning us more money. Hmm. But we didn't want to dilute the ownership. So, so there was that as well. We didn't want people to come in and say, well, where's the return on our investment dollar? How come you're not doing this? Or why are you giving away bottles of water, like that's costing you money?

Curt:

So you and Ray were 50 50, if you remember Right. And I heard somebody tell me one time, I'd rather be a 49% owner than a 50% owner. Yeah. Because of the struggle that can have sometimes of when no one's the decider. Uh, any regrets on that?

Bob:

No, I, I think it was the right thing to do. Yeah. Uh, I, I would not advise anyone to do that. I mean, you have to have, you, you have to have an incredibly strong trusting relationship and uh, and, and we had our struggles, you know, there's no doubt Ray and I had different perspectives on, on a lot of things. Yeah. And, uh, and I think as we got into the later years when, when I was certainly already walking away because I went out and I did some French immersion thing for months at a time and, you know, all kinds of silly things. And Ray stayed there and ran the business. Yeah. And, uh, and no matter whether. How aligned you are when two people are running a business, one is gonna run it different than the other. Yeah. And, and raised direction is not the same as mine and mine is not the same as his. Yeah. And I can't say what's right and what's wrong. It doesn't really

Curt:

matter. You see relevance, right? Yeah. So no regrets in that regard

Bob:

anyway. Huh? No regrets. But because of that, because you run things in a different way no matter how aligned you are, uh, I think my advice to anybody is not to do a 50 50. Yeah. Yeah. And, but because,

Curt:

but look, it worked out for us when you went off then Green ride kind of ceased to become ish somewhat the green ride than it was because Ray's influence was so much stronger. Yeah. And it was, you guys kind of counter pulling. I feel that sometimes about politics and like progressivism versus conservativism. Yeah. It's like if we're just all pro. Like, we'll lose all the foundations of all the things that have supported our value systems and our whatever forever. If we're always conservative, we won't ever like correct some of those things that we've done dumb for a long time. You know, whatever.

Bob:

The opportunity to learn from different perspectives is so valuable. So valuable. Fair enough. Yeah. And, and, and we can't do a, a double take on this. We can't try both out to see what would turn out better. Right. Like it turned out great. Right? It turned

Curt:

out great. Right. We might be living in a simulation right now. Who the

Bob:

hell knows? I'm pretty sure we are. there's, there's a mic in front of my mouth here, like, how's that happening? How could that happen?

Curt:

So, um, let's, uh, let's jump into the closing segments. Um, We, we have, we always talk about faith, family, and politics. And if I remember right, you're not too much from a faith background. I don't know, agnostic or atheist. More element, but maybe not, maybe I'm wrong about

Bob:

that. No, no. I don't think you're wrong about it. But I

Curt:

don't know how to car, but I hear all this servant leadership stuff and I'm like, well, you would like Jesus if you met

Bob:

him you know, he'd probably be a pretty cool cat, right? Yeah. Uh, I think we could, uh, we could hang out together and have a good conversation. Fair enough. Uh, so, uh, I grew up as a Catholic. Okay. And, uh, my faith got broken kind of when I was in my high teens. And so I really haven't been, uh, faith based, I guess in, in a long, long

Curt:

time since then. What you said, my faith got broken almost like it was an external force or something. What, what broke

Bob:

it? Oh my gosh. Uh, simple things, stupid things. Uh, I think that the priest at the time said, we need more money to run the church. You know, power, right? You need to keep the heat on, right? You need to keep the lights on you. Practical things. Yeah. And in my mind I'm thinking, well, you have these gold chassis and you have these like beautiful gowns, like sell a few of them, right? You're the Catholic church, you got billions, trillions of

Curt:

dollars, right? Don't make me feel sorry for you. My family is. Yeah. You know, not doing any great.

Bob:

Yeah. Yeah. So, but you know, that's kind of a very narrow point of view about the whole thing. You know, about the whole, but that kind of broke a bubble. Burst a bubble. Yeah. It was magic before then. Magic

Curt:

Interesting. So you actually had kind of a, a background. You were like, there's no offense to Catholics out there, but there's a lot of Catholics that are kind of, you know, Christmas, Easter, and occasional Sundays and they don't put too much time thinking about it otherwise. That's for the priest to do. Yeah. Yeah. And there's others that, that are a little more invested, I guess. And it sounds like at least your family was

Bob:

in that realm. My family was definitely invested and, uh, I was an altar boy for, for years and so I was very invested. Went to church seven days a week. Wow. Yeah, I was there. Interesting. Yeah, so I was. And take this word as you like. Was it really indoctrinated into that religion? Yeah. Fair. Well

Curt:

I think that's one of the things they do best. Yeah. Well is it just like a snap And I'm free and I don't call me, uh, no Church need bother me with any of their flyers. Yeah,

Bob:

pretty much. Cuz teenagers are like that, right? Yeah. They like snap

Curt:

boom. Well, but sometimes 35 year olds with kids start to go, Hmm. You know, the Catholic church kind of annoyed me, but maybe that church up the street from. It might be cooler. Yeah.

