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Access Answers: Episode 12

The Energy IG Network with Dave Foley

Access Answers: Episode 12

For the podcast’s first anniversary, Dave Foley joins Access Answers to discuss the Energy IG Network, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective IG Programs, Pilots N Paws, and more.

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TRANSCRIPT

Episode 12: The Energy IG Network with Dave Foley

Julia:

We can’t believe it’s already been a year! This is our 12th episode of Access Answers, and we have a very special guest here with us today. So as always, I’m your host Julia Vergara along with Angela O’Pry and we have Dave Foley here today.

Angela:

Dave is officially the Director of Records and Information Management for ONEOK out of Tulsa, Oklahoma and also leader of the Energy IG Network rebranded from Susan Cisco. And I think you’re going to tell us about the history.

Dave:

Well, thank you both. And I’m really pleased to be here. We’ll see how the conversation goes. The Energy IG Network is really something rather near and dear. It’s just one of those grassroot type of professional networking groups if you will, that has made a difference I believe. And so this should be a very good conversation. I’m looking forward to it. Thank you.

Angela:

So, I mentioned that you work for a company in Tulsa, but I think you should share where you’re actually recording from today.

Dave:

That’s unfair because I’m in Afton, Wyoming which is on the far Western edge of Wyoming. In fact, it’s in a valley called Star Valley and the mountain range on the east side is in Wyoming. The mountain range on the west side is in Idaho and we are about 75 minute drive south of Jackson Hole Wyoming. And so, it’s beautiful here, bright sunshine. As I look out the window, blue skies, snowcap mountains, green pastures, horses grazing – it’s an outdoor paradise for me. I’m here for ten days and I’m making the best of every day of it. It’s just beautiful here. Not very crowded. Afton is a town of about 1200 people. The altitude is just over 6,000 feet above sea level. So, it’s just nice, comfortable days and cool nights and just a perfect place… Sometime maybe you’ll come out and try it.

Angela:

Yeah. I’m going to be there in June. So, I’m very excited, whatever recommendations you have, please send them my way.

Dave:

Very good.

Angela:

And warn me if you see any bears.

Dave:

If we have time, I’ll tell you my bear story when we were up near the Tetons a couple of years ago. I’ll tell you my bear story when we were hiking. So, you’ll be okay.

Angela:

We’ve got to circle back to that at the end of this episode. So, also a little notification told us this week that you might be there celebrating an occasion.

Dave:

Well, truthfully yes. I thought I had friends, but apparently my friends like to go around me. We arrived in the valley here Monday afternoon and met some friends, had dinner, then we went back to our condo we’re renting. The next morning, Tuesday, I woke up to celebrate my birthday. I call it one of my top five birthdays of my life because it was a perfect day. And we were able to meet many more friends that we’ve made here and just have a just a full day, just a very casual enjoyable day. And this is where I want to be. So, it was a top five for me.

Angela:

That’s awesome. It does not get any better than that.

Dave:

That’s right.

Angela:

So, okay. Let’s go back to the Energy IG Network.

Dave:

Yes. Yeah. Why are we here?

Angela:

So, tell us how you got the idea to start the networking group and kind of the evolution over the last several years.

Dave:

I’m glad we start with that because I must give credit to a few people. And so, I feel a bit embarrassed that I’m speaking on behalf of these wonderful people who really blazed the path before me. So let me start with Susan Cisco. Many people in the IG world, ARMA and other associations are very familiar with Dr. Susan Cisco. She lives in Austin, Texas. Many years ago, and now I’m dating myself. I’m trying to remember when I met Susan, she was speaking at ARMA Oklahoma City. And so I can’t remember the topic. It was several, several years ago. I met her as she was speaking there. And as she was speaking, as we do when we present, we like to have interaction with the attendees. And so I was asking a few questions pertinent to the conversation in her presentation.

