Insights from OUTdrive Guests

OUTdrive episode 61: Insights from OUTdrive Guests. Solocast with Cliff Callis. Available on Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts

OUTdrive Episode 61 | Solocast

OUTdrive has been airing each week for over a year now with this being the 61st episode. In every episode, I ask guests to share something they think others would find interesting or beneficial, and their responses are always insightful. In this episode, I chose to revisit each episode and share the quotes through a solocast.

One of my favorite parts of OUTdrive is meeting with different individuals and hearing their unique stories. Every episode is different, and every featured quote is as well. Whether it is personal or professional advice, or a guiding principle they live by, I enjoy learning from others’ points of view and I hope you do as well.

Join me as I share the featured quotes from the first year of OUTdrive episodes and revisit each guest’s story along the way.

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Hey, folks, welcome to OUTdrive. This is Cliff Callis, your host. And today we’re going to do something a little bit different. We are going to be recognizing all of the guests that we had with us on our first season of OUTdrive. They all did a great job. We had such a great variety of people, very interesting, some that I knew some that I didn’t know. And all in all, they all have a great story. So we’re not going to share those stories with you today. What we are going to share with you is the one quote that we pulled out of each one of those podcasts that we associate and attribute to our guests. And this is a thank you to all the guests from our first season. I hope to have you back again in the future. And with that, let’s get started.

Our first episode was the Callis story, and I talked a little bit about the background of our agency, how it came to be and then how the podcast came to be. Episode two was also a solocast, where we talked about how do we grow? How do we grow the business? How do we niche down, focus on marketing to rural America and help our agency develop and grow a national presence?

The first episode where I actually had a guest, I called upon an old buddy of mine, Nip Neidert. Nip is one of the most natural, professional sales people I’ve ever met. He did media sales for years, a great communicator, a great guy, and his quote was, “You can make work drudgery, or you can make it a world of opportunities.” And Nip certainly took the opportunity to build quite a career in sales and media.

Episode four was with another old friend of mine, David Coffman. And David is a senior level marketing executive in Houston, grew up in Sedalia. A good guy, really lives the outdoor lifestyle. And his quote was, “Be open minded and realize it’s a continuous learning environment that you have to be in.” And I think those are really wise words. I know when anytime we start a new person or agency, we always talk about continuous learning. You know, things are changing all the time and technology is evolving and driving marketing in the world. And things just keep changing. So we got to continue to learn.

Our fifth episode was with Mark Russell, who runs the Missouri Beef Industry Council. And Mark did a great interview. And his quote is one of my favorites of all time, “God gave us two ears and one mouth because we have to listen to understand.” And that’s one that I use in work. I use it at home with my children and my grandchildren, because listening is so important to everything that we do in this world.

Kari Mergan was our guest on episode six with a topic of ‘trust, but confirm’ and I love that approach. Kari is the Director of Marketing for the Missouri State Fair, which is coming up here in just a few days. And Kari’s quote was, “If you’re not learning and experiencing new things, you’re not growing.” And boy that is so right on. We got to continueto learn new things over time.

Episode seven was with an old friend of mine from the outdoor industry. Roy Huntington, former editor and publisher for FMG. And Roy has an interesting story in that he lived in LA and his wife lived in LA and they decided they want to get away from it all. So they moved to Missouri and live down south of us a couple of hours and are living the rural American lifestyle. And Roy’s quote was, “Always deliver more than expected.” And that’s another great one that I’ve always tried to live by. You never want to over promise and under deliver. We want to go the other way. We want to under promise and over deliver and really with customers, define whether or not they’re going to be satisfied by the way that we build up their expectations. It gives us the opportunity to set the table and over deliver. So that was a great quote from Roy.

Episode eight was with a client of ours, Steve Ahrens, who is the President and CEO of the Missouri Propane Gas Association. And Steve is one of the best communicators I’ve ever met. And we really love working with Steve because he has great ideas and he lets us execute them. And Steve’s quote was, “Be trusting and forgiving and get people in opportunities where they can succeed.” And he does a great job of bringing his board members and volunteers together to really do great things for propane gas.