Bob:

Well look, uh, I recently met a, a friend here in Fort Collins and she's part of the, you know, tearing church, which I think is an awesome church. Yeah. And, uh, and so if there was a church and there's not, if there was a church that was gonna join, I would join that church. Yeah. Uh, because I love their philosophies. Uh, you know, its based on love, it's based on community, it's based on acceptance, it's based on science. It's based on a whole lot of things that I support Fair enough,

Curt:

fair enough. What else? Uh, what I kind of started you talking about faith. It's usually supposed to be your choice where to start, but is there anything else on that topic that you would like to share more about? I mean, have you spent time digging into. The different, like for me it was a journey. I, I grew up kind of in a, I'd call it a very half-ass church. Uh, I never really knew the good news. You know, basically what I knew is if you were baptized in our church, you were good. Yeah. And that was about it. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but so I dug into like even what I could understand about Buddhism and Ta Taoism and, uh, you know, ju what Judaism and things like that. I wanted to know all about all the things from that element. And that was during kind of my college years and, and whatever. And I was still in my late twenties before I actually ever. Came to a church again.

Bob:

I can certainly say that I was curious, but I never dug into it a whole lot. Yeah. I spent some, a little bit of time in Nepal and I really enjoyed the people that I met there who are Hindu and Buddhist. Yeah. And, uh, I love their philosophies and for me it was more about Philosoph and, you know, I, I, I honestly believe I'm a spiritual person, but I, but I'm not sure what that means. You know, I'm spiritual in nature. Yeah. You know, I believe in the good of people. I believe in the good of the world. I, I, I wanna support people who have good morals and, and a lot of churches and a lot of religions start with really good morals. Yeah. And so I appreciate it from that perspective. And, and I think that churches and religions can play a really positive role Yeah. In our society as long as they don't start dividing our country. Right. And our people and too many churches divide. Yeah. You know, my dad would be shocked that I married someone who was not a Catholic. Mm-hmm. And it's terrible. Right. It was terrible that he would be shocked to that. Right. It's dumb, it's stupid. Right. And does my perspective at least,

Curt:

sorry, dad. Yeah, no, that's fair. I, I I don't, uh, I don't disagree with a lot of those things. I wrote a, a blog some, gosh, a couple years ago now, it's called On Virtue. Yeah. And, and I basically repackaged the 10 Commandments as the 10 principles for your best. Good. Because I, I'm concerned frankly, about the notion that, well, there's two things. One, I've already heard kind of an anti-authoritarian authoritarianism, kind of a perspective from your work life. So people don't wanna really have commandments. That's not our nature in a lot of respects. Right. But there's hard to argue that most of those things that are listed there aren't like, good for you to practice. I agree. Right. And, and, and so what is virtue is a question I've been kind of consumed with. If it isn't what the church says it is, who is the decider? Culturally and societally, what is virtue, right? Cause there's, right now there's a lot of like, if you don't think it's virtuous to ask a trans woman out if you're a straight man. Then that means you're a bigot. Hmm. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And I'm sorry, but I'm married, but I'm still not interested Right, right. Uh, that's just me. That's my Right. That's where you are. Exactly. And, and that's okay. I think so. You know, I, I don't know. I Yeah,

Bob:

because you, you can be accepted for who you are, just as a trans person can be accepted for who they

Curt:

are. Totally. And I, and that doesn't mean. Like, welcome that same trans woman into my backyard and have cocktails and good conversation. I, I hope that's true.

Bob:

Absolutely. For, for everybody. For, but it's

not

Curt:

true for everybody. We know it's true. Totally, totally. Fair enough. Yeah. So, but, but yeah, that question of who, who is, you know, for a long time the church was the decider of what was virtuous Yeah. For a long time was the Catholic church. Yeah. And then Martin Luther did this 95 thesis thing and got a bunch of people's panties in a bunch. Right. Anyway, I digress. Um, do you wanna talk about family or politics next? Look, I,

Bob:

I gotta say that, uh, starting a business and running a business and being so involved in a business is really hard on family. Mm. And,

Curt:

uh, you, I mentioned both of you had, you and Ray both have ex-wives now and

Bob:

