We celebrate Thanksgiving week (in the US) by having past guests share what they are thankful for in the industry.
AASHTO re:source Q&A Podcast Transcript
Season 3, Episode 29: Giving Thanks
Recorded: November 15, 2022
Released: November 22, 2022
Hosts: Brian Jonson, AASHTO Accreditation Program Manager; Kim Swanson, Communications Manager, AASHTO re:source
Transcribed by Kim Swanson and MS Teams.
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[00:00:02] Announcer: Welcome to AASHTO resource Q & A. We're taking time to discuss construction materials, testing, and inspection with people in the know from exploring testing problems and solutions to laboratory best practices and quality management, we're covering topics important to you. Now here our host, Brian Jonson.
[00:00:20] Brian: Welcome to AASHTO re:source Q&A. I'm Brian Johnson.
[00:00:23] Kim: And I'm Kim Swanson and we are giving thanks this episode in the US it is Thanksgiving week, so happy holidays. I think we can officially say that now, Brian.
[00:00:33] Brian: That's right. Happy Thanksgiving, Kim and all our listeners. Uh, we are thankful here at AASHTO resource Q&A for quite a few things. And is it wrong of me to start off with our own thanks?
[00:00:46] Kim: I think it's fine. We can start with ours.
[00:00:47] Brian: OK. So, we're also coming to the end of the year. So, I will say we have had. A pretty good run so far. With the podcast we weren't sure how it would be received or how many people would be willing to be our guests. And actually, in the beginning it was a little bit of a struggle trying to explain to people what the podcast was and why they should want to be guests on it and to get over that a little. Anxiety or fear about being recorded and having this published out into a place where anybody can listen to it. But I am extremely thankful that we get to do this podcast because this is not our normal day job, right? So, I'm the manager of the AASHTO Accreditation Program. That keeps me plenty busy with managing the program. I have several staff members and other colleagues I work with and laboratories that are in the program and specifying agencies and different meetings I go to and presentations. I give it all that other stuff, but I still think it's really important to find time. To make this podcast and make these episodes put out information for everybody. And I the best episodes are the ones where we get guests who can talk about what they're excited about. So, I am extremely thankful to all of the people that we've had on the show over our three seasons who are willing to share their expertise with us and make. The industry a little bit more knowledgeable.
[00:02:20] Kim: Yeah, I would agree. I'm also thankful for our listeners and our guests who want to come on, come on that podcast and I'm thankful for AASHTO for like green lighting this and you know our manager. At resource Bob Lutz, who's like? Yes, this is a good thing. You should spend time doing it. So, I'm thankful for all of all of that, and I'm thankful for what AASHTO does in general within the transportation and construction materials testing. Industries, I think that is really important and something that a lot of people, if you're not directly involved, kind of forget about. It's that infrastructure that you don't really see. That really makes a difference in when it's broken, then you really notice it. So, I'm thankful for everyone that keeps it running and keeps it not broken so we can just forget about it. So, I'm thankful for that. It's an industry now. We did reach out to some of our past guests to see what they were thankful for this season. So, our first clip is from Casey Soneira. She has been a guest multiple times on AASHTO resource Q&A Podcast. So let me play that clip from her and thank you to Casey for sending something in.
[00:03:28] Casey: Hey, Kim, this is Casey. This is going to sound really cheesy and really sappy, but I think that's OK. This is why we're doing this, right? So, what I am grateful for? I am continuously grateful for AASHTO resource’s commitment to quality. I had my professional upbringing with you all and I have been exposed to so many well executed business practices and having engrained continual improvement into my soul. It's impacted my professional trajectory and actually my personal life. Because of the way resource trains and communicates and really personifies the quality principles, it's easy to see opportunities for application in so many walks of life. So yes, it is incredibly cheesy, and I am also incredibly biased as an AASHTO employee, but your commitment to quality and the way you all live, that is what I am grateful for, and it's really something you all should be very proud of.
[00:04:29] Brian: Hold on... Let me wipe the tear from my eye after hearing that that was really nice. I appreciate that, Casey. Casey continues to be one of my favorite people on the planet. She she's just a great person all around and one of the most creative and interesting people that I've ever met for sure, and I've always enjoyed working with her. So, thanks, Casey. We're really grateful that you took the time to record that and send it to us.
[00:04:58] Kim: Yes, I thought it was agreed. Very cheesy, but in the best way possible. So I'm here for that. And who else sent us a clip?
[00:05:07] Brian: Joung Lee also sent us a clip, and you may know him from last week's episode on was it last week? [Kim: Yeah.] Yeah, last week's episode on the update 1 year anniversary of the IIJA uh, and so you probably heard him a few times. He's been a guest. Three times. I yeah.
[00:05:29] Kim: Couple times. I believe so. Yeah, all things. Transportation policy. Joung is our go to guy for that. And so, let's take a listen at what he's thankful for this holiday season.