And by the end of her presentation, it really became just a conversation between Susan and Dave. And I felt bad because here I am really coming all the way down to Oklahoma city to listen to her. And then she and I dominated the conversation, but that’s how I met her. And what she had started was a records and information management networking group. We called it the Records Management Round Table. It was a group of about 30 to 40 people. But she was leading that and just trying to do the way that what Susan does is really promote the networking and the knowledge sharing within our profession, within this discipline of work. She wanted some help and so I volunteered and together a few years later I really became a co-leader with her in this network, this Records Management Round Table.

And we were able then to move it a little bit further, advance it so that we were bringing in knowledgeable speakers about trending topics. We were able to establish our place at the annual ARMA Conference in the fall, so that we would have a round table there focus for the energy group, our focus was energy. And that continued for a few years. Susan did a great job, and I wish her all the best because she went into semi-retirement. And so she turned the keys over to me, and that I willingly accepted and we rebranded the term to try to bring it more so with the conversation and the terms that we hear more today. So, we rebranded it as Energy Information Governance, Energy IG. And so right now, this is 2021, in about around the timeframe of 2018, 2019, Stephanie McCutcheon, and I, and Carol Ann Hartnagle came together because I needed some help if I was going to lead this networking group.

They came to support me. And so I really appreciate that. Then COVID hit and like everything, everybody’s in kind of a disarray like what does this mean? We had to quickly shift to really trust and utilize technology even more so than what we had been in the past. Because we were probably traditional and some of us like myself are set in our way. So, we weren’t relying so much on technologies to have a webcast and to bring people together that way. And so there was a lapse with the Energy IG Network. There was a lapse in what are we doing, how to scramble, get people back together. Third quarter of last year, things were settling down, whether it’s workwise for people, including myself. Carol Ann Hartnagle and I, wanted to bring this back together, this network and get it going again.

We enlisted Todd Brown who’s in Houston and works for Access Sciences. We enlisted his help. And the reason is that again the whole idea is that we’re focused on energy, energy practitioners, IG practitioners, and the service providers that help us be successful in what we’re doing. So, I know that Todd and Carol – Carol Ann is in Denver. Todd brown is in Houston. They have a lot of contacts, well connected with ARMA, well connected with energy. And so we have a really good team now to promote and to continue to help the Energy IG Network progress every time that we have another webcast, if you will. We’re bringing in knowledgeable people to help our profession and these practitioners share knowledge, learn best practices, hear about new trends. So that’s progressing very, very well.

That’s kind of the history of it to where we are today. But again, I cannot say enough for all the work that Susan Cisco, Stephanie McCutcheon, Carol Ann Hartnagle, and Todd Brown have put into this. So, it’s not just a me effort. As I kind of tease with Carol Ann and Todd, they have the brains, they have the ideas, and I’m just the pretty face. That’s all.

Julia:

So, for our audience members who are interested in joining the Energy IG Network, how can they stay up to date with y’all’s events?

Dave:

Julia, that’s a great question. I should have added that kind of at the end. So, we do have a LinkedIn site it’s Energy IG Network on LinkedIn, which we will post any upcoming events. Our next one happens to be on June the 9th. And if a person wants to join this network through LinkedIn, just click the join, I am alerted, and then I will accept them into that group. Also, they can send me an email and then I will add them to my spreadsheet because I’m old fashion to some degree. I will add their contact information to my spreadsheet. And so, I also send emails reminding people of upcoming events so that they can use that email to register for the event as well as to log in to the event. We typically use Teams for those webcasts and so through the email, there’ll be able to receive that information. But we welcome anybody who is tied to the Energy Network as a IG professional, practitioner, or if they’re in a company, a service company that provides services to help us practitioners do our job and move our programs forward. That’s what we’re after.

Angela:

I think I got a reminder of the event in my email today.

Dave:

You did.

Angela:

How to be more persuasive. That seems powerful. And I think the speaker is Glenn Taylor.

Dave:

Glenn Taylor. That’s right.

Angela:

Yeah. He’s very well respected in Houston and has great content that he puts out.