Yeah. Uh, well, I can't speak for, I don't know what Ray Ann's situation is, so I don't know where that is right now, but I, I know that my, my, my ex-wife and I are, we're, we're good friends. We see each other frequently. Yeah. Uh, but I, I think, uh, green Ride put a little bit of a wedge in her Okay. In her personal life, but not, not too much. She worked at Green Ride. I worked at Green Ride. Yeah. Uh, what, what suffered was our time to do things outside of Green Ride. Right. We, we'd go to a movie, you know, the family, I'd fall asleep, I'd be there in five minutes and my God, cuz I was totally, totally zonked and, uh, and so I think, I, I think we, we had quality time together, but we would've had a lot more quality time together with Max and Catherine and Deborah. If I had more If you were

Curt:

a corporate stooge kind of thing or whatever. Yeah, exactly. If I was, yeah. Perfect. Or if you were 40 when you started it instead of 52. Yeah. Maybe you'd had more energy. Do both or maybe you just had more energy for green ride and instilled the same amount.

Bob:

I had a lot of energy for green ride, I gotta tell. Uh, and but uh, I was burned to candle at both ends, you know? Yeah. Ray and I both were up all night, up all day, you know, sleep in the can. And so, uh, I think we were both, uh, pretty exhausted during that period of growth at the beginning. Yeah. That first four or five years. First four or five years. Exactly. And then we finally got enough people on board that, okay, we can pass on this, we can pass on something else to their responsibilities. And it's so good.

Curt:

I describe, uh, that journey, cuz for me, that local think tank had the same journey where, you know, your journey to break. Is from under the water. Right. You know, and then finally you hit break even. And even if you're not making much profit, at least you can breathe. Yeah. Well you get a breath between each wave, right? Yeah. That's basically it. Yeah. Yeah. But it's, it's so much better than just wondering if you can make it to the surface.

Bob:

Yeah. And, and I wonder that for quite a long time. Yeah. Again, going back to Ray, there was, uh, times when I was ready to throw into town, and Ray was, was, he was the stabilizing, uh, I guess advisor, uh,

Curt:

partner. Yeah. So tell me more about your family, um, both Deb and your kids. Uh, one of the things that we always do here is, uh, do a one word description of your children.

Bob:

Oh, that's easy. Awesome. No,

Curt:

not your children as a set, but you got two, is that right? Yeah,

Bob:

I got two Max and Catherine. And so Max is, uh, both are kind of based in Newfoundland right now. Okay. They, they're, Catherine just graduated from Memorial University. Max is going to Memorial University. Wow. Uh, doing some courses, uh, that are kind of aligning with, uh, engineering and computer science. So in that kind of category. So he is, he's heading, or I think he's hoping to head toward, uh, computer engineering. Yeah. And, uh, we'll see where that goes. You know, he's, but he's an awesome guy. He's, yeah, he's like

Curt:

in his early twenties or late teens? I, no, he

Bob:

is late twenties, like 29. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. Crazy. Yeah. So he's, uh, and he's working with this other company that's a startup that, uh, prints, uh, 3D prints, medical devices in Newfoundland. Uh, poly Unity is the name of the company. I'll give them a little plug here. And, uh, and they, uh, appear from the distance cuz they don't know much inter right. Inside the company directly, but they seem to be, they have a value proposition. Absolutely. They received rewards recently of inclusion, uh, for, you know, all genders.

Curt:

Right. Fair enough. Yeah. Um, and one word description for

Bob:

Max. Max is a scientist. Oh yeah. He's, I can't do a one word description of anybody. He's, he's a nerdy scientist. He's like, he's like, you can have two. Like, like he and he and I connect in so many levels. Yeah. When we get together, we talk nerd nerds of stuff. Yeah. Yeah. It's cool. It's lovely. It's absolutely lovely. And Catherine Adventure. Okay, so she's got that wanderer side of me and right now she's in Yosemite climbing with her boyfriend, a great guy, uh, who is starting a business along with some of his friends that I'm also participating in. Oh, that's fun. And, uh, and so she is, uh, an adventure and explorer. Uh, she's interested in other cultures. She's interested in learning. She is just, but she's a little younger than Max. She's a little younger. She's 26 going on 27. Can't believe

Curt:

she's that old. I know. I remember she was a teenager when I was hanging out at Silver, silver, silver Trails.