Episode nine was with my peer facilitator Drew McLellan from Des Moines, Iowa. Drew runs a very successful agency network called the Agency Management Institute and he helps agencies and agency owners like me to help build and develop really profitable and sustainable agencies and does a great job with us. His quote was, “Produce something of value with a genuine spirit of being helpful and the rest will fall into place.” And I love that. That’s what we try to do in our business. We try to help our clients, help our prospects, help the people we do business with be more successful.

We had technical problems with our episode 10. And so that one was one that never made the grade. But Episode 11 was with Jessica Craig, who is our Regional Economic Development Director and she’s a rockstar and her quote was, “You win as a team, you lose as a team, and you always learn something from it.” And that is also a great quote. You know, I think about team sports and all the positive things that young people and adults learn when they’re playing team sports. How to get along with each other, how to make everybody better, how to coach up, how to cheerlead, how to learn sportsmanship, how to learn how to win, how to learn how to lose, and it really is all great lessons for living in life.

Episode 12 was with a good friend of mine, Kyle Herrick, who is a very successful auto dealer. In fact, he’s been in the auto business since Moby Dick was a minnow. And Kyle is a really strong marketer, in addition to running a very successful auto dealership. And his quote was, “The day you stop trying to improve is the day you start going backwards.” And I like that a lot.

Episode 13 was with Dr. Joanna Anderson, who is the President of State Fair Community College. And we had a great conversation about education and rural American values and working in rural America. And she is a great leader of that educational institute. And her quote was, “Work hard and be nice to people.” And that’s about as simple as it gets. Hard work is so important to everything that we do. And one of the quotes that I use with my kids is, “You can never have enough friends. And so be nice to people and you’ll be friends with people.”

Episode 14 was with Lori Whiteman, who’s the CEO of Bothwell Regional Health Center, another one of our clients. And Lori came to our marketplace a couple of years ago. Going through COVID, she was absolutely the best person for that job. And she’s done a remarkable job of guiding that healthcare organization through a very tumultuous time. And she’s a very interesting person, I’ve learned a lot from her. And her quote was, “When the day is done, all you have is your integrity and your natural talents. So protect and be proud of both.” And boy, that is a very strong statement.

In Episode 15, we took a little left turn, and we started introducing some of our agency staff members into the mix of podcast guests. And our first guest from the agency was Kyle Meek, who is our Digital Marketing Director. And Kyle is another superstar and he’s done some really great things in our organization and for our clients. And so we got to talk about building websites, doing digital marketing programs, it was a very interesting conversation. And Kyle’s quote was, “Be curious, willing to learn and try new things.” And as I think about marketing and what we try to do in marketing programs, curiosity is probably one of the most important things that a good marketer has to have. They have to be curious, they have to ask why, they have to think about why things happen. So that was a great quote from Kyle Meek.

Episode 16 was with Dan Cassidy, a friend of ours from Missouri Farm Bureau. And we had a nice conversation. At the time, I didn’t realize when I invited him that Dan was suffering from COVID, and was at the final stages of his recovery when we did his interview from his farm out in Moniteau County. Dan’s a great guy, and his quote was, “Never discount the importance of having some fun along the way.” And I know how hard Dan has worked at life and career, and you know, that’s a great piece of advice, too. You know, you get to work hard, but have some fun along the way, as well.

Episode 17 was another unique twist that we put on the podcast where we had a team approach. And so we invited our friends at WilsonToellner Accounting to partner up with us and talk about some of the things going on in taxes and finances that we thought our audience might be interested in. And so three of their key people were on to talk about planning for business success in rural America, in the quote from Alana Gump, who is one of the partners at that firm was, “Enjoy life, enjoy what you do, and enjoy where you’re at.” And so Adam Wolf, another of the partners quote was, “Don’t take yourself too seriously, but figure out what’s important to you.” And we all have priorities, and they’re all different for each one of us. So have some fun, don’t take yourself seriously and focus on the things that are important to you. And then Ron Toellner, who at the time was their CEO and is now retired, his quote was, “Success comes when you’re leading the pack, not when you’re bringing up the rear.” And leadership is so critical to any organization. That quote was right on target.