Dave:

He absolutely is. I have not met him, but I have received feedback about him. I’ve actually stalked him on LinkedIn. So, actually the webcast that we have planned for June the 9th with Glenn Taylor is a diversion from some of the previous webcasts that we’ve had. Which is more centered on up and coming technologies or best practices around existing technologies. Glenn is coming to talk to us about people and what I have found in the 15 years I’ve been an IG. My career has been primarily a lot of information technology, and then last 15 years of information governance. But working with people it is always going to be something of a substance if you will, that has to be reckoned with. You will always find people within your organization and beyond that really want to work with you, that share your ideas and your goals.

And then you may find people that you need to persuade. You need to help bring them to your side, but through ways of helping them better understand the, why you are doing something, the benefit for them to want to do something as well. So, I think Glenn can help bring some of those ideas to the table for us to consider and take back to our jobs, having those again, it’s those soft skills that we talk about, I think is very timely, especially with like myself. I am still working from home and many of us are still remote from other people, or if we are in the office, there’s probably a new set of criteria of how you meet with people. You know how many people can be in a conference room, whatever. So, we might have to find new ways of how to relate with people. And I think Glenn can help us with that. So, I’m looking forward to this next webcast on June the 9th.

Angela:

Yeah, that should be great. And he kind of reminds me a little bit of Adam Grant, if anyone is familiar with Adam.

Dave:

I am not, but now you have my interest piqued.

Angela:

Yes. He’s just great at the soft skills. And he has really good advice and content.

Dave:

Well, maybe we need to add him to our potential speaker list.

Angela:

Yes. Yes. He’s kind of at the level of Brené Brown if you know who that is too. They’re good friends.

Dave:

Yes, yes. We may just do that.

Angela:

Yeah.

Julia:

So, Dave, you’ve also headed an IG RIM study in the past few years, a study that you said is developed by energy practitioners for energy practitioners. So can you tell us a little bit about what putting together that study was like and some of the discovered opportunities?

Dave:

Yeah. That was an interesting exercise, back in about January of 2018 as I was writing my own goals for myself for that year, thinking about more so what did, how did I want to advance my department at ONEOK, and how did I want to advance the program that we’re moving through the company? How can I raise that level, that bar a little bit from where we were in the start of 2018 to a higher level? And whether at the time it was through networking, whether it was through the Energy IG network, ARMA, just because we all are a tight group just calling people now and then. I was thinking everybody’s probably struggling with where are they in comparison to their peer groups?

I know where I am to my own program and the year before and the year before that. But how do I know that I’m doing the right thing that I’m looking forward enough to be able to be on the right track for my company in terms of information management? So, I thought, well probably the best way to find out is to ask my peer groups, where are they? And I had to make sure that it was in asking that, that it was not subjective. My honest concern is there’s a lot of surveys out there and I was reading some of them. And I thought well, at times it’s good information, but the conclusion sometimes leads you to say, “Well, you have to subscribe to this service, or you have to do something that only a certain technology is able to do to help you.”

So, I was afraid that that slant would interfere, and we would not receive honest information, honest feedback from our peers. I took that idea again to Stephanie McCutcheon, and Wendy McLain. Wendy McClain is actually the incoming president to ARMA right now. And Susan Voyer who was an IG professional, and then also a gentleman, Dylan Williams. And took that idea to them to say, “Why don’t we build a study for the energy group and show that it really was developed for them, and they will provide the results to them. So, that way we know where we stood as an energy sector with advancing a records management or an information governance program through the energy sector.” Now that’s not to take anything away say from financial government, pharmaceutical, or any other business sectors, but our focus is energy. And so that’s where we targeted.

And it took us much longer than expected to develop the number of questions. We ended up narrowing it down over the next 12 months, narrowing down to 35 questions divided into four categories. The program for you as a practitioner we want to know some criteria, some information about the program that you have in place. We also want to know as a second category, the people and staff, how are you developing them? How do you recruit them? And other questions about staff. Process and automation, how involved are you in that? How forward thinking are you through processes and automation? How ingrained is that in your company’s culture? And then some demographics. The results were pretty interesting. We received the results from about 25% of the people that we had sent this to. At the time the Energy IG Network had 138 practitioners as members.