[00:05:38] Joung: Well, thank you so much, Kim and Brian for having me back. And you know right now it's the election season, lot of political stuff that you're reading about. And I guess I'm really thankful to be working in an industry where you know, it really doesn't depend on being on one side or the, you know, aisle or the other. Everybody appreciates being able to have access to opportunities having a safe transportation system and having mobility options to get to where they need to and that really, I think transcends whatever the civic strife that I think many of ours are saying, there's a bigger I think calling for all of us in the transportation industry that we could be thankful for.
[00:06:24] Brian: Thanks for that, Joung. Always good to hear from you. And we, we even have a. One of our previous guests who emailed what they're thankful for, and I'm going to read that to you. This was Alan Tuck, Executive Director of Code Compliance and Training at Froehling and Robertson in Roanoke, VA. He was our guest along with. [Kim: Brett.] His coworker Brett Clarke at Froehling and Robertson to talk about code compliance and inspection. We talked a lot about steel inspection that day and got to learn about some of the great things that they do at their company to also share information with the industry. “Speaking in Code,” is there newsletter that they send out and so I want to give them a little plug for the effort they're putting in. You know, before I read this, I do also want to say something about the importance of that concept of getting that information out there, just sharing information with others. That's one of the reasons that we have in our core values learning. Is one of those that's tacked on at the end of the list of things that that are core values and this podcast and is an example of that. And I think that Alan and Brett and everybody at falling and Robertson also shares that value by taking the time and effort into sharing their information. And they're speaking in code newsletter in blast that they send out. So, thank you to Alan and Brett. And here is what Alan sent us.
[00:08:00] Brian as Alan: Alan says I am really thankful for the brand new S240-15, “North American Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Structural Framing”. This standard was created by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and never existed in the International Building Code (IBC) code world until it was adopted by IBC 2018. The new S240 cold-formed steel standard combines 7 or eight previous AISI standards to form the comprehensive S240 standard which also includes a new Chapter D, “Quality Control and Quality Assurance” that is dedicated to inspections and tests required by the code for both the contractor (QC) and the special inspector (QA). No more searching through multiple codes and standards when attempting to figure out what to do with cold-formed steel construction – just go to the brand new S240 standard.
[00:08:57] Kim: That sounds like it's going to make his life and the life of the people that use that standard much easier. So, I can see why he's thankful for that.
[00:09:05] Brian: Definitely. And I think it really speaks to how ingrained and how invested Alan is in the industry to cite something like that. But really it points to how standards and published practices are really important. For the building industry and really for any industry, because it lays out the instructions or requirements that everybody can follow so they can do their work in a consistent manner and that that the people building and inspecting and purchasing they know they all know what they're getting.
[00:09:41] Kim: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:42] Brian: When things are done properly so. So so. Thanks for that.
[00:09:45] Kim: Yup. Allen and Brett were a guest in Season 2, Episode 39 Steel inspection and code compliance. So, if you want to hear more from him or them about this kind of general topic? Then check that out as well.
[00:10:01] Brian: So, I just read a statement from Alan Tuck at Froehling and Robertson and now we have one of our favorites, Gary Pasquarell. He's Vice President of Quality and Training at Froehling and Robertson, as well. Who is here to tell us what he's thankful for.
[00:10:16] Gary: Yeah. Thank you, Brian and Kim. Well, there's so many things to be thankful for in our profession, but I would say what really stands out for me is that the quality team that's being built, the camaraderie that's growing across various laboratories and companies, really across the country, through your organization, AASHTO re:source and primarily via the annual Technical Exchanges, that's. Just been something that has enhanced all of our professional lives, so very, very much and we're very grateful and thankful that you put in the effort that you had the vision and you put in the effort to bring us together every year. And so, a lot of work for you. But believe me when I say that we all feel it is. Very well worth the effort and time.
[00:11:07] Kim: Thank you very much, Gary. That's very sweet. I feel like we need to tell people that we have not paid anybody for these statements for us. [Gary: Laughing] No, sorry. So, we do appreciate that though I think I think that's a great perspective and I'm glad that people are getting out of it what we intended.
[00:11:26] Gary: You certainly are in probably. Probably above what you even expected. It's really been fantastic. Looking forward to the next one.
[00:11:35] Kim: Yes. And Speaking of the next AASHTO re:ource Technical Exchange, was not planning to be a commercial for this, but is in Fort Worth, TX in March of 2023, registration will open next month in December, so be on the lookout for that everybody. So, you can be a part of this quality team that Gary was so eloquently talking about. If you want to hear more from Gary, you can go back and listen to Season 2, episode 14 Fire Proofing and Special Inspections and Gary talks to us about fire proofing and special inspections. If you want more of Gary, that's where you can go.
[00:12:10] Brian: Well, speaking of more of Gary, I'm thankful that Gary is willing to do another episode.
[00:12:14] Gary: I am.
[00:12:15] Brian: Look forward to getting more information from Gary soon.
[00:12:20] Kim: And next we have Barry Paye from the Wisconsin DOT telling us what he's thankful for this year.
[00:12:27] Barry: This year I'm thankful for the extra transportation funding that's helping us build more roads and get more safety, and also thankful for the fact that we're back meeting face to face, that various AASHTO conferences so we can network with our peers from around the country.