Bob:

Silver Trails. Yeah. Yeah. No, and, and she's, she's brilliant and Max is brilliant, and they have different kinds of brilliance. They, they're shining lights in my life. Oh, that's

Curt:

awesome. Awesome. Yeah. Tell me about the love story a little bit. Uh, with, with Deb, when did you guys, we told your story, but without really figuring out where she plugged in is. Huh? After you came to Colorado? No, no. We, we met in la

Bob:

Deb or Deborah? I'm sorry. Oh, she goes by Deborah. Deborah, I'm sorry. That's okay. Uh, so we, we met in Labrador at the Iron Mine. Oh, okay. When I was a young engineer, just graduated from university and, uh, working as a young engineer and, and the thing that she, uh, brings up occasionally is that, uh, she, we were moving some things in the office and look, I'm a staff guy and I was moving furniture, like only unionized people move furniture So I was kind of breaking some rules. So she thought I was a laborer cuz she didn't like s Right. So she, so there's an attractive looking laborer, right. With this t-shirt that has a thumbprint on it. It says I gotta be me. So she still has that t-shirt. That's cute. So, so that's what, so

Curt:

she kind of hanking for you a

Bob:

little bit? Yeah, that's what I won her over. Yeah. And, and how she would tell stories about coming into my office and watering the plants, like drowning them in there two, two or three times a day. And me, like, stupid guy. I had

Curt:

no idea. Hi Suzy. No idea. I see you good

Bob:

Yeah. How come these guys need so

Curt:

much water? So I didn't know like, who made the first move then Ultimately,

Bob:

you know, I, I'd have to ask her, but I think I made the first move because I had a banquet to go to. There was a volleyball banquet that I had to go to and I needed a date. Right. And that's like, I was too shy to ask people out just to ask 'em out. Had to have a reason to ask somebody else. Yeah. Yeah. And so since she was hanging around there all the time, she was pretty cute. Yeah, she was really cute. I think that's

Curt:

super cool. She, she was really sexy. I was a very shy kid too. Like I never had a girlfriend until I was a senior in high school and then never really had a girlfriend until second year of college at least. Yeah. And, and not just the girls, but also just, and it's so funny how. You know, in your case it, it kind of maybe slow developed over 20, 30 years. In my case, over probably five or something. Early in my, in my banking career, it was like, well, you're a salesman now. Right. You know, and you're gonna have to go meet people and stuff. But I was so awkward and shy early on, and part of it being from that rural, rural remote kind of environment, I think where you just kind of assume the people from the big cities and stuff are smarter and whatever. I don't know.

Bob:

Yeah, yeah. You do make that assumption that you think that I think we, we don't appreciate ourselves very much. Yeah. As much as we should. Yeah. I

Curt:

think that's probably true across most

Bob:

elements. I think so. Yeah. And you don't know what you don't know until you get out there and you say, you know what? I can do, I can do just about anything. So

Curt:

you guys had a few dates, you and, and Deborah and kind of love, love story from there. And

Bob:

there was, uh, no, we didn't have a few dates. We had an a. And then, uh, I was at the, uh, Labrador Shopping Center one time, which is everybody who lives there. Right. That's where you shop. Yeah, And I was parked there in my new truck that I have, and she came over and started talking. She talked to me for three hours. I don't think I said a thing

Curt:

Well, it was obvious she liked you,

Bob:

So we had to do, had a date after that But I, but I remember something about, around that time that, uh, we were going to have a, or she mentioned, oh, go out and have a date. I said, well, I got a date with Angie tonight, so we'll have, we will try again later. So I, anyway, we, we did try again later and started going out together.

Curt:

Cool. And so, um, you guys kind of had Rocky as, as Green Ride was getting ready to sell and stuff. Did Green Ride sell first or after, or you guys, you were kind of separated for a while during that season? Maybe, if I remember right, we,

Bob:

we were, there was a little bit of a gap coming between us, uh, I think, but we were still, you know, sharing the kids, sharing the house and doing living, living together, you know, having the. The almost from the outside looks like a normal life. Right, right. Fair enough. And, uh, the separation really came after green ride, years after green, a couple

Curt:

years after green ride. And so now you're, you're more than five around coming up on seven or something like that kind of wandering bachelor guy, right? Or 3, 3, 4, I guess.

Bob:

Yeah. We sold in 2018. Okay. So I think June was final, 2018. So that's four years in

Curt:

June. Okay. Four years in June. Yeah. Yeah. And uh, like you got, got a special lady up there in Newfoundland or anything like, well you look that of my business.