And we received 24% response rate, which is 33 people. For something that is a homegrown grassroots study, I thought this was pretty good because this is our first time out of the shoot. And people were very responsive and I really felt that they were being honest and forthcoming about where they stood across those series of questions. We found a lot of interesting bits of information that I thought was helpful. And the report out of those 40, 35 questions kind of boiled down to something that really said, here’s some interesting findings across the board. That in many cases in the energy sector, records management has been known or a program has been in place to some degree for a long, long time.

And it probably wasn’t so until after Sarbanes-Oxley and a few other things happened that it really became more attentive. But we found that despite significant efforts to really achieve program maturity, there’s been little progress that’s been reported. And for some over the span of decades, there’s been very little progress made. And one of those things I believe is that what we found in the study is that well a lot of the practitioners programs whether it be an upstream midstream downstream, it doesn’t really matter. But what we found is that the program may have been in existence for a long time, and they may have an executive sponsor, or they might have some form of a committee, but there isn’t really the seriousness taken to really advance that program. It seems that the communication from your sponsor, from that committee, just isn’t happening.

And so, the commitment hasn’t been really made yet to really help advance the program. I believe that you have to have a program in place, a solid program in place by way of how it’s defined, how you plan to roll it out and how you get support of it. If you don’t have that in place, then you’re going to meander as you go forward. And you really don’t know what goal you’re going to hit, because you may not have the support that you think you need. You need to establish that support and you need to know no exactly as a company the needs and the culture. What’s my target? Where do I want this program to be? That has to be defined. Having those in place really helps move the program forward. And so, the study was finding in that area, the programs may have been around for a while, but they weren’t maturing because they weren’t really being supported as maybe they thought they were, or they needed to be.

And in some cases, the programs really didn’t have a charge of what was expected of them to deliver. It may have been … And I’m not looking at the report now, but for example a particular company might have their program in place thinking that well we have a policy, we have a retention schedule, we have our program. As we all know, there’s so much more than that. And that’s part of the problem is that not getting the support, the understanding goes back, maybe to Glenn Taylor, how can you be persuasive so that your sponsors, your executive committee, your information governance committee understands this program and the needs of it, and the value that it can deliver? So, there’s the missing link. And that’s a lot of what this study uncovered if you will, of really what a lot of people can look at and work next to help advance their programs.

So, that’s a long-winded answer that we did do a study. We started in January of 2018 with an idea. We executed it in April of 2019, we tabulated the results and provided the report back to our members in September of 2019. And I think that we did a pretty good job for again, our energy members.

Angela:

Well, even though that was two years ago, it would be interesting to see if the feedback or the results would be the same now after COVID and the pandemic. Do you have any plans to do another benchmark survey?

Dave:

I am kicking the idea around. I will tell you that I had a call probably just a couple of weeks ago, from a person who was also thinking about what was done a year and a half ago or so. And wanted to peel this back in one dimension on a lot of what I was just referring to. And that’s really the maturity of the program. So, it’s at what point do I as the leader of my program, where I work, how much empowerment do I have? What authority do I have to move this program forward? And we touched on some of that in this study. And so the conversation a couple of weeks ago was, well maybe we need to look a little deeper and why do people not have that authority? And how do we overcome that? Because that authority again is tied up in the communication, the persuasiveness, the understanding of what information governance really brings to the company in terms of reducing risk, adding value, better information management, savings and costs, and so many different ways that it can help achieve some of those goals that we believe that we’re working towards.

But to what extent? And who do I need to give me that authority so that I can move forward and I need to be sure that I have the support for that. So we’re kicking this around and I’m thinking more and more that we may just look at that one dimension and go another round at this. Especially with COVID and how again we all had to scramble to start, take advantage of technologies, different ways of working. And so authority might have some different connotations now tied to it. And so, I think now’s the time to really look at that.