[00:12:40] Kim: I think we can all relate to that, being thankful for being able to meet in person and of course more funding for projects and safety. So, thank you for sharing, Barry. If you want to hear more from Barry, he was a guest on season one, episode 40 Winter Weather Effects on Roads and Paving Materials. So, thanks again for sharing Barry. Another past guest and frequent guest that joined us to talk about what they're thankful for is John Malusky the Proficiency Sample Program Manager.
[00:13:10] John: I'm definitely thankful for the opportunity to provide the service that we provide, but also to have the team behind it. The proficiency sample crew is an amazing group to work with and I'm glad to have their support and I'm glad that they enjoyed to do what they do. They do great work.
[00:13:29] Brian: They do. I agree. They’re amazing and one of the cool things we get to do every once in a while is go back and help and package things and I know some people might not be that excited about something like scooping a bunch of aggregate out of a barrel or weighing it up or mixing asphalt or stuff like that. Some people don't love that, but I think it's an awesome experience to be able to contribute to the quality of that program and they are dedicated, and they do a fantastic job. I mean if you just look at the tolerances that they. That they abide by when they're packaging these samples, it's really impressive to see the whole operation and I appreciate that John started making these unboxing videos. That if you haven't seen them, go to our re:university page or our YouTube channel and you can see our very own John Malusky opening up a package of proficiency samples so people can see what they're getting. I think that's a great value added to your program. And I look forward to more videos, hopefully some production videos and other things in the in the years to come.
[00:14:38] Kim: Yeah, I'm sure we will hear and see more from John in the months and years to come. Next up, we have Evan Rothblatt with ASTM sharing what he's thankful for this holiday season.
[00:14:52] Evan: If I was looking at things I'm thankful for, I obviously say family 1st and friends and such, but it focused on just the industry. I would say I'm thankful for all the dedicated, amazing people, both in the DOT s, Federal Highways, industry, research, academia. Other associations, you name it. All the dedicated people who work tirelessly and put all this effort into ensuring that we all have a great roadway and infrastructure and such and. Obviously we don't have to be out there in, in the dangerous work zones that so many people do work in, and in the labs and doing all sorts of research and new great materials and such that. We all kind of take for granted. I think that that there's so many keep people and parts that go into this. So if I'm thankful, I would say I'm thankful for all the wonderful people out there who do so much for us.
[00:15:57] Kim: Thank you, Evan, for sending that into us. So, we can include it on the episode today. If you're interested in hearing about more of what Evan has to say, he was a guest on season three, episode 18, soft skills, Authentic Networking.
[00:16:14] Brian: Another thing I'm thankful for this year is that I have a new ATG chair. Uh, the ATG is our oversight committee in that chair is OK. Metcalf, who is with the Montana Department of Transportation. He is also been a guest and a guest host. Which is a rare honor. I think he's the only guest host that we've had up to this point, and I've invited him to say what he's thankful for.
[00:16:38] Oak: Hey everybody this is Oak from Montana and I just wanted to say I'm thankful for all the other DOT people out there that I get to work with on a monthly basis to solve the transportation problems of the country. It's so nice to be able to work with people that want to collaborate and for the most part have a common goal, so that's what I want to say that I'm thankful for. Hope everybody has a wonderful holiday season this year.
[00:17:07] Kim: Thank you oak, for sharing that with us. And I think that wraps up this episode. I mean, we're always thankful for everybody, but it was, I think it was good to hear what everyone was thankful for and this is the time of year to practice gratitude and all that fun stuff. So hopefully that sparked something within our listeners as well. And I will still invite people if they want to share what they're thankful for. They can e-mail us at email@example.com or send us a little audio clip to that e-mail address as well. And perhaps we'll have a follow up, maybe this will be an ongoing thing, maybe not though. So, we'll see.
[00:17:44] Brian: But it depends. I mean we are always looking for input from listeners and participants in our program and whoever else is interested in sharing their thoughts with us. So, if you ever want to do that outside of Thanksgiving or in coordination with Thanksgiving or any other holidays, please feel free to let us know and you can give Kim Swanson a call and leave her a voicemail at her number, which is what Kim.
[00:18:13] Kim: 240-436-4807.
[00:18:17] Brian: Yeah. And that is in Maryland in the United States. So, if you're outside of the United States, you're going to have to dial that country code of one, I believe is that one for us.
[00:18:27] Kim: I believe.
[00:18:28] Brian: That seems really self-serving, doesn't it? I don't know.
[00:18:31] Kim: I don't. I don't. It does. It does a little bit. So, we are we number one, I don't understand that, but I question and an answer for a different day perhaps. But yes, thank you for our listeners. And again that is what I am thankful for this this season.
[00:18:44] Brian: All right. Thanks everybody.
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[00:18:45] Announcer: Thanks for listening to AASHTO re: source Q & A. If you'd like to be a guest or just submit a question, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Brian at 240-436-4820. For other news and related content. check out AASHTO re:source's Twitter feed or go to aashtoresource.org.