Bob:

This is a terrible thing. I think I have a few special ladies and, and this is not, you know, an egotistical guy thing like there. There's some friends that I have who are really special to me. Yeah. And I get to spend some time with them occasionally. And it's not sexual, it's not crazy. You know, it's, it's like, it's just people I like to hang out with. Yeah. And, and they're so important in my life. Yeah. And, you know, I've had some who've sailed with me, some that I just go out for a date. We'll go, we'll go to breakfast, we'll go to a dinner, have a glass of wine once in a while. It's, uh, so, uh, so I, I can't say that I've found that special person yet, although you don't know, but maybe I have. You don't

Curt:

suffer from Yeah. Necessarily loneliness all the time and whatever. That's one of the interesting things, not to interject. Um, but, so I always had a lot of platonic female friends previous to my marriage, and it's always been, you know, pretty normal for me. And, and like, literally platonic, like I, you know, wasn't former girlfriends and things. And when I got married, a lot of. that kind of faded away, and I think that's appropriate, you know, in some ways. And, but I feel super blessed by the fact that with my job with Lo think Tank, I've got, you know, 30 or 35 or 40 amazing female business owners that are my members. I get to meet prospects that, you know, even just today, I, I met with a gal that is just a really inspiring, you know, there's no romance or anything, but I get to have intimate, interesting conversations. not my wave, only

Bob:

you know? Well, not, and I think that's a wonderful adjustment for society to make. Yeah. We gotta stop thinking that everything is about a sexual attraction. Mm-hmm. there, there are women with incredible skills who are held down, held back. Uh, I think because of these attitudes that people have for so long that Yeah. That they, they can't go out there and do a great job and they can, they absolutely do. We're we're missing out on an incredible opportunity. Yeah. By, by restricting because of some, I don't know, some ancient social norms

Curt:

that Well, and, um, people are horny monkeys sometimes too, right? Like, there's, there's both sides of, of that conversation and, you know, you know, jamming. A pair of married, but not to each other people together into a cubicle for six hours a day to work on a big project. You know, there's consequences to that too. And so I think there has to be a recognition and, and, and it's a comfort level on an individual basis,

Bob:

you know? Yeah, yeah. Well, I feel, I feel blessed in that, you know, I believe my core attitude has been one of respect Yeah. For, for women and for men. Yeah. And so the friends that I have, I have an incredible amount of respect for them. I, I love sitting down having a conversation with you. I love sitting down, having a conversation with other folks that I've met here in Fort Collins who are not male. Sure. And, and, and I get so much out of that, and I get different things. Totally. Totally. And it enriches my life in so many ways. And I, I don't like the concept of limiting that by having a girlfriend, a. Person. Uh, and the only, the

Curt:

one and only. Right, right. Yeah. Interesting. I, uh, early in my banking career, not even early throughout my banking career, I would work with capable women, um, and many of whom it had kind of a glass ceiling applied to them in some fashion or another, or at least, uh, misogynist kind of attitudes and mm-hmm. like at least three times they. Kurt, you're so not a bigot asshole. How did you get that way? I'm like, I don't know what a nice moniker to put from where, you know, farmer's, wives are just as important as farmer's, husbands or whatever, right? Like we're, I don't know. It's just a different perspective on the

Bob:

world. It's a hard subject to talk about. Yeah. Because I know I'll stick my foot in my mouth, uh, as soon as I open it when, when it comes to this category. And, and, and I think what, what we all have to do is look at what the intentions are. Yeah. Like I say the wrong word. Like I've, I've, I've met some wonderful ladies and called them girls. Like, no stupid bob. Stupid Bob. Don't do that. And I don't mean that in a demeaning way. It's like, I mean, in a very respectful

Curt:

way. One of my favorite things to do when I open doors for little old ladies Yeah. Uh, especially if I know them, uh, is to, to h before beauty That's such an asshole. You're, you're an asshole. You know that. They, they take it as playful. That's good. Um, so let's see, uh, politics.

Bob:

Politics.

Curt:

Yeah. Uh, are we done talking about family by the way? We kind of drifted into some weird

Bob:

stuff. I love my family. I love that we still have a really powerful connection within my family. Uh, with my

Curt:

ex-wife, with kids, no grandkids yet, I guess. No grandkids, any spouses for Max or Catherine.

Bob:

Cat. Catherine has a wonderful boyfriend, so I don't know where their, what their intentions are.

Curt:

You know, that's your authority to pull the goalie, Catherine. I

Bob:

got my fingers crossed. Got my fingers crossed. We'll see what happens. No pressure. No pressure. Max. Max. Love to, uh, find a partner and have children. He's, he's ready for that stage of life, but he's also really busy. He's got his career, he's got his hobbies, he's got his learning, his education. He's like, he's full wall to wall. His time is full wall to wall. But he'd really like, I think he's

Curt:

ready. He's ready. Yeah. The right person and right person, right time, whatever. They can push some of that stuff aside for him. Yeah. Um, politics. What do you wanna talk about in that sphere? Oh, my, we've got a governor's election coming up here in Colorado. As one of those midterms. Oh, how about this? This is politics. Uh, Biden asking the Saudis to at least pump more through the election, and then you could do whatever you want after that. How is that?