Access Answers is owned and operated by Access Sciences. We are a consulting and business process outsourcing firm specializing in information governance, technology enablement, and business strategy. Since 1985, our dynamic team of experts have been committed to meeting each of our client’s unique information needs.

Angela:

Can we talk briefly about Pilots N Paws?

Dave:

I would love to talk about Pilots N Paws.

Julia:

So, I have to admit, I did stalk your LinkedIn before our conversation today, and I just thought it was so great what you all do, so.

Dave:

Yeah, actually I wish I could just share the hundreds of pictures that my wife Deb and I have taken over the past two, two and a half years that we have been involved with Pilots N Paws. I guess I encourage everybody to go to the pilotsnpaws.org website and read more. But my take on it is that Pilots N Paws is an organization that is in place to help place abandoned, lost, otherwise unwanted dogs, cats, and some other pets, place them into new homes. And the difference there is that these homes are not next door or across town, but they may be across country. I got involved in it. I guess the background is my wife and I enjoy aviation. We have our own small airplane.

We live on a private airstrip, and so flying for us is really a leisurely activity. The advantage of it, of course is that we can fly to a lot of places and get there very quickly instead of having to drive or take an airline to where we want to go. But we also realized that flying for us, we wanted something with purpose. Flying is enjoyable, but we wanted to do something that kind of gave us a little more purpose for flying. And what better way for me than to give back to others? I really have a strong desire to help others and to give back because I’ve been very, very fortunate over my life with those that have helped me in different ways.

My wife and I, Deb, we were in Oklahoma City, at the airport and there was another person who had parked their plane right next to ours and had a large dog with her. So, I struck up a conversation and asked her… Because I love dogs. And I asked her this other pilot a little bit about the dog. She said, “Well, I’m flying this dog to its new home in Kansas city. It came out of Texas. It made a stopover in Oklahoma City, and it’s going on to Kansas City.” So, we talk a little bit more and she told me that she was a volunteer pilot for Pilots N Paws and that it’s all she had to say. I went to the website, read a little bit more and signed up. We fly dogs, whether it’s a couple puppies. And again, I wish I could just share all the pictures because all this is just flashing through my mind.

We have flown Huskies out of Lubbock, Texas that were going to Ohio. And so, I flew down to Lubbock and brought them back to the North East Oklahoma, met another pilot who took them to St. Louis, who met another pilot who took them onto Ohio. So, there’s a lot of people on the ground that volunteer as well to coordinate the flights. It’s usually two or three pilots that will take different legs of the entire journey for the pets. But these dogs are now being placed, actually being saved out of kennels and other places where they would be euthanized if they were not saved and moved to a new home. So, we have moved, Deb and I ourselves we have moved again, whether it’s one dog. I remember one flight coming out of I think it was somewhere near Amarillo I believe, but it was a mother dog, her six puppies, and then we also were flying 10 kittens all in-

Angela:

Wow.

Julia:

Oh wow.

Dave:

We flew them from near Amarillo to Northeast Oklahoma, met a pilot who was taking them on to Nebraska to meet somebody to take them on to Minnesota. But I fall in love with these animals more so than what I ever realized. There’s been many that I just wanted to just take home, but I can’t do that. But I do know that I’m saving lives. We receive a lot of pictures back of these homes, or these animals, these pets when they’re placed with their new owners, their foster homes or their permanent homes. And the thanks we receive is just everlasting. So Pilots N Paws is just my way of giving back. It allows us to do something that we really enjoy to do, but at the same time, we know that we’re doing something very beneficial for people on the receiving end as well as for the animals that are involved to give them another chance at life.

Julia:

Angela and I both love dogs. So, you are definitely going to have to share some pictures with us.

Dave:

Well, glad to do that. And maybe we’ll fly down there, and you can just fly with us and take a dog somewhere.

Julia:

Oh wow.

Angela:

You are looking for another dog, Julia. I did find their Instagram account too, so you can see some pictures on their Instagram.

Okay. So, Dave you also… I’ve seen a presentation albeit it was also a couple of years ago before the pandemic, and we were all locked at our homes about the seven habits, which was your take on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Dave:

Yes.