Episode 18 in season one was with Christine Tew, who is the Director of Communications for the Missouri Soybean Association. And she’s another rock star communicator. And she’s all about connections. I thought it was really interesting in how she talked about bringing people together and being connected and staying connected. And so her quote was, “It’s a good day if I’ve done everything in my power to make those challenges more bearable for our farmers.” And that’s somebody who’s really putting her member customers ahead of any other needs.

So Episode 19 was with Tom Brand, who’s the Executive Director of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, and a really great guy. And Tom and I had a nice conversation about the power of voice in rural America. Tom’s had some health challenges in his life, and his quote is, “Every time my feet hit the floor in the morning, I’ve got to thank God for another day.” And I think that’s great advice, whether you have health problems or not. Because you never know what’s going to happen today, tomorrow, any minute, we ought to appreciate every moment of every day for the special moment that it is.

Episode 20 was with an old friend of mine, Matt Boatright. And Matt’s farm and our family farm practically butted against each other. And so I watched Matt grow up. He’s a little bit younger than I am. And he currently is the Market President in Sedalia for Wood & Huston bank, which is another one of our clients. And Matt’s a great guy and his quote is, “Faith, family and farming are all important virtues in our household.” And you know, that is so true.

Episode 21 was with another old friend of mine, Mark Thomas. Mark Thomas is a great communicator. He’s a professional marketer at a very high level, has been with a lot of major brands, major consumer brands over the years, and he at one time was one of our clients. And his quote was pretty simple and really straightforward. “Finish what you start.” And you know, that’s so appropriate in anything that you do is, you can get started, but you gotta finish to make sure it gets done.

Episode 22 was another one of my solocasts like I’m doing today. At the time, I talked about the opportunities of the fall season, talking about the harvest and all the great things that go on in rural America during the fall and used it as an opportunity to talk about things that were going on in fall in rural America.

Episode 23 was with Rob Lamm. And Rob runs a very successful IT company called LammTech. He grew up out in the country out by me as well, and we had a lot in common. He built his business from scratch, does really well, heading towards the maybe the final years of his career. And we had a really great discussion about technology and business. But he’s a real business guy in addition to being an IT guy, and his quote was, “Have a solid business plan and work the plan.” And I think that’s very appropriate.

Episode 24 was with Abby Carere who’s the Director of Marketing for Conexon and Conexon is working with electric co-ops around the country to help build the broadband infrastructure that our country so desperately needs out in rural America. And in some of the discussions I’ve had with a number of guests on the program, broadband in rural America is one of the keys to having the success in rural America that we are hoping to find and see in the next few years. And Abby’s a great marketer and her quote was, “Our goal is to keep communities connected.” And that’s just what she’s doing. She’s going around the country, their company is going around the country, and they’re bringing people together with broadband.

Episode 25 is with Scott Benbrook, another friend of mine, and Scott and I talk about the resurgence in rural America. Scott has a great background. I first knew him when he was a banker for one of our clients. He’s now an investment banker. He is a business person running a variety of different kinds of organizations. And his quote was, ”Stay the course and keep working at what you believe in.” And Scott’s a guy who truly has vision and he’s working hard to get where he knows he’s going to get to one of these days.

Episode 26 was with Derrick Mein. And Derrick is living the dream. What a great lifestyle he’s living right now. Derrick is one of the top trap shooters in the world. And in fact, this week, he is competing at the Olympics in Tokyo in the men’s trap shooting, so we wish him all the best as he works to become the best in the world. Derrick’s quote was, “If you’re willing to work for it and put in the effort, you can achieve anything you want to.” And we wish him all the best in Tokyo this week.