Bob:

You know what, I, I gotta say that I'm not close enough to these issues to really have a a, a fair, valid opinion on a lot of these things. I, what I, what I'd love to see a lot more of is us reaching out across aisles and across divisions and having conversations instead of shouting matches. Agreed. And, uh, and so that's what I like to see. Uh, I think a lot of people have good intentions. I think some people have bad intentions. Yeah. And I think we need to get rid of the people with the bad intentions, the people who don't wanna talk to anybody else. Yeah. The people who only say this is the only way it can be done. Well, no, it's not. You know, and, and so let's have a conversation about how we can make it better for everyone. Yeah. Like, um, I, I don't know where I fall. Look, I certainly fall more on the demo. CRA side there and the Republican side in terms of platforms and policies. But there's a, I say to a lot of people, if Co Powell run for president, I'd vote for him in a second. Right. I would absolutely voted

Curt:

for him in a second. I'm pretty sure his foreign policy would be superior to reason.

Bob:

I think so too. Yeah. Uh, you know, but obviously that's not gonna happen. Yeah. Uh, you know, I was a big fan of Obama and, you know, I think he got, uh, short changed, uh, quite a bit in, in his tenure because of blocking instead of having conversations. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think a lot more could have been done. Um, I'm not a fan of Trump. Uh, you know, so that that's out there. I think, I think people should have high character, high values, high morals to be in leadership positions. Yeah. And I don't care what his policies could be written in gold Right. But he's not in my mind. Yeah.

Curt:

He's not a good, that's why I never voted for him. You know, I, uh, I voted for Kanye in the last election. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I couldn't, I couldn't do it otherwise, you know?

Bob:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I'm glad you'll share that. I mean, these are kind of personal decisions for, for a lot of people. And I know people are very, it, it is tough coming to America, sitting down with somebody you don't know to decide whether you have a conversation about politics or not. Right. And that should not be. So yeah. You should be able to have a conversation about that. I went to dinner with some people I met through a bicycle accident. I, I damaged this guy's car. And so anyway, long term, long story short, I paid for the repairs. He invites me to dinner at his house. We get into a conversation and hi, his, his wife, uh, wonderful lady, starts mentioning politics. And then she says, oh, wait, now can we talk about that? And we should not have that hesitation. Yeah, we should absolutely be able to talk about those.

Curt:

One would hope. Yeah. Um, let's talk about Canadian politics a little bit, shall we? I just, my, my next door neighbors just came back from a trip to, they went to, uh, old Quebec. They went to Toronto and Montreal and they were like, you gotta go. It was the best and the colors and this and that. Beautiful. And I was like, I don't know if I'm allowed, cause I'm not vaccinated. And you're allow, they just, they just changed it back allowed in the last week or something like that. Yeah. But like, frankly, one of the jokes I've made is in North Dakota, we used to joke like, if the US gets too fucked up, then we'll just become part of Canada. Right. And like nobody says that up there anymore. No. No, no. Cause Canada got pretty clampy and the whole, like, whatever you wanna say about the trucker thing. And that was pretty shitty pool. The way they played that from a, you know, just like literally taking, shutting down people's bank accounts if they donated $10 to these truckers and stuff like that, that was Nutty balls.

Bob:

Yeah. Well, I'm not sure I'm on the same page with you all, with all that stuff there. I think it was Nutty Balls. Have these truckers shutting down the city as well. Yeah. Uh, fair. So there's, there's that as well. But, but again, but their livelihoods were. Uh, uh, maybe, uh, I don't know. It could because of the cross-border thing because he weren't vaccinated. Right. That was, yeah. Yeah. And but are the livelihoods of other people who are, uh, compromised being threatened by people who are not vaccinated, you know? So wouldn't go around circles on this particular thing. Like, I, I respect your choices. Yeah. But, uh, it's like the old time smokers, right. I respect your, you can smoke yourself to death. Yeah. But just don't kill me. Fair. Yeah. And you do what you want to yourself. And that's absolutely right. Well, the truck driver, but

Curt:

don't come into my house. Truck drivers driving by themselves in trucks across borders was not a significant threat to Canadian security. And I don't know if you noticed, but Pfizer didn't check to see if it would reduce transmissibility of the disease or not. Right. I just, you know, so it's like, can a government, should a government be able to mandate things. Haven't been tested. And even like the government was saying, if you take this vaccine, you won't catch it. You won't spread it. We, we, we are on, so take it or

Bob:

lose your job. We are definitely on different sides of this

Curt:

issue. So why, why, why are you on the side that you're on then, is what I want to hear.