Angela:

Are you going to give away the seven habits or-?

Dave:

I should have a committed to memory by now. I mean, a friend of mine who we all know, Todd Brown, it’s an interesting story of how some of this came about, because I was building the strategy for the program that we have now in place at ONEOK. And if anybody knows me, they know that I am a long time, Stephen Covey follower, if you will, of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. And so, anytime I talk about this, I always give credit to what Stephen Covey had written and promoted through his adult life. And developing the strategy my RIM or my IG strategy, I was just jotting down some of what I felt were at the highest level, some of the key components of a program. And as I looked at that list, I started to realize that this looks very similar to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

And so, I thought, well maybe there’s some tie in there because honestly my list as I was building it as writing it out, it ended with just seven components. And so I thought this is more than a coincidence. For example, Stephen Covey he says, in one of the habits to be proactive. Well, that goes back to our empowerment and our authority and persuasiveness piece. And to be proactive you have to have a peace about you that where you have to relate with other people, you have to be able to communicate and work with them, but you also have to personify your program. You have to give it a face. You have to show that it’s more than just words on paper, but it’s really the embodiment of the people working in this and the results that they’re achieving.

So, being proactive just tied in. And I tie that also with developing the policy as a cornerstone to the program. To me that’s being proactive. If you don’t have the policy, then you weren’t setting a stake in the ground. The proactiveness to say, “This is what I stand for.” And so, I was reading through that and going back to Todd because I’m not going to let him off the hook, this was way back. Again, I’m dating myself. This is back in 2012 or so. And I shared this with him and I said, what do you think about this? And I actually put it in a way to… I put Stephen Covey’s model, I’m a visual person.

So, Stephen Covey has a model of the seven habits. And I put it what I was thinking in the same type of model. And Todd took that and just kind of tweaked it, put some color to it and kicked it back. And he said, “Yeah, you might have something here. Give it a try, it might work.” And so, I played with it some more and as time went on here at ONEOK, it really took hold. It made sense because the strategy, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Program, it’s flexible. So, as the business changes or that influences come into effect, the business like COVID or technology changes, this whole strategy can flex with those changes as well. And that was important.

I stayed in touch with Todd and in 2014 I told him how this was progressing, and I think that it’s going to work here. So, before I knew it, I get this invitation for ARMA Houston that says, “We’re so excited that you’re now the speaker for our August meeting.” So, I thought, “Well, Todd sent me up and now I need to present this.” And so, that’s really, was my first time that presenting that strategy was at ARMA Houston in 2014. Since then, I have shared the idea and the Covey influence through this whole program. And I still receive a lot of extremely favorable feedback and follow up questions.

Covey says, “Put first things first.” And for me, one of those things putting first is the records retention schedule. If you don’t have a solid records retention schedule, I don’t think you’re going to have a very good or a solid information governance or records management program. Covey says, “Seek first to understand then to be understood.” And for me, that’s communication and training. This what we do as practitioners is so much tied to working with other people. What I say is that we cannot as a RIM department or an IG department, we cannot manage the information for you. Rather we can help you in the business understand how to better manage your information. And so seeking first to understand, I need to know the business group that I’m working with. What’s their pain points? What’s their processes? What information do they use and how do they use it? And then from that we can turn around and help them improve their processes, better manage their information. So, that’s another example.

Start with having goals. Covey talks about having goals so that you begin with the end in mind. And for me, that’s really having the strategy in place. You know where you want to be and that’s my target. You’re going to move left and move right some as we move forward. But at least I can keep my sight on a target. And I know where I want to be to really help the company. And that’s really to reduce costs, manage risk and help improve processes, help improve ways to better manage information. So you bring all these components together because they can stand alone, but they also are tied to each other to help people in our business understand more about the information that they are using and are responsible for.

And so, that’s really a pitch if you will, of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Program. And again it’s something that has been very, very well-received. So thank you for asking about that. I’m kind of proud of it but at the same time, it’s just any more, it just seems like well, why didn’t I think about that before? It’s just been right there the whole time.