Episode 27 was with another old friend of mine, Adam Braverman, and Adam and I have known each other for a long time. We’ve played a lot of golf together over the years. He’s been a client of ours and the Vice President of Sales and Marketing roles, and he’s currently Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Capstone Precision Group and we talked about relationships In rural America in our interview. And Adam’s quote was, “Don’t let anything pass you by. Take a look at everything.” And so I think when I think about that, you see all these opportunities that come along your way, check it all out. Adam is one of the most thorough and strong marketing minds that I’ve ever known. And it’s because he takes such a comprehensive look at everything he does.

Episode 28 was with Tim Barnes and Tim grew up on a farm near here and worked hard his entire life, played football at the University of Missouri and then went on to a very successful career in the NFL. Tim happens to be married to our Social Media Coordinator here at the agency, Lindsay Barnes. And we had a great conversation about life on the farm, football and working hard. And Tim’s quote was, “If you try to do things the right way, there’s a reward in every job.” And that is so right on.

Episode 29 is with Pat Burke. Pat is with the Gavilon Group. In our discussion, we talked about behavioral targeting and personalization. And Pat’s a really good marketer and we’ve been prospecting their organization for a long time because we’re so impressed with what they do from a marketing perspective. But Pat’s quote was, “Stay humble and be the hardest worker in the room.” Great advice for life and career.

Episode 30 was with Davin Althoff, who works for the Missouri Department of Agriculture and is in charge of the Missouri Grown program. Davin was formerly with Missouri Beef Council and so we got to know him when he was a client there. He’s also a farmer, grew up on a family farm, really good guy. His quote is, “Things aren’t going to come to you. You’ve got to make things happen.” And gosh ain’t that the truth. Whatever we want to have happen, we got to work at it.

Episode 31 is with Dr. Chad McMullin. Chad is a minister at the First Christian Church and is a really good marketing guy, has a really good marketing mind. He’s very likable. I know why his church members love him. And we had a great conversation, initially on the golf course, because he inquired about our podcast. He talked about some of the neat things they were doing at their church and so I invited him on to share some of those things. And Chad’s quote was, “It’s a gift to have people in your life who are willing to share wisdom.” And we can learn from a lot of different places, but the people that we associate with are going to be one of those places.

Episode 32 was with Patti DeWalt and Patti is with Butler Manufacturing. Patti lives in the city, but she has always enjoyed rural America. And you know, when we think about Kansas City, for instance, where Butler Manufacturing is, we still see it being part of rural America. Yeah, it’s a big city, but it has that rural America mindset of maybe a little more laid back, more outdoors, more easy going in. So Patti’s a great marketing person and her quote was, “The only constant in life is change.” Things are gonna change. It’s how we react and respond to that change that drives what happens in the future.

Episode 33 was with Ben Frederickson, who is a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. And I’ve known Ben most of his life, and so I’ve followed his writings as he has progressed through his career. And he’s gone multimedia now, and he does podcasts, he’s on the radio, he knows everything in the world about the Cardinals, just a really great guy. And Ben’s quote was, “I want to set the tone for the discussion the next day.” And I remember how that quote came about, because I had read an article from him one morning. I was on the golf course, we were talking about that article, and so I asked him about it. And so he doesn’t want to be behind that discussion. He wants to be driving that discussion. I think that’s great.

Episode 35 was with Aric Snyder, Jr, who is the CEO of Interstate Studio. And we had a really great discussion about AI and marketing. Aric runs his company, but he came up through the marketing ranks, so he’s got a really good marketing mind. And you know, in their business school photography, you know, a smile is so important. And so his quote was, “Our mission is to share the power of a smile.” And just think about that. You know, how powerful a smile can be in breaking down barriers and initiating new relationships and helping people feel good about you. Thought that quote was really good.

Episode 36 was with James Greer, who’s with MFA Oil. And we talk a lot about fueling rural America and what it takes to bring fuel and to power rural America. And James is a great guy, his quote was, “You have to learn to adapt to change to stay viable.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but there is a trend in many of these podcast interviews about change, and about learning and continuous learning and adapting to that change. And I think that’s a trend that we’re seeing in business today.

