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April 17, 2023

EXPERIENCE 111 | Shelley Polansky - President/CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming - In Pursuit and Support of Ethical Business Practices and Stories

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Shelley Polansky has been on the team at BBB of NoCo and Wyoming since 2008, serving in Dispute Resolution, Education, Communications, and Outreach before ascending to the leadership role in 2019.  LoCo Think Tank has been a BBB member since 2021, and they’ve hosted many chapter meetings and trainings in their amazing conference rooms!`

My conversation with Shelley spends a lot of time on exploring the what of ethical business practice, alongside an examination of her own foundations and motivations during her career.  The BBB is celebrating its 25th Annual Torch Awards for business ethics on April 27, 2023 - which also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the organization.  Shelley shares BBB history alongside her own journey into leadership - and becoming a mom - and what comes next.  

Shelley’s a great example of a servant hearted leader, in it for the right reasons - and I was honored to spend the time together, so I hope you enjoy - as I did - my conversation with Shelley Polansky.  

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Music By: A Brother's Fountain


Shelly Polansky has been on the team at the Better Business Bureau of Northern Colorado and Wyoming since 2008, serving in dispute resolution education, communications, and outreach before ascending to the leadership role in 2019. Local Think Tank has been a better Business Bureau member since 2021, and they've hosted many chapter meetings and trainings in their amazing conference. My conversation with Shelly spends a lot of time exploring the what of Ethical business practice alongside an examination of her own foundations and motivations during her career. The BBB is celebrating its 25th annual Torch Awards for Business Ethics on April 27, which also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the organization here locally. Shelly shares some BBB history alongside her own journey into leadership and becoming a mom, and what comes. Shelly's a great example of a certain servant hearted leader in it for the right reasons, and I was honored to spend the time together. So I hope you enjoy as I did my conversation with Shelly Polanski. Welcome back to the Local Experience Podcast. My guest today is Shelly Polanski, the executive director of the Better Business Bureau of Northern Colorado and Wyoming. Is that right? Hiker? Yeah, that's right. Okay. You have such a long name. I just say B bbb. Northern Colorado. That's typically what we say. Yeah. And Wyoming. Well, you can't leave 'em out. Exactly. They get all but hurt up there. They already feel like second class citizens of the mountain states. Oh. But they're, they're a great state, so. Well, I know you're kind of a rural region kind of a person from your roots, and so I also appreciate the, the Wyoming lifestyle if it just wasn't so cold and windy. I know. The weather conditions, huh? Yeah. Brutal. Yeah. So let's just start off by having you describe. What does the BBB do? A little bit about your team and your scope and uh, what made you, it seems like, uh, seems like a lot harder job than a lot of people's jobs and maybe I just, you know, underestimate We're a busy so you stayed busy. Yeah. So the Better Business Bureau's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. And we do that in a variety of ways and we can get into, um, more of the detail of our work here. Um, but we were founded, the brand was founded in 1912 and the reason bbbs got their start was based on deceptive advertising in the market. Too much Nick Oil. Yeah, too much going on like snake oil. So, um, people were being taken, um, by scams and deceptive, um, business practices. So that's how the BBB got its start through what was called our, uh, vigilance advertising committees. Mm-hmm. And so, um, it kind of just took off across the country. Um, however, it wasn't until 1983 that the BBB got its start in Fort Collins. Okay. Um, so the BBB got it. Start at start was Denver like way. Um, they were sooner. I don't know exactly when. Yeah. Um, but prior to that, really, this region wasn't really serviced by a better business bureau. Sure. Um, so we got our start in 1983 was born out of a thesis paper, um, by then a student, Lisa Curtis. Okay. Um, she was studying at Carter State University in the consumer sciences division, and she also worked on campus. So part of her role was to, in her job was to take phone calls from students and also the General Fort Collins community whenever they were having a problem against a business. Okay. So that prompted her desire to do her thesis paper on the need for a bbb, um, primarily, um, more specifically a self-regulating, um, body that would come to this area. Oh. So she didn't even. Maybe didn't even know about the bbb, but, but she wanted something to be there to fill that gap in the marketplace. Exactly. So she went out with her thesis, she surveyed both the business community and consumers, um, in general. And from the business community's perspective in 1983 is, um, yes, we wanted, they wanted a entity that would be here to validate that they were doing business the right way. Yeah. Um, and then consumers obviously wanted a place to turn to, to check on businesses before they did business with a company, um, as well as have a avenue, I think if they had a problem with a business. So back in 1983, like there wasn't internet. Like now I assume most of the information is translated. Digitally, but then did they just like call in or did you send out magazines from time to time? So, so yeah, we got our start May 17th, 1983, um, with 19 founding board members and 215 charter business members. Whoa. Um, and so, um, successful start, but yes, we delivered our information primarily by the phone. Um, so when we got our start in 1983, it was strictly, pretty much in Fort Collins, but we quickly expanded to the service area that R BBB and Northern Colorado covers today, which is the northern half the state of Colorado. So think Eastern Plains, Nebraska border. Um, we serve all of the mountain resort communities up I 70. Okay. Go as far south as Aspen and then think north. Um, we have the Steamboat region, um, and we cover almost the entire state of Wyoming except for the Yellowstone Jackson Hole area. Oh. So you think about as we grew into that service area, we primarily relied on phone. Well, one of the obstacles we faced early on is that when people called us, they got a busy signal. Hmm. Um, so one of the first technological advances we had to make, um, locally was to, um, invest in what was called an automated voice response system. Okay. What it did was when someone called us, um, a computer system would read. Reports to consumers or other businesses who were inquiring about a specific company. Oh. Um, which was interesting because, um, I've been told through stories that, um, the automated voice response system wasn't very smart. Um, and so it didn't pronounce business names correctly. So we had to hire, um, a staff person who is dedicated for the first, um, good portion of their job, um, sat in a room and recorded, um, the exact pronunciation of these business names. Mm-hmm. So we were at least, um, providing a better service. And was it like directory driven then, or alphabetical? I think it was alphabetical. Yeah. So if you're like thinking about hiring Tom's Plumbing in Estes Park, you'd say, you know, get to a t. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. So, um, but it was quickly in the mid 1990s, kind of when the internet came about was really neat in looking at our history or setting our organization's history, is we were one of three bbbs in the country that were selected to test, um, the internet and actually having a profile for a business online. Wow. Um, so I think we were very innovative in the, in the beginning, um, and, you know, looked upon as a leader within the BBB system itself. So I want to go back a step, um, and then I do want to get back to that question about your team and what do you guys Yeah. Doing stuff, but to start with, did you say 250? 215. 215 in businesses? So there must have been a, a huge. Connection, effort and stuff and, and really ultimately a lot of money and our volunteers or, mm-hmm. Was this gal that wrote the thesis also the, the person behind that movement? Yeah, she was. So she, um, when we launched, started as our organization's first president and ceo, and served in that capacity for the first decade. Okay. Um, until 1990. Wow. Yeah. Uh, was she just a, like, came out of, through college and worked on her masters mm-hmm. And then just activated this whole thing? Yeah. She didn't have like, coming back to school or, Nope. Activated network to speak of. Yeah. Activated the whole thing. Um, She, when she left the BBB in 1990, after the 10 years of service, she actually moved to the Boston area. Um, worked for nonprofit in that area and then I, I don't remember, recall what took her to the San Diego, um, market, but she actually served as the president of the San Diego Better Business Bureau for short stent as well. Yeah. Um, so just interesting career. She now is retired, lives in Denver. Um, so yeah, there you go. So yeah, let's get back to the question of how many is your team? Do you have teammates, like in Wyoming? Do you have branch offices and things? Yeah. Good. Good question. Uh, do you just. Like you have a consumer protection division, like, tell me a little bit about all the various things that you actually do. Yeah, so first off, to explain the bbb, we're a federated organization, so our International Association of Better Business Bureaus owns the BBB brand and sets forth, um, the, the specific programs, products and services. Yes. If you want bw b b, yes. Here's the rules. Yeah. It was kinda like Rotary or something we're licensed, um, to be a local BBB from them. Um, but our local BBB is independently, um, governed by our own board of directors. Um, so we have a team of 16, including myself, um, that are based out of our office in Fort Collins. We're actually pretty regional. Um, we're located just north of the, uh, ranch complex off of County Road five. Yeah. Um, so there's 16 of us. Um, throughout our history we did have some satellite offices and employees, um, spread throughout our service area. Yeah. But right now we're all based out of here. Um, and so we provide a lot of our services by. Um, the internet and phones. Um, but then a lot of us go on the road, um, and we travel, um, our service area and um, we're gone. But we want to really instill with the public that we are local people. Um, I think that's what one thing we have. We have some competition, not going to. Um, be oblivious to that. Yeah. Yeah. We're not the only, or only organization that reports on a, this little company called Google. Exactly. Uh, has reviews and stuff. Yeah, yeah. But we are local people. Um, we are a nonprofit, you know, we are really dedicated to our mission. Um, and so we do a lot, so one of our biggest things, we set the standards for Marketplace Trust. And so, um, one of the things I really enjoy about working for a standards-based organization is businesses who we invite to become part of the bbb. We're looking for similar values to ours. So, um, you know, we don't accept everybody, nor does everybody want to align with what we stand for. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so I, I wanna say those, uh, businesses and nonprofits who support us, I do think are elite because we do share that, that like-mindedness. Yes. Um, when it comes to committing to doing business, um, ethically, Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So I'm, if you were to say we have a product, um, it is our online business profile, so Okay. We report on any company that's brought to our attention and our goal with that is to help people make, um, wiser purchasing or hiring decisions. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I started in the bbb, uh, in 2008 and Okay. Kind of right before things got really, really bad with the recession. And I just think about when I. Phone calls from some of those consumers that, you know, were taken by. Mm-hmm. Um, even local businesses that went under during that time. Right. Were like, had I only checked the bbb, I would've never bought a car from them or Right. Done business. And, you know, I just think we're, we're here, we're one of many resource Silicon Valley Bank. Mm-hmm. No, it's okay. We're one of many resources that people can use, but we do rely on the public to bring things to our attention. So, um, we vet our accredited businesses against our eight standards for trust, but we also rely on, you know, consumers and other businesses. If they've had a negative interaction with the company, we need them to let us know that. Do you have like a pretty high volume. Comments and claims and things like that, like every day. Mm-hmm. People are calling saying, I got screwed by Bob's Plumbing. Mm-hmm. Yeah. We get phone calls, uh, live chats, people emailing, um, you know, then we invite them, um, to do one of two things. They can either, um, file a complaint and utilize our dispute resolution services. So that is for people who are really looking to us to resolve a problem, whether that's, you're almost an arbitrator. Mm-hmm. We are. Um, so we, Hey local think tank. If you don't want a bad review, you should really. Ms. Baker's complaint here. Yeah. So, or whatever. We kind of have three levels in our dispute resolution process. So the first is reconciliation. So most complaints are resolved by the business or addressed by the business very quickly after it's filed. Um, but you have some that escalate towards, um, what we offer as mediation. So we have volunteers who are typically attorneys who will come in and, and help mediate. We also have staff trained that can mediate Okay. A conversation. Um, and then, um, most of the time, If, if that's not an, an option for both parties, then we do offer free binding arbitration. So in that case, um, an attorney will come in and listen to both sides and we'll make a legally binding decision. Just one attorney. There's no court, there's no, there's no court big fees necessarily. It's free. Yeah. It's free for both the business and the consumer. Go through that part. I don't become a binding arbitrator. That sounds pretty exciting. It is. I am the decider Uhhuh. Um, but it's, it's, I have a lot of integrity, I guess is probably one of the ways it integrity and I think a desire to, um, really volunteer, you know, um, we pay them a small stipend, um Sure. But it's, it's really pro bono for them. Yeah. Covers their gas money and mm-hmm. A burrito. But what's great for people to know is through that process, um, say the business is, is, is said to refund money. Replace the deck or whatever it might be. Right? Right. And that business doesn't follow through. Um, the complainant can actually file that binding arbitration decision in the court system. Judgment has an unpaid judgment. Wow. Um, so it is a really great process. Um, you know, we, we save people time and money from having to go to small claims court and, you know, help alleviate that from the court system. Um, and we are portrayed any case, doesn't even have to be an accredited business that can be any business. Oh really? Mm-hmm. Wow. What a great service. In some ways you, cuz it's expensive to sue and be sued Exactly. And all that, so, yeah. Um, and then the other part of that, if. Someone is having an issue with a business, but they aren't necessarily seeking a resolution. We do accept customer reviews too. Hmm. Um, very similar to other review sites except for our processes. A little different in the fact that we do give the local business an opportunity to challenge that review was, um, actually from one of their customers. Mm-hmm. So if they suspect it was a competitor or disgruntled employee or a bot, um, yeah, we can go back to the reviewer and, um, request substantiation. If they can't do that, then we don't publish the reviewer. I saw a thing, I guess it was about a year ago, uh, it feels like anyway, um, where. A local coffee shop, like the owner had made some kind of pro-life kind of comments online or something. Oh, interesting. And kind of a, a brigade of counselors, like covered them with terrible reviews mm-hmm. Over a span of a real short time. And, uh, that was then there was a counter protest by a bunch of Christians that were like, no, these people are attackers. And if you're reading those terrible reviews, they're liars. Interesting. Yeah. And, uh, it was quite the online. I I just, I just went there for the comments, you know? Yeah. So our process, they, we'd only accept reviews, um, based on a marketplace interaction between two parties. So, and if, and if. Reviewer of, let's say the negative review especially couldn't provide documentation or evidence that they did have a marketplace transaction. And that's probably, you don't publish it. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Interesting. So I think that's one of the ways that stands us apart from competition. Do you have to be the decider of a lot of these or. Um, team that does this. They're, they're trained and specialized in this. Um, but, you know, we deal with ethical decisions. Um, even, um, you know, not every business who becomes accredited with us remains accredited. Yeah. Um, throughout our vetting process or information that's brought to our attention, sometimes we have to suspend them. Um, if a business is suspended, um, we tell them the reasons why and what standard, um, we feel that they didn't follow or they violated. Hmm. Um, and we have an appeals process. Um, so if a business does disagree with our decision, then they can request a hearing before our board of directors. And then our board, um, will hear that in their testimony why they disagree with our staff. Interesting. Or my decision. You never see former Better Business Bureau member, like on somebody's LinkedIn profile. You don't, but those businesses who are, but there is quite a few more than you would know. Yeah. Those who are revoked, um, from the BBB on their online profile. It's the big symbol. It says revoked and it's this big X through it. Oh gosh. Um, and then we tell the public y they can, you get a list of just all revoked businesses. Um, we provide, we do publish, um, we won't call out business names right now. Um, it's something we have contemplated in doing, um, right. But we do publish, um, on a quarterly basis, kind of, um, a synopsis of, of the business and why they were revoked. Um, and it's just to really showcase that we don't accept everybody, nor does everybody stay. Um, So that's really interesting. Mm-hmm. It's got so many kind of elements of, of both my organization, local think tank, but also like the Rotary Club or mm-hmm. Or whatever. Do you know what, uh, do you know what Kiwanis means by the way? I don't, uh, it's Indian for, couldn't get into Rotary Club. Oh, just kidding. Haha. I told that joke to summer. That's the Rotarian in you. So, um, so you've got kind of this assortment of teams. I imagine you've got, uh, sales reps even that, you know, call on businesses. Mm-hmm. Like, like my initial phone call. Yeah. Which was their easiest phone call ever cuz they were like, we have a great conference room and all members have access to it. So that's been a blessing for us. Yeah, that was, um, the launch of our community center was, uh, a huge vision for us. We were able to, um, acquire part of the rest of the building that we were in adjacent to us. And, um, so we spent the good portion of 2019 under complete renovations. So, oh, I joke that now. I wasn't aware that that wasn't your original footprint there. Yeah, we were on just the half of it. Oh. Um, and so we, we were under construction most of 2019. Now I look back and joke that that was our trial run to, um, working from home during the Right Yeah. Got the conference space built just in time for a pandemic where couldn't use it at all. So we launched, um, so our vision with the community center, prior to that renovation, we did not have a very big meeting room. Um, we held our quarterly board meetings in there. Board members were squished in there and, you know, it wasn't really, um, comfortable and, um, we didn't have space to hold seminars or bring businesses into our space. And, um, part of the way we way we fulfill our mission is to, um, build a community of trustworthy businesses and nonprofits. So we wanted a place where like-minded organizations could come and meet, whether that's them meeting with our team or attending one of our seminars, or them convening their own teams. Mm-hmm. Um, so we launched the community center in the fall of 2019. Um, so we have a couple of meeting rooms, um, and we went from an organization that had maybe two to three walk-ins per month from the public Okay. To now post pandemic. Um, even a year ago, we were still. There were still masks, weird stuff going. Yeah. Um, so in 2022 we had 1200 people through our space. Um, and we're on pace this year to double that 1200 non-members or 1200 business, business, whatever. Business and non-profit people. Yeah, yeah. Um, just to go from, you know, couple people a month to more than 1200 people. And I think that's just, that's been amazing for our brand and, um, I think has made us more relevant. Yeah. And again, um, helps connect us to people and understanding that they know we're real people here fulfilling our mission. I bet over time, and it's probably hard to measure yet, but I have to think that your retention will only grow and grow at least among northern Colorado businesses. Yeah. But, but even among the others that know that mm-hmm. You are a hub for community. Mm-hmm. Whether, even if you're 260 miles away, you know? Exactly. So, yeah. That's cool. Yeah. And through our foundation, so not every BBB has a foundation and the North America, um, we're one of I think 53 that do so. Our foundation is, um, our kind of mission is to provide ethics-based training, assessment and recognition programs for businesses, consumers, non-profits and students. So we have our awards recognition program through that. But then we do a lot of education. So, you know, we're speaking to rotaries and science clubs and civic club organizations on topics anywhere from business ethics and trust to, um, scams and fraud, to identity theft and all of that. Here's an ethical business question for you. Okay. Um, should a, a publisher or a business marketer or something have to disclose if artificial intelligence wrote a piece Oh, interesting. Or if it was partial, you know, hybrid, uh, there aren't that many that are just, anyway, it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately cuz. The opportunity is there to pump out a lot of content, but is it just gonna make people cover their ears even more? I don't know. Yeah. So we're an interesting place. Um, you know, this goes off tangent, but we'll come back place. When you look at the challenges our business, well all organizations and our community across this country are facing with the workforce shortage. It's, it's multi-pronged, right? There's not one Yeah. Problem that's leading to this. And you look at just our general population decline. So when we look at how business is gonna change in the next decade, you know, we're gonna be relying on technology to fulfill some of those jobs that we had humans to perform. Mm-hmm. Sure. Um, however, when it comes from the ethics piece, um, and how do you know if that AI written piece is accurate and trustworthy? Right. Um, right. So I think there's a lot to be seen yet on how that evolves. Um, and I think it has, does, it has its place in business in some sense, but I still hope that it doesn't replace, um, human writers, um, writing. Well, I think writers with AI assistance will probably create most of it. Mm-hmm. But like, I don't know, it just, if feels like if you're, if you're creating a deep fake video, you, I guess they haven't even done that yet, right? Mm-hmm. Like right now it's just up to the, the beholder. Mm-hmm. There's no obligation to disclose that you're mm-hmm. Making this stuff up. Exactly. You live in very interesting time. Well, from an ethics perspective, especially. Mm-hmm. Well, and how could the decision that a machine makes on what kind of inputs it gathers before creating the output mm-hmm. Be blamed for that. Mm-hmm. You can't blame a machine. Mm-hmm. It's just a program. Exactly. Yeah. Even if it does, uh, write monk. Mm-hmm. So, yeah. I hope it's, I hope it's. A future of balance and, and utilizing it technology to allow us to be more efficient. Um, but I hope that it doesn't replace the work that humans do all the time. Well, writing is thinking. Mm-hmm. And so if we don't need to think anymore, what could go wrong? A lot of things. So, um, what more should we talk about, I'm gonna get into your kind of journey mm-hmm. Of, uh, of even becoming attracted to the Better Business Bureau mm-hmm. And where you come from and all that. But like, what would you really want people to know? Maybe somebody's been. Thinking about becoming a better Business Bureau member or something, uh, or maybe they were one for a while and now they've departed. Like what are some of the real benefits that your members say why you're, yeah, I mean, I think that the number one is, um, you know, just online reputation management. We are doing a lot of work around driving traffic to our accredited businesses. Um, we just launched a new ad campaign, um, called The Sign of a Better Business. So, you know, it's encouraging people to look for the accredited business seal. Um, it's something that they can trust. And so, you know, I think that's part of it. One of the most enjoyable meetings I have is when I'm have the opportunity to meet with a business that has, um, I guess myths or misconceptions about what we do. Um, and so just being able to have a conversation and talk through them, um, you know, what yeah, what are, what questions do they have that they've maybe heard or read on a blog that maybe isn't true or accurate. And so, um, you know, I might not be able to convince that business to become part of the bbb, but I hope that at the end of those conversations, I have at least changed their mindset in, into who we are and what we do. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and there was, not to get into the, the dirty laundry section, but wasn't there kind of a pay to play kind of. Scandal involving B BBB like way long time ago ago, way long time ago. Um, gosh, we're near almost probably 15 years ago now. Okay. Um, when that happened, and it was, um, some isolated incidences, betwe, um, amongst the BBB on the, um, west coast and, uh, they're no longer a better business bureau, they were actually eventually expelled. Wow. Um, and so, you know, they were doing some things unethically and, and I think the consequences. Um, came about that they were no longer part of the bbb, like a field sponsor, our banquet, then maybe we can get rid of some of these bad reviews and things like that. Yeah. But it also changed who we are and what we do. So I'd say prior to that, you know, there wasn't as stringent a vetting process of that we take with businesses today. Um, also changed, um, some of our rating philosophies. So from that, um, prior to that, only BBB accredited companies could get an a plus rating. Now that's, um, available to any business. Oh. Oh. Um, I think the difference is when, when we work with, um, invest in IT and marketing, we're driving traffic to our accredited businesses course. So that's our promise to them. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but yeah, it's a pretty even playing field for any company. Um, and you know, I, I think. Only reputation management's not easy for businesses, especially if they're wearing a lot of hats. But you know, you don't want your customers to go ignored. Yeah, yeah. Um, your legitimate ones and the ones that, you know, maybe you drop the ball. I mean, ivory business makes mistakes. Even we make mistakes. Right. Um, but what I hope is that whether it's us, that we take accountability for it and we make it. Right. Um, and the same thing as what we expect from Yeah. From the business community. Yeah. Uh, what were those eight? Can you have 'em all? Eight. Eight standards. Eight standards. Eight. Um, build trust. Um, advertise honestly. Um, tell the truth. Be transparent. Honor promises. Be responsive. Safeguard privacy and embody integrity. Um, and so there are eight principles Yeah. That whether or not you are accredited with us or not, it's my hope that businesses and nonprofits will use those to at least establish a good foundation, um, yeah. Yeah. Of operating ethically and honestly with your customers. And, you know, our nonprofit community, we accredit 5 0 1 nonprofits. Um, their set of standards is actually 20. Um, so it's a much more stringent process and a longer process. But those who do become accredited charities can, you know, validate that they are, are evaluated and have been accredited by a trustworthy third party that with their sponsorships and their donor dollars, that they're going to use that, um, ethically and towards their mission and programs and, um, You know, I, I think those who have gone through it have found it to be a valuable process and have changed and kind of, um, enhanced some of their internal processes. Yeah. Yeah. I was just thinking to myself that kind of the experience that our business members have, um, is kind of a growing self-awareness over time just by what their peers share about themselves and each other and, and things like that. And, um, just by subjecting yourself to self-inspection mm-hmm. And reflection like it, even just in that little action, sometimes, you know, business can be so hectic that we don't even really think about. The things that we're doing. Mm-hmm. Exactly. You know, oh, we gotta whatever, make more money. Well, let's, let's add a a hundred dollars charge that we never disclosed onto all these transactions. Mm-hmm. To cover the back office work. Yep. Yeah. Or whatever, you know. Exactly. So, being as upfront, I mean, one of the common advertising claims that we try to educate the business community on, if you're gonna use it, you need to disclaim what it means is a hundred percent satisfaction guarantee. Mm-hmm. So if you're using that and you have a problem with a business, but you don't define what that means, right. For your organization. Right. Which could be, you know, we reserve the right to at least come back and try to fix the work. Right. Or whatever it might be. If you're using that, And you don't really mean it. You have to do it right. Then you have to, you'd have to do it. So don't use it if you don't really mean it. Yeah. Yeah. Um, that's one example. One of my, uh, guests, some, gosh, six months ago now or more, was Mark Weaver. Mm-hmm. And he talked about building a culture around the kind of leadership ownership mm-hmm. Culture, even if they were kind of crazy. Mm-hmm. Or whatever, like don't. If you're a bunch of workaholics and that's what you want, everybody that works here to be is a bunch of workaholics, then you might as well just. Workaholic is one of our values, rather than being like, you know, easy vacation policy. Exactly. Yeah. Uh, or whatever. Mm-hmm. Just be who you are. Mm-hmm. Uh, and disclose it if necessary. Exactly. Yeah. Interesting. Okay. And the only other thing I'd like people to know, um, we collaborate with a lot of organizations and, um, you know, for example, the Chambers of Commerce in this area. You know, we, we have very different missions, you know, we're here to help the business community, um, but we try to work together and not do the same events and not, you know, we'll promote. The Chambers events, if it makes sense. And same with the, um, small business development centers. We've had a m MOU with them for the past several years mm-hmm. In that we cross-promote each other's services and events and um, you know, if we have a business that discloses, they're having cash flow problems, they our first referrals to sbdc cuz Right. We know they can help and we utilize, um, the other, um, organizations in this community that are here to help the business community. Yeah. Better. Very fair. Very fair. Um, we might come back to Better Business Bureau, but I wanna jump in the time machine and, and meet young Shelly. Yeah. I, Iowa is in my mind, but I don't remember. It's not, it's Nebraska. Nebraska, I'm sorry, I already said Iowa. Yeah. Uh, I, sorry. No worries. Omaha. No. Where, where in Nebraska? So I was born on a farm in central Nebraska. Um, the, the school I went to high school, um, was Central City. It's the town. Um, so kind of off of I 80, close to Grand Island is the Okay. Yeah. The biggest. Town. Yeah. Yeah. How big was, well, let's go back to, you weren't born on the actual farm? No, I wasn't. You were born in town and then they took you back home to the farm. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Uh, so your family were farmers? Yeah. So, uh, my, my dad and, um, uncles farmed and so my grandpa, so, um, my grandpa is 94. He's still living and still lives on the farm and. Of the farmland. Um, and my parents still live on the farm as well. Wow. Um, so we, um, it was my sister and I were the only kids and, um, we were, I joke my, my dad's sons. Um, so we, we learned from farm. The uncles were childless or whatever. No. They had kids. Um, oh. But we were all kind of responsible for our own areas. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and so I, um, learned from a really young age what, uh, hard work means, and I wouldn't ever trade it for anything else. It was the best upbringing I could ever ask for. Um, but we grew primarily, um, field corn, seed corn, and soybeans as kind of the, the primary crops in that area. Right, right. Um, so I had my first, outside of no critters, no cows, no piggies, chickens. So we had, we had, um, cattle, um, some, some pigs, a lot of chickens. Um, Let's see, my grandpa had peacocks, the, he just got, I think, rid of the last peacock. Um, a lot of ponies and horses of just a little bit of wrap. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so we, you know, I pride myself on the fact that I was raised on how to, um, we had a huge garden. We did a lot of canning. I still do that today. Cool. Um, and, you know, we had provided a lot of our food from the animals that we raised too, so, You know, chickens and beef and pork. It was all from, from what we did. So, um, I take a lot of pride in that and I, again, it was the best way to grow up. And, um, when I was early in my career, I would get compliments occasionally, oh, you work so hard. Mm-hmm. It's like, shoot, I've been coasting compared to what I was brought up to. And, you know. Um, what kind of a school, uh, was it big high school or elementary schools? Yeah, so, um, central City is a town, I guess at the time it was about 1500 people. Okay. So, uh, my high school graduating class was 53. So not super tiny, but not big at all. Um, most people would say that's super tiny. Yeah. But yeah, it is tiny. Yeah. Um, so, uh, with an athlete I did pretty much every sport you could. Um, so softball in the summers and then volleyball, basketball track. Wow. That also was in band. Um, no choir. But what'd you play? Um, Iowa's piano and flute. Oh. Mm-hmm. That's exactly the same instruments. My, uh, nephew is First Flute right now Oh, nice. For his Colorado College group and was so as a freshman coming in. Oh wow. That's awesome. So he really accomplished in that space. But he was a piano player first. That was his first love. And then he put it down. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Uh, so are you, were you ever like super interested in music too? Oh, um, have you, have you carried it on? So, piano lessons, I started at a young age. I don't, I think collectively I did 16 years at piano. Wow. So I would say definitely a middle school, high school. That was a big stress reliever for us, for me, um, is just being able to, yeah. Get lost and play. Um, I played at church and with my grandma at church, so that was really rewarding. Um, and I wish I still played today. It's, it's one thing that. When life slows down a bit. I think that's something I could definitely pick back up and um, well, I'm sure you could use a stress reliever, uh Oh yeah. Especially after the past few years and navigating mm-hmm. You know, so many challenges and I wanna really focus in, and maybe that was the right time. Uh, we'll do a quick detour. How's the health of the business communities? You know, there's been, you know, a lot of, some businesses just made all kinds of money during covid seasons, others struggled. There's some got p p and recovery grants and different things, others haven't. Mm-hmm. You know, if you had to put a, is it really as diverse as my sense? Like some people are really doing great and some people are really struggling. Ah, yeah. And, and I think given the geography that we serve and described earlier, um, sure we deal. F every industry, um, that you could pretty much imagine and every communities from very, very small rural towns where the closest right big amenities might be a hundred miles away. Um, and then you've got heavy tourism, um, with the mountain resort communities. Right, right. Um, and then, you know, agriculture, oil, gas, coal, um, can you describe some big trends that you're seeing? Like are, is a tourism back and vigorous? I think it's all that's, that's all healthy. Yeah. I think it's all healthy and overall I think business is healthy. Um, I mean, inflation is hurting hard in areas. Mm-hmm. You know, the certain, yeah. Um, so you've got high costs for employee or employers, and then, um, the fact that they still can't find people, I think is those two things combined. Um, so you've got business owners wearing more hats than they ever did, um, shortages and mm-hmm. Yeah. In, in some instances having to turn away work, which is hard. Um, man, the truck stop in Jamestown, North Dakota where I grew up. Closes at two now. Oh wow. Like, that used to be the 24 hour place, or at least it was open till two o'clock in the morning. It was where we would go. Mm-hmm. You know, there isn't a place like that anymore. Yeah. In the whole town of 15,000. But the trends that we're starting to see, and we're gonna see it more as just even consumers, is, um, mergers and business sales. I mean, you've got, we have a massive generation gonna be leaving a whole bunch of 60 somethings. Yes. Ready to be done. And, you know, you saw a little bit of early retirement, um, during Covid for those who didn't need to work anymore. I think they were like, I'm done. Right. Um, but we're gonna continue to see that. So what that looks like, especially for this area who, which we've, you know, experienced an enormous amount of growth. Right. So you look back, you know, I don't have stats, but there's some of the industries where there's not people going into the trades and there's not gonna be enough of those things. Right. You know, as a consumer, you know, is it gonna be hard to find an electrician or a plumber when you're gonna need it? Um, seems like a mm-hmm. Or a, or a, or a nurses aid, a doctor, nurse aid. Yeah. I attended the, um, health sector event, um, at the end of the year. It was the all partner event. And, you know, just the nursing shortage projections in the next couple years are super alarming. And what I wrote down on there is who's gonna take care of our parents, you know, being Right. Being my age, and you are, you're living in your extra bedroom after your kid moves out. They are. So I, I went home, I told my parent or my husband, I was like, you know, the next like few years, we probably need be looking at a house with a, you know, attached suite dwell or, or something, mother-in-law suite or whatever it might be. You know, I am convinced that's gonna be the way our generation's gonna have to take care of our elders. Yeah. You know, maybe that's okay. Mm-hmm. Like, it's kind of outsourcing. Like I, I was, and we'll get back to the young Shelley here in a little bit. Mm-hmm. But the, the air quality standards of the manufacturing that gets done and the high energy stuff that happens in the US and in Europe. Is much higher. And that worker was effectively outsourced to China where it actually makes a worser difference. So some of the Paris Accords things, you know, they can give Trump, have a hard time on that. But it really just outsourced the dirty stuff to China where it was done, even dirtier than it was being done here. And, and to a certain extent, the assisted living centers in the nursing home industry is, you know, they've gotten so outsized in their costs and they don't pay their people hardly anything. So they've got all these underpaid people trying to. I don't know. There's just, I don't know why it doesn't work. It's on the daycare side too. They're both just kind of broken models, right? Yeah, you're right. It's kind of the same thing. Mm-hmm. You know, back to young Shelly, one of the things, thank you. That shaped me most, and it's related to this, um, my grandma when I was in high school, was diagnosed with, Pretty much early onset Alzheimer's. Mm-hmm. So, um, being who we were, and this is the grandma that you played piano with? Mm-hmm. Yeah. So being who we were, um, my grandpa kind of stepped back from the hands-on of the farming. Um, my dad and, and family stepped up, including my mom and myself and sister. Mm-hmm. Um, but we chose to take care of her at home till she died. Yeah. Um, so that was, you know, several years where, you know, and early on it, she was still mobile, but she needed supervision because she. Did things backwards and yeah. You know, you couldn't really leave her alone, but, um, evolved to where she was completely bedridden and, you know, we did have the, um, you know, help from some, you know, nurses coming in a couple days a week just to help bathe her and, and do all that. But, um, I think it helped shape me at a young age of how life short, how short life is, um, and kind of just that evolution of the life cycle and, you know, you start with having to, you know, change babies and all of that. That's can be how it all is. Yeah. You start by having your diapers changed and you end that way typically unless you have a fiery motorcycle crash or something like that. Exactly. Yeah. So, um, it, it helped shape too, I think, part of who I am saying what I value and, um, you know, it was a hard experience to go through as a pretty young person, um, and witness every day, day in and day out, but also super rewarding. That really shaped your, that makes sense. Yeah. Well, especially looking back and. To a lot of people, that sounds like really terrible to have to watch your grandmother slowly die. Mm-hmm. But like, it doesn't, it's probably in so many ways more fulfilling and more informing than knowing that she's slowly dying in a care home a hundred miles away. Mm-hmm. Yeah. She was here with us and, you know, we built a, um, my grandpa built this really amazing, uh, finch bird cage that sat right by her bed in the living room. And, um, really neat story on the evening or night that she passed away. Um, kind of knew the signs of that. And so, um, my parents and then my dad's siblings and spouses were all there with my grandpa that night that she did die. And as soon as she took her last breath, it was really, really neat. There was a crack of thunder and it started raining and all the birds came out of their, um, uh, nest in the finch cage and started singing and Wow. You know, I know we'll get into religion, but you know, you if the signs are there, whatever you believe in, if you're willing and open. Um, to be open to them. Yeah. Yeah. Um, they're there. Yeah. That's, uh, mm-hmm. Almost like, uh, those birds singing was like, welcome. Mm-hmm. Yep. We got you. Mm-hmm. Um, yeah. So I'm going to call a short break, um, because my whiskey's gone and my, my teary from hearing your little story here and, uh, we'll just come back in a moment. Yeah. Awesome. Cheers. Okay. And we're back. Mm-hmm. So when we jumped off and started chasing stories a little bit mm-hmm. You were telling us about your high school experience, your grandmother. Mm-hmm. Um, My guess is you were a, a strong grade earner as well as doing all these sports and things. Yeah, I've always been a high achiever, so, yeah. Uh, grades were good. I did a lot of hard work studying in school. Um, I actually loved school. Yeah. Um, and was fortunate enough I went to college at Nebraska Wesleyan University, which is in Lincoln. Okay. Um, that's, that's ways away. A hundred miles or something maybe. Yeah. So it was perfect for me, um, coming from a small town I was ready to leave to a bigger, bigger city. Right. Um, but I. When I, what I finally selected or why I finally selected at um, Nebraska Wesleyan is cuz I was in Lincoln, but on a small campus. Right. So, um, at the time I think Wesleyan's campus size for all four grades was about 1500 students. Right. Um, and then I also was contemplating whether or not to continue, um, doing a sport in college. And so I did continue. Um, what was great about Wesleyan at the time is they were division three in ncaa. Okay. So, for division three, um, I had the opportunity to compete against a lot of D one and D two athletes, but being division three, we weren't allowed to accept or receive athletic scholarships. Oh. Um, and I liked that because then you're just not, wasn't the pressure of tie in or the pressure to be perform and it was just really all about team and. Sport sports. Yeah. So I did track, okay. Um, in college. So I ran indoor and outdoor track really. So really it was, um, pretty much all season we started training sprinter. You a distance girl? Yeah, I was a sprinter. Um, specifically long sprinter. So, um, okay. In high school I did the a hundred, 200, uh, 400 meters, and then the four by one and four by four. Okay. Um, and then in college, Um, wasn't fast enough to be a hundred. Yep. Um, so in indoor, um, typically did the 200 and the 400 and sometimes the 800. Mm-hmm. Um, but also indoor track had a 600 meters, which was like my perfect, um, sweet spot. So, um, so I did that. And then outdoor track, um, 200 and 400. Okay. And then the res. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I was a, I was a miler pretty much. I'm pretty slow. Yeah. Uh, but I can go a long time. Yeah. But track was like the, It was perfect because it was still an individual sport, but with surrounded by amazing Yeah. Teammates. Yeah. And, um, some that I'm, I'm proud to still call my best friends today. We still make an intentional effort to see each other, um, once a year and, yeah. Um, so yeah, even though we're kind of spread out and live in different states, we, we really try. So did you know, um, what you were gonna go to school for right away? Um, not necessarily. Um, so I kind of just started out in the general route. Um, landed on majored in business, um, and then had a double minor. Um, so I minored in communications and then psychology. So, um, I liked pretty good of skills for your current, uh, vocation. Yep. I liked psychology from the perspective of, of. Figuring out why people act and behave the way they do and what makes them tick. What motivates them, what, what demotivates them. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and so didn't quite do the business psychology route, but um, definitely the minor complimented that having a underlayment of that kind of knowledge is important. Yeah. And I have to think that we've learned so much about psychology in the last five or 10 or 20 years. Mm-hmm. That, you know, the psychology I learned long ago probably has. Rusty mm-hmm. Today. And, and, but me too. Yeah. Yeah. Use it all anyway. Mm-hmm. So had a kind of a traditional college experience. Did you find your sweetie along the way or anything like that? No, not yet. Not yet. Still coming. I just had fun. Um, you know, did track. So I, you know, after college, um, I, my first job at a college I worked for, um, allied Insurance, which was, um, part of Nationwide Insurance. Mm-hmm. And did, uh, commercial claims for them, which, um, was a really stressful job, but gave me a lot of, I think, great business experience, um, and skills and, uh, negotiating and, um, diving into insurance policies and interpreting coverage. And, um, let me tell you, that's really hard. Um, right. Insurance gives you coverage and then this page takes it away, and then it gives it back, and then it takes away again. Um, but it, you know, the two things that insurance companies really hate, No accepting risk and paying claims. Paying claims. Yep. Yeah. But I was fortunate. We, we worked for a, a company that I didn't expect they held integrity in. Yeah. I felt like they had great values and um, you know, we were pressured to, um, settle claims, but fairly so, you know, I didn't feel like I was denying claims because my boss told me to. Yeah. It was based on the assessment or what really happened in the situation and Yeah. You know, don little linger, cuz that's the thing that actually costs us a lot of money. It is just lingering and, and doing commercial liability claims. Um, there's ways that you can identify when you suspect fraudulent claims. Mm-hmm. So, you know, there's, there's tracers that you can run on people. And there were a few claims that, um, you know, I handled. So for example, one of 'em was, um, our insured was a grocery store and the claim was someone slipped and fell on, um, a spilled milk. Area. Okay. And so pretty bad injuries, um, claimed all this, um, back issues, pain and suffering and all of that. Well, when you work with your policy holder, you know, if one of the first things you asked for do they have surveillance video? And they did, right? Right. And so when you have those surveillance videos and you see 'em, and you see the person like going to the milk refrigerator and then opening the jug and pouring it on, and then they walk to another aisle and they come back to their spill. You know, so when you can prove that it was. Satisfying and I think opened your, opened my eyes to not everyone is telling the truth. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so you gotta be, that had been some of the early seeds of, of your career later too. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And this is, I mean, you're 22 years old or something like that, right? Outta school. Yep. 20, well, yeah, 21. And, you know, I was called every name in the book. Um, but I think what gave me, especially being young and a female, is just, um, a lot of confidence. Um, you know, whether that was working with a, you know, highly aggressive law firm that was representing a claimant. Um, but it was, it was a great experience. Um, yeah. And so what ultimately why left that industry and why I left Nebraska is in 2006 I was in a wedding up in Allen Park. Okay. And, um, was a bridesmaid and a meth guy there. Um, and so, but a bing butta boom. Yeah. Kind of hit it off and. I don't know. He called me a couple weeks later and we just really started talking on the phone and, and then he's like, let's meet up. And so we did, um, after, and he's out here? Yeah, he lived here, born and raised in Loveland. And, um, long story short, we, we dated distantly for two years. And keep in mind, this is prior to long distance bills are piling up prior to, no, you had cell phones by then. Phones, so at least you didn't have long distance, but No, no FaceTime, nothing. So it, you know, it relied on both of us having to like talk and like form a a relationship and actually talking well and have integrity too. Mm-hmm. You know, there's a lot of Yeah. Things that could go wrong in a long distance relationship. Yeah. Uh, as well. So yeah. So I, um, we met in 2006 and, um, Decided in early 2008 that, um, I was gonna be the one to relocate. He actually owned a business here, so wasn't as mobile as I was. And what's this boy's name? Uh, Matt. Hey Matt. I'm sure you'll listen. Yeah, so, um, moved to Colorado in April of 2008, and that's also when I started at the bbb. So, and is he also still in business or is he, um, so he was in business up until 2018 and he sold the company. Okay, gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. What was, what was the, um, so he industry, um, was a, um, did carpet cleaning and then, uh, fled restoration for Okay. Uh, residential. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. And how, so you just started looking through the Juan ads over here in Northern Colorado and, yeah. Matt's there and he asked me to marry 'em and, well, so not quite there yet. No, not there yet. So when I started looking for jobs, I quickly realized this area is, um, as we all know, very full of very small employers. Mm-hmm. You know, we don't have. Yeah. Big businesses here where you, you know, there's just hundreds of jobs opening. Right. So it was also kind of at that time, right before the bad part of the recession. Right. Where there just wasn't a lot of opportunities. Um, and so you, yeah. And at that time there was like something in the air. Mm-hmm. You know? Yeah. You knew something was coming, kind of like now. Um, right. He was an accredited business, uh, with the bbb. And so how I found out about the job opening is, um, at the time the BBB emailed our accredited businesses and said, Hey, we have this job opening in our dispute resolution department. Oh, wow. And so that's how I was notified of the job. And then coming from, um, insurance claims, it was a really easy transition, so For sure. Yeah. Very relevant experience. Mm-hmm. Drove out and interviewed and I was a little nervous. Um, you know, I will have to say, and I'm first to admit I didn't know anything about the BBB before I met Matt. Um, when I first met him, started dating and I was looking at some of his advertisements. I was like, what's that symbol? Um, and he told me, and that's my first introduction to the brand. And um, also when I interviewed, I was a little nervous cause I was coming from, you know, a office environment with a thousand employees. Mm-hmm. You know, and different opportunities that came with that to an office. At the time it was nine. Right. Um, But I was looking for something more small pace, kind of more back to my roots and you know, something where I could really rally around and get my, yeah, make an impact. And yeah. So that's, um, started in April, 2008 and then kind of just worked my way up through the organization, a lot of roles. And, um, we ended up getting engaged in 2011 and married in 12, 2012. So we've been married 10 years. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. Like, talk to me about that working. I don't know, was it working your way up or was it working through kind of like working through, yeah. So like, we need help in this area now and Shelly can do it cuz Shelly is the easy button for fixing broken things. Or not necessarily just more I think, uh, willingness and, um, yeah, dedication, hard work. So when I first started at the bbb, I handled complaints that were filed against non-accredited businesses. Mm-hmm. I also, um, started o up our investigations department. So, um, really ramped those efforts up. So part of my role was working with law enforcement agencies when we suspect a. Business is doing something, not just being unethical, but actually breaking the law, fraudulent, breaking the law. Yeah. We will bring those issues to their attention. So we still today work with state, um, local, state and federal law enforcement as well as regulatory agencies. Okay. So part of our, our process is we can share complaint information with them and through the course of me being b b there's been several examples where it's led to, um, law enforcement shutting businesses down. Hmm. And also jail time for some of them. Yeah. Um, our biggest one we handled it was, Couple years long. We was a gentleman who was out of, uh, Tennessee, but had a location here in, in Colorado and, um, author and syndicated radio show host. And, um, he owned a, an entity where he, um, enticed people to convert their retirement into Golden Silver and Okay. Um, so there was some concern, endless, like short them when they did that kind of thing. Yeah. Concerns going on there. And we actually had staff that testified in the federal trial at that, um, scene. Wow. Interesting. A lot of people don't know we do that work. Yeah. I had no idea. Yeah. So, um, that gave you a taste for blood. Yeah, a little bit. And then, but more about educating people on what to watch for. Yeah. And you know, even like hiring a contractor, you don't pay them all up front. It is industry standard to Right. At least do half or a third, a third and a third. Um, so it was more, um, I did a lot of education, so I. Hit the road. And like I said earlier, went to a lot of service club in industries and, um, or entities and talked about how to just be a smart consumer. Oh, so you're like rolling up to Torrington mm-hmm. And hitting Lusk, uh, whatever. Sometimes. Yeah. Things like that. Uhhuh just talking to some of these ciroma clubs and Roary clubs and stuff about it. So from there I went into a education before I got serious with Matt, presumably? Yes. Um, so I did a lot of education outreach and then, uh, marketing and communications job opened up. So I did, um, that, and then yes, I just worked my way through, I guess. Is there a number two, uh, or were you in the nu or were you in the marketing communications and then the executive director Yeah. Said, Hey, I'm gonna leave soon. Yeah, she retired. You should hire Shelly. Um, after 25 years, so, um, upon her retirement, um, interviewed with the, oh, so this was the same person that hired you? Mm-hmm. Several years later. Retired, yeah. So interviewed with the board and, um, was selected to succeed her. So Nice. Um, she had been with our organization 25 years, so it was, um, I learned that I, I don't like the term hard shoes to fill, um, because when she announced her retirement and was announced that I was taking her position, um, they were like, oh, hard shoes to fill. And I, I learned that we all have our own pairs of shoes, different shoes to fill. Yeah. We do. We all have our own talents and experiences that we can bring to the table and Yeah. Um, so whenever I have a similar situation with somebody in the community who gets promoted, yeah. I never use that term anymore. Fair. Yeah. Um, what, uh, could you tell us who this person is and, uh, maybe what some things. That you've done differently, uh, from the old ways, if you will. Um, I don't know if it's different, not the ways, but, so Yeah. Um, different person, yeah. Organization, um, was led by Pam King for 25 years Okay. Till her retirement. Um, I will say a couple things that I admired about Pam and learned from Pam. Um, number one is, um, you know, how to work with a board and, you know, establish those, um, uh, relationships, I think with board members. Mm-hmm. But also ensure that they are, you know, oversight of the organization. Um, um, because it's a nonprofit, right? Yeah. Like the board can throw you out in your ear mm-hmm. If they want to. Yeah. Okay. So, you know, working with boards and, and how to recruit quality board members. Or they can just be rubber stamps too. Like you want it somewhere in between there. Exactly. Yeah. Um, and then also I would say one of the other great things that I learned from Pam is to ensure that your. You know, your efforts are aligned with your personal values and what you believe in, because if any of that's out of alignment, you don't have that, I think joy in life and satisfaction. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I think that's one of the things that I resonated most with you about when we first met is that you were really, uh, resonant with the mission of the bbb. Mm-hmm. You know, it wasn't, Hey, I got this executive director job mm-hmm. And so I'm gonna be the best BBB director I can be. It was more like, the BBB is awesome and I'm here to make it even more so. Yeah. And I, I'd say even today is when I talk to businesses, anybody, actually, I never, I hope we never lose sight that ethics, principles and values matter. Yeah. Um, they're important for a variety of reasons, but we have to ensure that we continue to have conversations with one another, grow from one another. Um, and that part makes me nervous about, um, just our society's future, right. So, well cause of that kind of unwillingness to listen to one another and grow mm-hmm. In some instances. Yeah. Um, but you know what, going back to your original question, I don't know if I've changed things. I just approached things differently than Pam did. Yeah. Um, you know, Pam talking about the halos, um, you know, Pam would've been I think a white, the ideation, you know, ideas, ideas. Ideas. And I have ideas, but I'm, I'm highly analytical and data driven. Yeah. Um, and she was as well. But, um, even more so, I, I try to try to, as much as we can, make data driven decisions and just not peace off, very emotional. Instinctual. Yeah. Yeah. Fair. Yeah. Fair enough. Yeah. Um, what would your team say are your best traits or attributes? Like why they love working for you? Because I can tell they, do they all love you? I, I would hope they would say that I'm analytical and, um, You know, we have a busy environment. We all wear lots of hats. And I think one of the things when we've worked through change, especially through the pandemic and, you know, restrictions on, you know, capacity in our office and why we can't have this event and all of that right? Is um, I always want to explain the why behind our decisions and I do my best to always do that. Yeah. Um, to me, if you do that, then hopefully it, it, um, fulfills any unanswered questions people have or hopes mitigate some of the, um, hallway conversation that I know happens after. Yeah. Decisions are made. But I really try to intentionally communicate our why and why, why we might go a different direction or why we gotta look at things differently. Um, and a lot of 'em, cuz I am analytical, is that there's data to back it up. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fair. Um, so yeah, and I, I think we have an amazing team, um, blessed to work with them. As we all do in our jobs, we're around our, our colleagues a lot times more than our spouse family. Right. Um, and so you wanna have a place where, you know, people enjoy coming and, and are inspired by one another. And, um, I'm, I have a super talented team and, um, enjoy getting to know them as, as colleagues and people who work for the BBB in our mission, but also just as people. Yeah, yeah. Um, you know, before I leave the bbb, um, because you, especially because you mentioned it in the Halos training, uh, and so, uh, just to set the ground for. Those listeners that haven't heard me blabbing on about it. But we did a certification, uh, course, I guess was the fall of 21. Mm-hmm. Um, where we did six, four hour courses and used your amazing conference room with, uh, great video capabilities and stuff to do this remote environment. Um, and then as a, uh, thanks for letting us use your Austin space, we, we had your staff go through our first halos workshop with a team. Um, and, uh, I felt like it was, I, I've done a couple, few more since then and I think I'm getting better at it. Yep. But I felt like it was really impactful and I got a lot of great feedback from your team. And, and is that, like, have you continued to, to remember those conversations? Should we do more? Oh, we, we use, um, I'll go back to our, our listeners today. You know, we've always been intentional in trying to provide, um, professional development opportunities for our team, whether that's Job Pacific or just even how to bring out the best in them. So years ago we did the Gallup Strengths finders mm-hmm. With our team. Mm-hmm. And, um, you know, found that to be very useful. But as you talk about with the Hallis assessment, um, it's easier to remember your colors. Hmm. So we continue, even we went through that, I think it was February last year, I guess. So, yeah, just a year, a year ago now. Yeah. And we continue to use it. And when I go back to, you know, I really enjoy trying to figure out what motivates somebody or why someone's behaving the way they are. Mm-hmm. And we'll go back as a leadership team where I'll be like, oh, that's the brown, that's the brown coming out. Yeah. Like, that's, that's why they're this way. Or that's the orange. Um, you know what I found extremely useful in that too, is ensuring that we have, um, diversity amongst our skillsets and, and all of that. And I think what came out of that, and I was super pleased that we have, you know, dominant colors throughout. Yeah, you got a great mix. Every team. Yeah. Yeah. Every team within our, our organization has mix. And then, um, just across the board we have it. So I think that opens it up to, you know, a lot of great thinking and, um, idea sharing, um, and just approaching to, to do business better and how can we serve our accredited businesses better. Do you remember, I know you were orange, the biggest, but were you I'm a blue, no, blue over blue. Orange. Orange, almost about equal. Okay. Um, and then brown is my, okay. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and that definitely comes out. So Cool. And yeah, so we, it was great. Awesome. Mm-hmm. Well, we'll, uh, I'm actually getting some new training, uh, a little bit later this year, so I'll Nice. I'll be letting you know if we can do some more stuff. Um, let's, uh, let's move into the closing segments. Okay. Um, would you prefer to talk about faith, family or politics first, whatever you wanna go. Um, Let's talk about your family. Okay. Let's tell me more about Matt. Yeah. So, um, so you, you struck up a conversation with this cute single guy Yeah. From Colorado. Yeah. So, um, you know, we dated decently and then I moved out here and, um, you know, he's my best friend. I am, I'm honored to just be by his side and everything that we do, I think we compliment each other. Well, he's not taken the house, but I'm pretty sure I know where he lies. Um, which, which is, you think Oh, definitely the, he's does the entrepreneurial, the orange. So he is the orange, white type. Um, I'd say very little green. Um, okay. But that's okay. Um, I don't have a lot of green either, but that comes out, um, in my Gallup strengths finders, there's a reason for that. We have a very close circle of people that. Are our, our friends and our, our loved ones a tight tribe, Uhhuh. And, but we don't go, we don't go wide. We go deep with our, um, tribe, which that's the brown type. Yeah. Um, so yeah, we, uh, were married and, um, you know, I'm pretty open about our story. We struggled for years to, um, have children and so, um, we did experience some, um, family loss in from his family. So he lost his dad and his brother in, uh, three months apart from different, um, tragic events. And, um, I think what we learned from that and um, admire him is that he didn't let that destroy who he is. And he said he wouldn't. Um, yeah. Yeah. But we also learned, you know, that, you know, some of our friends and family, close ones really showed up when it mattered. And, um, I tried to. Carry that forward. And one of my personal values is show up for people even though they may not know they need it. Mm-hmm. Um, because sometimes you don't know you need it. Yeah. Until you're in that kind of tragedy. Um, so we struggled for years to, to have children and decided to start to see, um, specialists and, um, we were blessed, uh, with our first daughter Riley, um, by ivf. Um, so she was born in October of 2020. So, um, I found out I was pregnant in February, 2020, so a month before the lockdown. And so that was an interesting pregnancy. Wow. And when did we meet? It must have been like maybe that June or something. Maybe. Yeah. May, June. Mm-hmm. Um, and so yeah, had her in October of 2020, and our odds of conceiving naturally were less than 1%. And so fast forward, uh, nine short months later, and, um, surprise baby number coming. So we, uh, joking, uh, call her our BOGO baby. Buy one, get one free. So this is a natural conception. Yes. Not, not an intentional one. Yeah. So we've got two girls now. Congratulations. Now, I think, um, miracle babies for, you know, different, different ways and, um, you know, appreciated the way, um, IVF helped us and, um, that that process was very eye-opening and, um, yeah, yeah, yeah. Interesting. We, we considered heavily doing that. Jill's parents offered to put most of the tab and, but I was already 40 or 42. Mm-hmm. And, uh, and local think tank wasn't mm-hmm. Making any money. And I was just in chaos and it was like, I can't. And not sure we want to. Yeah. Yep. And so we can really be a blessing to other families. Mm-hmm. But, so I want to hear about, you've got, so how many months old is your youngest? Huh? So she just turned one. Just turned one. Yep. They're 16 months apart. Okay. So almost two and a half, and then just turned one. Do you have, uh, I know you've listened to some of my episodes. Do you have one word? Descriptions? Do they have enough airtime yet to Uh oh, yeah. Um, Riley is, um, I would probably describe her as determined. Oh, wow. Um, she is our handful, um, baby and terrible twos are going. Um, she just is, she's been an amazing, um, blessing in her life. Uh, but she's, she's a hard one. She's challenging. And, um, just even the way she was born, I was in labor 31 hours and oh my, um, we had to go to emergency C-sections. Oh, wow. So it just was, um, sorry, you know, and. She was born with a hematoma on our head, and at the time we didn't think it was a really big deal. And fast forward to her six month appointment, I found out that the condition she had, um, one in four don't make it. Oh, wow. So I was like, I'm glad we didn't know that. Right. Um, so yeah, she's my determined child. And then, um, Morgan, I would, uh, describe her as chill. So she is completely, she's your youngest, right? Uhhuh? Yeah. Okay. She's completely opposite. She's a very mellow, happy baby. Yeah. Well, may they both be blessed, Uhhuh. Um, if you were gonna, uh, speculate on why, um, what attracted Matt to you and you to Matt at that first party and kept you committed to each other over that, you know, two years of distance re relationship? Um, I would say probably for both of our perspectives it was, you know, I was my mid twenties, I think I was kind of, Done with the, so post-college, I, I had fun with my friends. We went to concerts, we did all this, we road tripped a lot of places. Yeah. And I was just ready to kind of settle down and, and enter And you, you start running out of single friends too, in your mid to late twenties. Yeah. So I think a lot of it's the timing and the ones that are left are really crazy. Yeah. And then, um, we aligned, sorry to the rest of them, just single friends? No, no. They were great friends. Um, but no, I think there's the timing of when we met and then we just aligned, um, yeah. With our similar philosophies. There was easy conversation. Um, never felt hard. Um, yeah, yeah. Where I had to impress or anything. Yeah. So, yeah, it was great. He would say, think the same, he would say the same kind of words. I think. So it's just kind of, we just kind of fit together like a hand and a glove. And that was the way it was. Cool. Yeah, I like it. What would you like to say about your, your extended family? Your, your brothers, your uncles, your, yeah. So, so we ha or I have one sister, one she's six years older than me. Um, so definitely, you know, when we were young, I wouldn't necessarily, we were, uh, super close. We were just into different things at the same, um, different times. But, um, as we got older, like we're super close. Yeah. Um, now, Outside of my husband, she's my next best friend. And I also, um, still blessed to have my parents and I, I wanna say to my parents that, um, at some point they'll always be my mom and dad. Right. But at some point they did an amazing job of, of stepping back from that parental role and letting my sister and I just be adults. And she, they your peers now too. Yeah. And you know, we'll still turn to them for advice, but, um, even though they're still my mom and dad, I consider them my friend. Sure. Um, and we bounce stuff off of them and, you know, um, I really respect, and I don't know exactly when that switch happened, but I respect that they they did that naturally. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and then, yeah, my grandpa's still living. Um, I've lost all my other grandparents. Um, and then my husband's side, um, he only had his brother, um, who passed away in 2017. Mm-hmm. And then, um, he lost his dad, but his mom still lives here in Fort Collins and then his stepdad, and then he's got a cousin in Loveland and a cousin in Thornton. Otherwise, the rest of the family is, um, Uh, spread across the world actually. So, um, I guess it's his, Matt's last name is Polanski. Mm-hmm. Yeah. A very Polish name, I presume. It's check ish check. Well, same difference, right? Yeah. Yep. Don't tell polls and the checks that, but my understanding is if the Neiman's an I, it tends to be Polish. If it's y Oh, it's Czech. I didn't know that. Oh, that's, uh, so yeah, we, uh, one of our exchange students in the past is, was Czech background. Interesting. Yeah. And, uh, I love that, like the, the, the culture of the people from that region. I've, I've really only enjoyed our church actually sponsors, uh, of several Czech church plants mm-hmm. Across that nation. So, yeah. Uh, it. Close to my heart in some ways. Nation. Yeah. That's awesome. How about your family? So I, and is he's German mutt or is he just a Czech guy? Well, he says he's American, but Right. Um, no, but yeah, Czech is I think the predominant, um, family tree branch or whatever. And then mine's, uh, predominantly German. So was that pretty common for your whole region up there? Mm-hmm. In that mid, I think so. MidCentral, Iowa or nor Nebraska, Nebraska? Yeah, I think so. So, okay. Yeah. Sorry. I always ask questions like that because you're not supposed to ask questions like that. So, uh, on that vein, um, politics or religion, uh, oh, let's go. What did the government do right in the Covid approach? Just kidding. Did you rather start with what they did wrong? No, no. I accusing you. I'll, I'll say politically. I would say politically we're, you know, BBB doesn't take a stance on politics. Yeah. That's, you know, different than the chambers who can see. Yeah. You can make a disclaimer if you like here abused percent. My disclaimer. Um, they, you know, I think we're just an, an interesting place. Um, it goes back to comment I made earlier. We are so polarized that you can't even. Always have a conversation with someone who you thought was a friend of yours that has different viewpoints. Yeah. And I, I think that's, it's so sad we've gotten to that place. Um, I read a stat the other day that something like 80% of the people surveyed in this research report said that, um, they don't wanna work next to somebody who has different viewpoints. Whoa. And I was like, you know, that's how we grow as people. Um, it's how hallis, it's like within ourselves, that contrast. Holy sharpen. So to me, wow. You know, I'm, I'm stop being so weeny. I'm done with the, um, disrespectfulness that has, um, occurred in politics. Um, I stay informed, um, across the board because, um, you know, with our, with our role in the geographic area we serve, I need to kind of stay abreast of anything Sure. That might impact us as an organization. Sure. Um, but you know, I've disengaged a lot too, um, yeah. For self protection. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I had an interesting conversation this past weekend. We went to visit some friends in San Francisco and quite a bit farther, more progressive than I, than I am. And we were drinking from, from corn plastic straws, because in San Francisco you can't have a plastic straw period. Mm-hmm. Like, it doesn't matter. But you can have a paper straw or you can have a corn plastic, biodegradable straw. Or metal. Or metal, yeah. Yep, yep. Um, and I said, you know, I think that's actually really great. Mm-hmm. Um, and I think it's even prudent, like you've got this amazing bay, potentially one of the most dynamic and beautiful natural features in all of the world. Mm-hmm. Um, protected by this little gateway, the Golden Gate bridge. And, and then that's the only way in and only way out kind of this whole thing and straws is gonna get into that bay. Mm-hmm. Like, no question about it. So having dissolvable straws here that cost 12 times as much is probably great mm-hmm. For San Francisco, but in North Dakota. Mm-hmm. Or, or in Nebraska. Like, I just want a plastic straw cuz it's going to the landfill after that and it's gonna stay there for as long as it needs to. Mm-hmm. And so I think both viewpoints can kind of be true. Mm-hmm. And like being able to understand the, the nuance of those two perspectives. Like it's okay for San Francisco to ban straws. Duh. They have this amazing bay. Mm-hmm. Like for Canada to be all opposed to climate change. I think that's dumb because they're Canada. Mm-hmm. Like, will, we want it to warm up, up there. Anyway, I digress. I mean, a lot of, a lot of what we've gone through the last couple years, it's, um, you, at the end of the day, I think, you know, you look at, you've gotta, you gotta do what's right for you. Um, you've gotta be informed as an individual and whether that's, um, you know, your own advocate, um, for your own. Um, right, right. Or if it's something that you stand on politically and I think you just have to make the best decision that you can. And, um, you know, I, I hope in the future we have competent, ethical people that will continue to run, um, or will run for public office cuz we need them. Right. Um, and then the other piece on that is I just think it's really hard for people to find information today that they can trust and, um, totally, you know, how do you, how do you really find out what someone stands for? And I, I think that's, it's difficult today. Well, and like anybody that I meet that is a hundred percent I believe in all the party platforms of my party, it's like, that's really hard. Mm-hmm. You know, and, and so then it's just, then it's just idealism or dogmatism kind of thing, right? Mm-hmm. And so that stat you just shared, that 80% don't wanna work with people that what if you agree with beyond. Seven out of 10 things. Yeah. And not on two uhhuh, and we're maybe on one. Mm-hmm. You know, is that okay? Yep. But it goes back to just being able to have those respectful conversations and being able to ask a question, why do you think this way? Because their answer might influence my opinion. Yeah. And it might sway me. Mm-hmm. And vice versa. That's what I hope is that, you know, I think at the end of the day, if you can have those conversations, you tend to end up somewhere in the middle. Um, yeah. Most, most of time. No, I, most of the time. Well, and you know, the, ultimately where we've gone to is that all the rural places are red and all the urban places are blue and like it's kind of Right and normal for people densely packed together to have kind of a different set of rules and expectations mm-hmm. Than people that are completely apart from each other. Mm-hmm. And I think that seems like it's okay, but instead it's becoming, I don't know. It's gonna be interesting. Yeah. Because the rural areas are really under comparative economic, uh, weakness. Agree. Yeah. Right. Yeah. They just have their own unique challenges and struggles. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah. Anyway. Mm-hmm. I can leave that alone a little bit. Is there things that you would like to mention specifically in the political realm or just the utility of disengaging, uh, from the fight? Yeah. I just, you know, for me personally, I, you know, used to come home and that's what I would watch. And, and I, you know, I, like I said, I still stay informed, but I had to just take a step back because, um, some things just, uh, stress me out too much to where I know I can't control it in the moment and I, um, have to do what's best for me. But how was it navigating the politics of a diverse, you know, 17 or 19 person or whatever, Office of space there, as you know, you know, as far as the pandemic. Yeah. And you're kind of the decider, right? Or did the board give you a lot of guidance or was it, we just, we follow county guidelines, whatever is we follow follow county guidelines. Yeah. So we, we followed that and um, really didn't deviate from it. Right. So, you know, if if masks lifted, we lifted masks. Now people could still wear them if they wanted. Right. Right. Um, but we followed that, um, and set that, you know, I I'd say principle from the very beginning and we didn't deviate from it. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I think if you deviate, then you start to, you know, why are we devi? Right. Right. And then, um, that's when you have opinions come out that, you know, maybe isn't healthy for the entire organization, so. Sure, sure. Um, so yeah, that's what we decided from the get-go. I mean, it was hard though that there's some, you know, our, our team who plans events, um, you know, we had to cancel, we canceled our Torch Awards, Yvette, which is every April. Right. Um, because it looked like for quite a while that April 21 events were gonna be cool. They did, but then, and then it all of a sudden turned around Omicron or Delta, you know, Omicron, I guess. And so we, you know, we're hoping to have an April, 2021 in-person event and it was, I think that fall, you know, I was just like, we've just gotta make a decision. Um, and that's probably early on. Um, one of the things I would, hindsight, looking back, I think I would've just almost said we're going. We're doing stuff different until we are a hundred percent in the clear. Mm. You know, um, cuz you, you get people like motivated and excited and then, oh, I'm sorry. We can't do that now. Right. Um, and it just deflates, um, the team. But, so I think April, 2021, um, we did tour towards virtually a really short presentation and we went onsite to each of the business winners locations. Mm-hmm. So it could have a very, you know, COVID record, a little video and stuff and whatever. Yeah. Friendly celebration that was smaller in capacity. Um, but we're super thrilled to be able to have a big one this year. Yep. Um, this one, we're, we're celebrating this, uh, next month and we're hoping for 600 people. So I probably should slide you ahead in the, um, agenda a little bit cuz this is your 40th year here in Northern Colorado and the Torch Awards are April. April 27th. 27th. Okay. Yeah. The Embassy Suite. So I think we can slide you in there before then, at least a couple weeks. Yeah. So the Torch words is really, uh, an awards of business ethics. Mm-hmm. And like. Businesses nominate themselves and each other, and then how do you prove out something like that? Yeah, so, um, people nominate businesses that they work for who have patron, um, or businesses can self nominate. Um, and then, uh, for the Torch Awards, they are paired with an ethics scholar intern who is a student from CSU U N C or uw. Um, and the students are the ones that work collaboratively with that nominated organization and they prepare the application paper on behalf of the business. And our criteria for the award is based on our four Cs. So it's character, culture, community. And customers. Hmm. Um, so it's really evaluating how does the business exhibit trust and ethics in all those four categories? Yeah, yeah. Um, so the students write a paper that's given to our panel of judges that is made up of board members and past torture award winners. Mm-hmm. Um, and then the students also give a oral presentation in front of the judging panel. Mm-hmm. So it's been a win-win, um, partnership because it gives students the out of the classroom ethics learning opportunity, and then also gives businesses and nonprofits that kind of giving back, um, and showing our future workforce, um, business ethics in action. Yeah. So that's how they're evaluated and determines. It's not an easy thing to, I love the student element as well, because, you know, it's easy to say that list of eight that you rattled off earlier. Yeah. But once you start to see the complexity sometimes of business ethical decisions and mm-hmm. Like, we've got, uh, here's a good ethical, uh, Quickie here for you. The, I've had marketing companies and, and PEOs for example, and different organizations like that be like, Hey, if you just refer your members to our organization, we'll pay a durable referral fee. Oh, interesting. Yeah. You know, you can have 3% or 5% or 10% of their spend forever. Mm-hmm. And I'm like, well that sounds great. I would, I would never refer anybody else. Mm-hmm. But you might not be the best fit for that person. And it like colors my integrity now and forever more if I accept money for referring. Yeah. And so I can't, like, as much as it sounds nice to have some mailbox income and all these potential referrals, I just can't do it. Really? Yeah. Yeah. So our ethics award winners, I mean, they, they give examples. Um, you know, the winners tend to be the ones that will. Give an example of a student or story that maybe it didn't turn out the best outcome, right. But it's the ethical dmi they worked through. Here's how it turned out, here's what we learned from it. Yeah. Um, those are the things that were here's our policy now. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Very cool. Um, so yeah, we have that. And then, um, so yeah, we're expecting a, a sellout crowd, so it should be at home. That's at the embassy suite. It is, yeah. Okay. Yeah. Very good. Yeah. Awesome. Well, we'll be looking forward to that. Um, anything more We kind of deviated slightly from political, but not really, because when you're the leader of a multi-regional mm-hmm. Multiparty, multi perspective organization, there's a lot of navigation sometimes. Mm-hmm. And, and keeping politics out of. Like we can, we can keep ethics out of politics or we, we should not keep ethics out of politics. We should put more in. Mm-hmm. But keeping politics out of ethics is probably very important. Yeah. And I think for an organization like us, I go back to we're standards based organization. Mm-hmm. So what helps us, guide us through ethical decision making is our standards right now. Does sometimes we have to have, you know, conversations that last a long time. Absolutely. Yeah. Um, but I think that's what guides us and that's been, um, what's guide us, guided us. Really our entire a hundred years. Yeah. So, fair enough. Yeah. Um, religion, you, you played the piano in the church? Yeah. So I grew up in an amazing, uh, country church. Okay. Um, so almost all of the people who were members, uh, were area farmers. Their farmers, their families were there 80 years ago. Yeah. So the, the church had a, a rich history. The actual physical building I was in, um, was actually, um, spearheaded by my great grandpapa. Um, there was, they were in dire need of a new building cuz their old one was like falling apart, not safe anymore. Okay. And it's a cool story. Um, he actually advocated with. The church council and kind of all the members, he's like, let's forego our, our fancy new tractor this year, our fancy new truck, and let's, let's buy the, or build this building. So they raised enough money to build the building, so no debt. Um, so the church I grew up in, he was very instrumental in actually getting built. That's cool. Um, and I would say as an amazing church because, um, it was really the true sense of community and, um, you know, grew up going to Sunday school and um, Bible school is this Lutheran country, so we were Methodist. Methodist, okay. Uhhuh. Um, but it was more, more of the, you know, being small congregation. It was just more everyone had, it was community more than anything. Back again. Yeah. Yeah. And how many, what was the max attendance at a Oh, any given Sunday, 40 people, you know, pretty small. Like if somebody really famous died, then they stuffed 60 in there or whatever. Mm-hmm. But yeah, so, um, that's, that's how I grew up. Um, you know, I still believe in, in. I'm still Christian. I still believe in that there's a, there's a God. And, um, and I, I hope everyone believes in something because I think that's, uh, they don't have to believe in God necessarily or Jesus Christ, but, you know, have something to, to aspire to. And the story I shared about my grandmother's passing and how that happened, and you know that if you're open to the signs, they're there. Um, And you know, I will admit it's been a struggle finding a similar church community, um, since living here. But we, we continue to try to find something that he is sampled here and there, but works for our family and, um, you know, compliments both my beliefs and my husband's beliefs. And, and where is, where does he come from in this space? Um, you know, I think grew up a Christian, but has a lot more questions than I probably do. Okay. Um, but I think still believes in something greater and, um, it's just, um, there is a lot of politics in religion too. Totally. So. Oh yeah. I think it's trying to find a place that some of that is a lot more mitigated than others. Yeah. And, and just being a place where we can not just be a number but actually contributor and, and kind of know everybody. And I think that's hard to do around here in. Yeah, you definitely have to look for it. Mm-hmm. Um, for sure. Yeah. But it's important that my girls are, are brought up with similar, um, opportunities as me. So, um, as they get a little bit older, we'll be sure to find a church home. Did you have a season in your time where you really examined that question or like, I, I meet two kinds of people, really. Ones that for a long time kind of poo poo the notion of God and Jesus and stuff like that. And then come around and uh, or those that just kind of accept at a relatively early age and they just kind of just kind of bake it in as part of what they believe. Um, I think accept it as an early age. I think the principles that I learned. Growing up in a small country church and just learning the stories of the Bible and, um, kind of shaped my, my values today and definitely live by the Golden Rule. Yeah. Um, but I think I, I was exposed in college, you know, I took a World Religions class and it was fascinating. And we had a professor who made us, you know, go to different cool exhibit, different services and different religions. So, you know, I went to Jewish service and um, church of Science and um Yeah. Yeah. You know, was exposed to all of that and, um, you know, learned to believe that there isn't just necessarily one way to believe. Yeah. And if, um, that's how other people. Believe in whatever they do, they, you know, I have utmost respect for them, um, that, uh, those coexist bumper stickers. Mm-hmm. You're a fan even if you don't have one on your car? No, I don't have a bumper sticker on my car. But, but no, I, I, you know, I hope to, like I said, bring, um, my girls up, having similar experiences. I mean, there is just something to be said about the, the ice cream social on Sunday night and Yeah. Yeah. You know, getting together with my church friends that were different than my school friends. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. Well, I hope that you find that for them. Yeah. You know, they're getting, uh, close to the mm-hmm. Time of their lives. Mm-hmm. Probably when they're all start to actually appreciate that kind of engagement. Mm-hmm. Um, anything more that you wanna share in that space or, I don't think, not really. Okay. Um, so did you finish your bourbon yet? No. You've been melting that thing. That's okay. I won't judge. I drank two, so. Mm-hmm. Is it too strong? Do you need a little No, I've been talking too much, Kurt. Well, that's my job. Um. Have you, you were kind of wondering what you were gonna bring out as your local experience. Yeah. And you still weren't super sure? No, I feel like I, I have a very, um, non adventurous life. Um, never any near death experiences. No. Um, no. I've got like four, oh, no, I don't have many. But I, I will say this is not very adventurous, but for me, the only one I could think of, I'm a fairly claustrophobic person. Okay. I don't like tight spaces, nor do I like heights that I can't, um, control necessarily. Yeah. Um, but I was at a conference, um, it was a BBB conference in St. Louis a few years ago, and I don't know if you've ever been in the St. Louis Arch. Um, so you can go to the top of the arch. Yeah. I've never been inside it. So, to get in, no, to get into the top of the arch, you have to get into this. Pod. Okay. Um, that meat has no windows. It's like the size of my couch or something. Not even, I think it fits three people. Okay. And it's this egg-shaped pod that you sit in and they close the door and you just kind of, they're like, okay, what are we doing? And it inches its way up this arch, right? And it's kind of Wow. Yeah. Um, and so we got to the top and there's these windows that you could look out. Well, you couldn't even see out because we were in the middle of a horrible thunderstorm in this top of this structure. Um, so even though I'm not very adventurous, I, I felt great that I at least, um, yeah. Went up to the top. And it takes a fair bit of trust. Like even though thousands of people a year ride that stupid little pod up there at the window, I know, um, if, if they were making that today, they would make it so much cooler. They would, you'd probably ride on the outside and like be able to look out. But it would cost instead of like $4 million like it cost originally, it would now be. $600 million or something dumb like that. What are we gonna do with this economy? Oh, well, I think I read a lot of opinions and across the boards I'm saying the economy's not gonna get any worse and Somem saying, We're in for a long haul, but, um, I think we just are in unprecedented times and we just don't know what's gonna happen. Well, and it money is under threat and it's all about trust. It is. You know, I go back to my, my parents being, you know, um, friends and we bounce people or bounce ideas off them. My dad's been saying inflation's coming for about eight years. Um, he lived, when I was born in 1980, I saw my baby book mortgage rates or interest rates in 1980 when I was born were 21%, almost 21%. Yep. Um, and so he went through a period of time where, um, we farmed a lot more acres, um, prior to the recession in the eighties. Yeah. And, and lost a lot because of, um, banks going under and, and whatnot. So, mm-hmm. He's been through it, lived through it, and he's been calling for this one. There's just different dynamics in this one compared to the one in the eighties. Um, you know, unemployment's still really low and. You look at this massive generation, this baby boom generation leaving the workforce. Yeah. It's just, you know, is unemployment really gonna go very high? I don't know. Yeah. It's an interesting question, isn't it? Um, well, and you'll have board members that, that listen to this and stuff like that and stuff, but what, um, how do I say it right? Like, what's your future hold? Do you want to be like 10 more years leader of the bbb? Do you long for actually being in business? Do you have aspirations of getting your PhD in ethics and teaching in your second career? Yeah. Um, like what's next for Shelly? I don't know what's next for me right now. I'm being the best. Uh, I, well, my number one value is to be the best version of myself. I have to put myself first so I can be there, be the best mom and wife, leader colleague. Sister daughter. Yeah. That can be. Um, so that's my priority right now. I think, um, I'm never um, adverse to looking at other opportunities, but right now I, I'm content with where I'm at and trying to, um, ensure that the BBB has a future. And that again, we don't lose sight of that business ethics and trust matter. Yeah. Um, so that's what I'm doing now. But, um, you know, I've always thought moving into retirement years, I never wanna fully retire when I retire. Yeah. I wanna ease into that and, um, you know, I think teaching to be amazing. Yeah. Um, you know, to give back. And, you know, I hope that as my girls get a little bit older, if they get involved in activities, I can be a coach or. Oh yes. Do you have piano lessons? Yeah. You teach whatever it might be. You track, you can teach softball. Mm-hmm. Or volleyball. I forget all those. Um, so I don't know what my future lies. And I guess, um, do we do any of us? No, no. Not at all. So, but gotta always have, be open-minded to, um, whether that's new opportunities with the, your current business you own, or current business you run. Um, would you like to, uh, this is one of all these questions nobody's supposed to ask, but you got two littles now. Like, do you have dreams sometimes of spending, you know, downsizing your work so you can upsize your mom for a while? Oh, no. Um, not yet. I love my children, but I, I've also learned that I could, um, it would be very challenging for me to be a stay-at-home mom full time. Um, so no, I, um, I, I think we have a really great balanced life and I, I see, um, they're both in daycare full-time. I see them thrive in day care. Um, that I don't know if I would be. You know, getting paint out every day like they do and things. So, you know, they Right. They have their own profession and their expertise for a reason. And I, um, you know, we have a childcare shortage in this community, at this whole country. We do. Yeah. Um, I don't know the answers to that either. Um, but, um, for us, we, we are blessed to have a place to send them and that they're safe and great. Get great opportunities. Yeah. Yeah. Do you think the person that will run the Better Business Bureau next is already on your team? Oh, if they have the aspiration and desire and wanna stay. All right. I mean, I, I'll, I'll, you've got several people'll. What I, what I'm hearing is got many people that are qualified if that's what they want. We do. They have an amazing team. You really do what they want. They're kind of the nicest, smartest group of people around. Yeah, we have a great, great, if, if anyone needs to see them, they should stop it. Mess. But, but no, I, you know, I will say, um, retirement's still a long ways off for me, and I don't necessarily see my, I've been at BBB 15 years. Um, I'm not going anywhere now, but I don't necessarily see myself there when I announce my retirement. When you hang up your cleats. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Fair enough. All right, well, I think we've covered a lot of ground. Awesome. Time flies. Yeah. Thanks for making it. Um, if people wanna find the Better Business Bureau, they could. bbb.org. Yeah, just like that. Yeah. And then look for the, the Northern Colorado, Wyoming branch. Yeah. It should pop up based on, uh, your location. Oh, just where you are. The spyware stuff. Yeah. Is that ethical? Yeah, just kidding. No, we, we try to, we try to be as local as we can by, yeah. Yeah. Just maintaining one website, but I like it. Yeah. Well, I really appreciate your time. Yeah, thanks Kurt. And bye everybody. Bye.