Julia:

So, our time together is unfortunately coming to a close, but you owe us a bear story.

Dave:

Oh, a bear story.

Angela:

Oh yeah.

Dave:

Yeah. Well this happened and we’ve got the picture, so I’ll share it with the pictures as well. So, Deb and I were out here again, we come to Afton very regularly. One day we decided to go to the Tetons. And so, the Tetons is just North of Jackson, Wyoming. And so for us that’s about a two hour drive, just over an hour to Jackson, and then you continue to go North and there’s the Tetons. So, there’s a large lake at the base of the Tetons, Jenny Lake and it’s popular. The Yellowstone is still a little further north, of course. And so a lot of people like to go to Yellowstone, but the Tetons are very rugged mountains and the most photographed mountain range of any mountains in the United States. The Tetons are the most photographed mountains. But at the base of the mountain is Jenny lake.

And there’s a hiking trail. If you choose, you can go around the entire lake which is a little more than six miles I believe. Three miles to get to the other side are a waterfall which is very, very nice to view if you’re up to a three mile hike just to get to the waterfalls. But they’re breathtaking and it’s worth going if you’re up to it. So, Deb and I are walking, hiking the trail around Jenny Lake, and we’re about two miles in. And so there’s a few other people on the trail ahead of us, behind us, are coming from the other direction. And I remember this couple that were also hiking. They weren’t too far behind us, but they were from Maryland, Baltimore. And the gentleman had his little can of bear spray that he bought. And so he thought he was ready in case anything happened.

And so, we’re walking along hiking the trail and I think it may have been Deb that said, “Keep watch because someone had heard that there was a bear nearby.” So we’re hiking along and Deb mentioned that to me and I just happened to look up on these rocks above me about 20 feet up, and there was a bear cub.

Angela:

Oh no.

Dave:

So, we stopped and just watched him, and he probably saw us, no doubt. He smelled us I’m sure, but he had no interest in us. And so, he’s walking along this ridge of these rocks above us and then finds his way down to the path. Now he’s about 15 yards in front of us walking in the same direction that we’re walking. So, we’re just kind of keeping pace with him for a little bit. And we snap some pictures and a bear cub is just like a little kid. He’s just having a fun day. And then finally he makes another turn and goes down this little path to the lake, I guess he wanted some water or some food, but it was just ironic that people are talking about bears and then there’s one right there that you have no idea.

He was quiet. We had no idea he was there until I just happened to look up and there he was. So, you just have to respect them. Usually they’ll stay away, but we weren’t going to move any closer to him, but it was very nice to see. I had not seen a bear up there in the times for quite some time. Years ago … Well, actually it was the same weekend as Memorial weekend. And I was just outside of Yellowstone and a few cars were pulled to the side of the road. So, I thought well, there must be something going on. And there was still snow on the ground, a fair amount of snow in late May. But there was this mama bear and her two cubs just on the side of the road in the snow. And the cubs were just playing around in the snow. They’re rolling around and all but the mama bear of course was very protective.

And so, we just stayed in our cars and just watched them play and then after about 10 minutes or so then they just went off into the woods. So, nothing frightening. Angela, when you visit you’ll enjoy it. If you see a bear, you’ll just be thrilled to see it.

Angela:

Thank you so much for being our guest today. It’s been so fun chatting and hearing stories and more about the IG Network for energy professionals.

Dave:

Indeed. Yeah, I really appreciate the time and an opportunity to help inform people about the Energy IG Network. And again, if anybody has interest, LinkedIn they can join there or they can email me directly and I’ll be sure to add them to my spreadsheet and make sure that they stay informed. Because what we want is anybody who’s part of this network to really participate and share, ask questions, and don’t wait for a network event but now you have an opportunity to connect with your peers at any time. And that’s really what we’re after is to promote that networking, share ideas at any time amongst anybody. And so, please I encourage people to go out and if they’re not already, to become a member of this group.

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