Episode 37 was with another one of our staff members here at the agency, Dana Kelchner, who is an Account Supervisor and prior to joining the agency, Dana was with one of our clients for 18 years as their Director of Marketing so we got to know her well. And she’s a really great storyteller and a wonderful writer. And her quote was, “Never be too busy or afraid to ask the next question.” And I think that’s that curiosity attribute coming out in her. You know, to do a good interview, you’ve got to dig a little bit, ask the next question that comes to mind, dig in and pull more out of the interview.

Episode 38 was with John Simmons and John is the Director of Community Development for the City of Sedalia and there are so many good things going on here in Sedalia right now. I don’t know how John does it all. In fact, we were talking the other day, and he was talking about how busy he was. I compared his story to the story of the landscape business. You hire them, and they come fertilize your yard so that they can mow your grass more often. And I thought that’s very appropriate for John. He’s out making things happen, but he’s creating more things for him to do. And he’s doing a really great job. And we talked about life and work in rural America, but his quote was, “Go get it done, have fun doing it, and don’t look back.” And I think those are great words to live by.

Episode 39 was with Caroline Sicht. We talked about educating audiences through entertaining content. And she has a real great background. She grew up and still lives on the family farm in Missouri. She’s a storyteller. She’s a grad assistant at the University of Missouri. And we just had a really delightful conversation. She was someone who I did not know and who was referred to me and I’m so glad that she was. And her quote was, “When we talk about agriculture, we’re teaching about it.” You know, there are so many people that don’t understand agriculture, they don’t know where their food comes from. And they maybe don’t appreciate what farmers do for our, really for our global environment. And so that was a great conversation, and she’s doing everything she can to help educate people about agriculture.

Episode 40 was with Chris Pyle who is one of the assistant superintendent of schools here in the Sedalia School District. Chris is a really interesting guy. He’s a rodeo guy, and he truly lives the rural America lifestyle. His value system with family and his quote is, “We all need to try to find something to be grateful for each day.” I love that advice. We all have things to be thankful for. And you know, things get in the way of what we think and how we think. But if we’re grateful, it kind of brings us right back to where we need to be.

Episode 41 was with Andrew McCrea. And Andrew is sharing the stories of rural America and has been on the radio for years and online now as well. He was another person that had been referred to me and we had a great discussion about life in rural America and storytelling. And his quote was, “It’s not always about who is the most well known, but who has a great story to tell.” And I had asked him, because he’s done so many interviews with so many different types of people, who was the one that stood out the most, and it wasn’t the one that was the most well known, because everybody has a great story to tell.

Episode 42 is with Thomas MacAulay and Thomas is the head of the POMA organization, Professional Outdoor Media Association. And Thomas was formerly a client of ours with BPI, and really good guy that’s building a nice organization at POMA. And we talked about engaging audiences through different experiences, and his quote was, “Be as useful as possible for your business, industry, community and neighbors.” And I think there again, that’s kind of going back to that help thing. Trying to help people in any way that you can. There’s a great quote.

Michael Sweeney was our guest on episode 43. And Michael has a really cool job right now leading the effort for Missouri’s 200th Bicentennial Celebration this year, and it’s getting ready to culminate on August 9, with a statewide ice cream social. And Michael’s had the opportunity to really lead the effort in planning and executing the celebration of 200 years of Missouri statehood. And we had a great conversation really learning a lot about history and what they’re doing to celebrate the Bicentennial. And his quote was, “I love history for what it can do for us.” And you can learn from history and not forget what’s going on in the past, which can help us shape our future.

Episode 44 was another solocast. And I talked about how you never know. And I use this phrase all the time at home and in work, but you never know what’s gonna happen. You never know who you might meet. You never know how things are gonna turn out. And so you have a plan. You have a vision, you work the plan, you follow through because again, you never know what’s going to happen.