Bob:

Well, I, I believe in the science that, that I've heard and, and for, for me it was the more people that get vaccinated, the less chances there will be more mutations of this disease that will continue to hurt more and more people. So get in line, get your vaccination. Yeah.

Curt:

See, I I what you described as science I describe as propaganda because in my studies, which is substantial, the, the just how like use antibiotic bacterial soaps and stuff and then it creates super bugs that escape the protection. That's why we had such rapid development. Of Delta and OC crime was, was getting around the protections provided by that vaccine. So it made it worse. It made a bad problem worse. That's

Bob:

your belief with Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. We're definitely, there's a lot of science. We're definitely on a completely different Understood, yeah. Side of that issue. We'll see.

Curt:

You get my out cards,

Bob:

Well, look, it's cool. Personally, I'm fully vaccinated. Yeah. And I'd probably feel uncomfortable coming here if I was not fully vaccinated because of my fear of passing something on. Oh, but it

Curt:

doesn't reduce your risk of passing on to me and also why,

Bob:

but that's my belief that it does. Yeah. Well, right. Yeah,

Curt:

so, so it's cool. We don't need to arm wrestle over it. I'll just, uh, right, beat you in ping pong after this and

Bob:

call it Square. You've probably played more than I have, so I'll, I'll use that as a caveat just in case you win, just in case Well,

Curt:

I'm much younger and more skilled to so, um, anything else in the political sphere that you would like to, to share? And, and we don't need to talk about this kind of uncomfortable topic necessarily, but I, I definitely was dismayed by the level of a, because I've heard kind of anti-authoritarianism in your, describing your personal life, your career path. You know, when your boss said, you just do what I say and you'll be. but then when it comes to a societal thing, you're like, okay, I'm in line. You guys all get in

Bob:

line too. Yeah. So I, I think you'll see a map of things that, uh, in my world, there are things that I sign up for and things I don't sign up for. Yeah. And uh, you know, when I look at, and clearly we're talking about vaccinations at one side of that coin. Sure. The other side of that coin is regulatory environments in which businesses are not given the freedom to really serve their customers. Yeah. And you know, I think there is a place for regulatory. Involvement when it comes to safety, when it comes to basic minimum standards, when it comes to expectations, but not to prevent us from getting into business. You know, I think those rules, those laws ought to be changed. Yeah. Uh, so one particular law that says you need to be a should be a monopoly to serve Northern Colorado. I think that's crazy today. Yeah. It might have made sense 30 years ago. It does not make sense today. And they've changed the law. They've changed the law in the Denver area. Yeah. Cause it used to be the same thing.

Curt:

So I guess my struggle there is it's more of an outcomes related philosophy than it is a, a values or principles related philosophy in some respects. I'm

Bob:

not sure where you're going with that. Well,

Curt:

because, like, it might have made sense when it was put into place, but it doesn't make sense now. And, and to me, I guess I, I come from more of a libertarian perspective, and you should have principles that ground your decisions. And, and if it, if it's. You know, it isn't really it, it's not the ends justify the means kind of a world. It's a what are the principles underlying your decisions? And, and to me that's a firmer ground to build your decision tree on. Yeah.

Bob:

Okay. And so taking that with this regulatory environment thing, the, the principles that were there at the beginning was served the community. Yeah. Now that law that was made sense 30 years ago is no longer serving the community. So, yeah. So you do it on the same principles. Yeah. Fair enough. And but changed the law because society has changed. The world has changed. Yeah. Uh, the laws that made sense in the 18 hundreds don't necessarily make sense today.

Curt:

Fair enough. Fair enough. Yeah. But the principles that undergird those laws, hopefully most of 'em are still at least somewhat similar. Hopefully most of, but not all of them are. And that's far where the challenges in today's

Bob:

world. Yeah. And, and the, if the principle is serve society Yeah. Serve the customers then and the customer goes from one to a hundred thousand, well, you're in a different world. Yeah. Fair enough.

Curt:

Yeah. Um, your local experience, Oh, my local experience. The craziest experience that you'd care to describe.

Bob:

Oh gosh. Yeah. I thought I had something in mind for that. Uh, you

Curt:

know, the, do you wanna tell me about a good boat story just to break the ice?

Bob:

The, yeah, so, so a good boat story is, uh, sailing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We have our spinnaker out the wind, and the spinnaker is the big bellowing sail that's up in front of boats. People always have photos of these big, big things,

Curt:

and for when you're really

Bob:

cruising, kinda, yeah, you're really cruising, you're going down wind, right? So, so the wind is coming behind, blowing you along and, and it's really good when the winds are light, right? So this is a great sale to have up there. As the winds start to pick up, then you get kind a risky situation in terms of this, a big area that can catch right by

Curt:

the wind, too much wind and snap your beam off or something like that. And

Bob:

so, as wind is picking up above 20 knots, mid twenties, we're, we're heading up to the bow of the boat to take the sail down. When the sail, uh, Catches a gust of wind, gets caught into water and turns the boat sideways. Oh. And this is a 50 foot boat with a heavy weight, like a U-turn and it's like a U-turn. Oh my goodness. In just a second. Just a couple of seconds. Now it feels like it's happening in slow motion, but just, it just goes, wow, you turned around and this sail that this big Bill w sail when the boat comes back kind of up out of the water. And we weren't, we weren't turtled or anything like that, we just kinda went sideways, came back up again, lopped up, and now this sails wrapped around the head. Stay the front part of the boat. Oh shit. And there's no way we can get it down. Right. And so we were struggling with this and I'm up on the bow of the boat thinking, oh my God, this is awesome. such

Curt:

a challenging problem to figure out. I haven't had any of these in a while. Oh

Bob:

yeah. It could be. You know, I think. Adventures that we run into those moments of time when, when things are just like, oh, is it all gonna fall apart now? And I've had a couple of those sailing, uh, where is it all gonna fall apart? And is this the end? Is this the end? Yeah. And then you come out the other side and think, Wow, that was cool. right? You, you learn something. You experience something and

Curt:

you, you move on. I've heard it said there's the fun that, um, you know, it's fun when you're having it that you can barely remember later. Yeah. And there's the fun that was miserable at the time that it was happening, but you look back at it more fondly than almost all your other memories. There's some

Bob:

of the best experiences. So one, one of the challenging experiences that we had with Green Ride was when CDOT came in and changed our world and we were operating out of the Harmony Transportation Center and so is super shuttle. Yep. And CDOT comes in and says, you know, for good reason, for their good reason that customers can no longer park there for more than 24 hours. Well, all of our customers were going to the airport, parking there for days or weeks at a time. Right. Are no longer allowed to park there. This is a huge disruption Wow. To our business. And we just got totally blown, blindsided by Right. We were just sent a letter saying on this particular date. Right. Two weeks is what happened now. Yep. Here's what, oh my goodness. We struggled to figure out what to do with that. We. Found a place that we could operate out of. It was the Fort Collins Loveland airport at the time. Oh right. And we moved down there and we had a place for our customers to park, but it changed our business model. It caused more cost, more distance, uh, a poorer service for our customers. Yeah. Uh, you know, now it was longer to get to the airport cuz now they had to go into Yeah. The airport, the Fort Collins local. Right. It

Curt:

wasn't just right there at I 25. It

Bob:

was just right there. Yes. To stop. And, and we were driving further is costing us more in fuel, damaging the environment. All these things that were just really terrible outcomes of that one decision. And yeah, they have the right to make that decision so that, um, Bustang could, yeah. Customers would have a place to park for the day for, cause they go to Denver and come back. The, these kind of unintended consequences. Were painful. Yeah. And, and that is one that almost drove us outta business. That was one that I was in, uh, Quebec at the time, doing a French immersion course, you know, enjoy enjoying my time. Yeah, you're trying to be chilling. And I had to quit that, come back, work with Ray and others, figure out what, how we gonna do this. Right. And we changed our schedule. We modified our schedule. We were trying to provide service and we're trying to navigate our way through that. We, we got through it. Okay. But it was painful. That

Curt:

was rough. I'm gonna, so unintended consequences is one of my kind of biggest annoying things. What if, just theoretically, what if this, these M R m RNA vaccines that have been mandated and so popular around Canada, what if it turns out that they're having a, a significant excess death, uh, component a year down the road, two years, five years, then would you feel the same? Mandating those kinds of things in that circumstance? No. Or you change your plan based on the

Bob:

outcomes if the science says something different, right. The science that I know, not the science that, you know. Yeah. Uh, then yeah, I'll follow what the science says. Well, we'll talk, I'll find what, uh, you know, what does, what does Fauci say? Well, he's the head of the science now. You don't take that, but I do. Yeah. He's, he's been around for 30

Curt:

years, have by a lot of people for a

Bob:

long time. See, I don't believe that. Okay,

Curt:

Love you, Bob. Yeah, you too. You

Bob:

too. All right. Bye-bye. Take care.