Episode 45 was with Steven Burger, and he runs Burgers’ Smokehouse, which is a manufacturer of all different kinds of meats and specialty cheeses. And they’re located really outside of a small town in Missouri. They have a worldwide operation. It’s very state of the art. It’s a really cool business and we had a great conversation and we talked about blending new technology with rural American integrity. And his quote was, “You have to evolve over the years to be successful.” Again talking about change, change in business, change in life and evolving over the years. Great quote from Steven Burger.

Shawn Wozniak was our guest on episode 46. And Shawn’s Head of Marketing and Operations at MEC Reloading, and MEC is a business that is really niche oriented. They serve the shotgun shooter because they manufacture shotshells. Located out in rural Wisconsin, Shawn’s got a great lifestyle, loves it out there, grew up out there, we had a great conversation about lifestyle marketing in rural America. And his quote was, “The question is always what drives a person and what’s the end goal?” And we are driven to succeed. And we each have motivating factors. And as a marketer, it’s important to get into the head of the customer, understand what drives them, and talk to that. Great quote from Shawn Wozniak.

Jeff Moore was our guest on episode 47. And Jeff is one of the nicest guys and best sales professionals that I’ve ever met. He’s always upbeat, he’s positive, he’s enthusiastic, and you just want to buy whatever he sells. And we work with him in buying media for our clients. And we had a good conversation about multimedia marketing in rural America. Because if you’re in the media sales business right now, it’s hard to just sell one medium. And why would you, when you can sell a variety. And so you could do print and digital and electronic and offer that integrated marketing and media program to your clients. And Jeff’s quote was, “Keep learning every day and use the resources that you have.” Again, that thread of continuous education is right there.

Episode 48 was with Brad Pollitt, who is our state representative in this area. And Brad’s a really great guy. He’s a farmer, former superintendent of schools, very well prepared for the Missouri legislature and doing a great job representing the people of rural America. His quote, when I asked him why he wanted to go to Jeff City and serve was, “I wanted to make a difference. And I wanted to represent our community.” And he’s doing a great job of both of those things.

Episode 49 was with Mark Wolfe. And Mark is the Director of the Missouri State Fair. And I’ve known Mark for a number of years and in fact, worked with him a little bit when we were both in the construction business. And Mark is doing a great job of leading the Missouri State Fair forward that just came through a really tough year with COVID, survived and thrived, pivoted to do a youth livestock show and the fair this year is positioned to be a really good one. And Mark’s quote was, “If we’re honest, we have the same message all the time.” And I think that’s really important. Consistency and communications is vital to building trust in an organization. Great quote from Mark Wolfe.

Episode 50 was with T.J. Killian and T.J. is the founder and president of KJO Media in Kansas City. And they’re our video production partner. They are some of the most talented videographers and photographers and storytellers that I’ve ever met, and we love working with him on every project that we do. And so we talked about the power of video and some of the effective video marketing strategies that people are using today. And T.J.’s quote was, “Powerful storytelling is how you reach people.” And that is so true today.

Episode 51 was with Greg Martinelli and Greg is a sales professional in the ag industry. And he actually reached out to me initially and invited me to be on his podcast. And I did that, then had a great time and a great conversation. And so then I invited him to be on ours. And so we talked about the psychology of ag sales and his quote was, “We help producers do what they do.” And he’s teaching people, he’s coaching people, he’s helping people be better at what they do.

Our final episode of season one was with Chuck Justus. And Chuck is an innovator in the mobile power industry and owns a company called Evergreen Power Solutions. And they’re making some really innovative equipment for the mobile power industry. And we had a great conversation about what’s going on in that world and Chuck’s a guy that started his company on faith and is built into a very successful organization with a lot of potential out ahead. And his quote was, “It’s about taking a chance and believing in yourself.” I love that. I think it’s a great closing quote for this episode of OUTdrive. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. It’s been different and I look forward to next week and taking you down the roads of rural America where it’s heaven on earth.

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