DEI Advisors Podcast

Thom Geshay, CEO & President, Davidson Hospitality Group, interviewed by Lan Elliott

November 14, 2023 David Kong
DEI Advisors Podcast
Thom Geshay, CEO & President, Davidson Hospitality Group, interviewed by Lan Elliott
Show Notes Transcript

Thom shares how mentors and his innate curiosity were instrumental in his rise from bellman to CEO of Davidson, and how learning to delegate and trust his team benefits everyone.  He discusses how many decisions involve risk, the dangers of waiting until you gather 100% of the data, and the need to be supportive when your team takes calculated risks that don’t work out.  Thom also explains how to establish a mentoring relationship, and why mentoring others can be a gift.

Lan Elliott:

Hello and welcome to DEI Advisors. My name is Lann Elliott on behalf of DEI Advisors and today I'm really pleased to have Tom Gache on with us. Tom is the president and CEO of Davidson Hospitality Group and if you aren't familiar with his numerous accomplishments, I hope you go to our website so you can learn a bit more about him. But let's go ahead and dive into it. Welcome Tom.

Thom Geshay:

Hi Lann, how are you?

Lan Elliott:

I am doing well. Always happy to see you. I always see a smile on your face, which makes me smile too. So it's always

Thom Geshay:

good. It doesn't it doesn't pay not to attack every day with positivity, right?

Lan Elliott:

That's right. That's right. Speaking of positivity, you've had a very interesting career journey and I'd loved if you could share some of the inflection points in your career and perhaps some of the factors that you think were instrumental in your success, if you would.

Thom Geshay:

Sure. Absolutely. Before jumping right in, I just want to thank you for inviting me to this interview. What you and David are doing at DEI Advisors is incredible. And I looked at the list of all the folks you've interviewed so far and I'm honored to be amongst them. But to answer your question I think we'd need to dedicate an entire episode to that. If we went through it now 35 years in, it has been a long, interesting career. But what I'll do is, let me say some of the key points along the way that were meaningful in my development. So my career in hospitality started like many in our business did, as really as an accident. I took a summer job as a bellman at the age of 17, really to make some money before college. My intent was to be an engineer. My plan was to be an engineer. My father and brothers were engineers. So that was my, that's where I was going. And he had that degree and follow my plan, but I was hitting by the hospitality bitten by the hospitality bug, really. And that sort of changed everything that I was going to do. So that those early years were formidable for me. As I worked my way up through the ranks from Bellman to front desk, to the food and beverage side, I was a cook and dishwasher and banquet setups. I did, I was a bar back, a barman, a bartender, a DJ did all those things. But really if you're looking for a sort of key inflection points in the career, the first big one for me was really. the gentleman that was a general manager of the hotel I worked at all those jobs that did rising through the ranks on the property level. Long before I thought about being the corporate office for Davidson. All those things happened under sort of the guidance of one general manager. His name was Greg Adams. He really took an interest in me. personally. And he poured into me. He became someone that I looked up to. To this day, I call him my mentor, but he and I spent a lot of time together. After I worked my way up, did all these different positions while I was in college, actually, after I graduated, got my engineering degree, went to work at IBM. And frankly, I was bored to tears with the engineering work. So what I thought my plan was that I'd spent so much time preparing for with something I really didn't enjoy and didn't enjoy nearly as much as I did in the hospitality space. But Greg Greg called me. I'd only been on the job six months at IBM. He called me and tried to entice me back as a bar manager. And I played that through in my head. He knew my father because my father used to come in and have breakfast at our hotel all the time. And I said, yeah, Greg, I'm going to tell my father that I'm going to be a bar manager after I get my engineering degree, going to work for IBM. That's not going to go over well. So Greg was creative and said, Hey, we'll call you beverage director. How about that? And I thought I could be a director. That's not bad. 21 years old. That sounds good. But the important thing was he took a real interest in me. He convinced me to follow my passion and not my plan. I spent 10 years in operations and did a lot of moves around there. And during all those moves I had with the company, I became interested in real estate. Spent about 15 years in real estate with the company. And then another one of my mentors, John Belden, whom, as well asked me to go back into operations as COO. Yeah, I wasn't looking or asking for this, but John knew that I needed some higher corporate level experience to get where I am today. And when you look at sort of those inflection points that you call them through your career, what contributes success? I tell you that really, it's about someone took an interest in me in my career. Allowed me to follow and chase my passion. I've always been really curious and willing to move. And so when they, when someone from the corporate office or one of my leaders said, Hey, would you consider this? I always said yes. The answer was always yes. And then I figured out how to make it work. And then just work hard. I wanted to prove myself at every phase and every job. And you don't wanna move or be promoted until you can say you've really mastered what you're doing. So those would be the key points and, and my careers have come through Davidson over the last 35 years.

Lan Elliott:

Such great factors, right? Between curiosity and following your passion and working hard and having mentors, which I, where I definitely want to dig into in a little bit. But I am curious, you've had a few different roles and, uh, were there certain skills that you decided, you know what, as you got maybe into corporate life or further down your career that you said, I need to develop a new set of skills than what got me this far.

Thom Geshay:

Oh man. Once again, this answer alone could take an entire episode. Because there's a lot of those you realize as you go through your career. You don't know a lot and seeing other people do things well and learning from them and wanting to emulate them is something that we all need to do. But but there is something I can point to you that took me a long time to learn. And frankly, if I'm being honest with you, I'm still working on it every day. anD that's having the ability to step back and allow the team and the people around me to execute on a plan. I think when we're young in our careers and we're rising through the ranks and we're trying to grow our career the day to day work that we do is all about doing the doing, you're assigned a task and you want to execute it. And so much of our careers were measured. But what we physically and mentally do so it becomes necessary to execute a task and we get very good at it, with repetition and over time. But as your position grows and your responsibilities grow, it frankly, it becomes not possible to do all the doing. And you have to really learn how to teach other people. To do some of those tasks and then trust them to do it, and you gotta get outta the way and let them do their job. You'll often hear someone say, oh, it's just. faster and easier for me is to teach someone else then I know it gets done we all fall into that ov good at something or when having the trust to give really hard to do. But the problem is with the attitude. If you keep that attitude, I'll just do it myself. Then you become the limiter on your company's effectiveness because the company can only go as fast as you go. And so you have to do that. It's healthy for the organization. It's great. It teaches other people how to do things. And frankly, You get better at what you need to do by stepping away. It's necessary sometimes to slow down in order to speed up. So I've had to develop that skill, letting go, stop trying to do everything myself and then trust the team around me. And in doing that, the team's a lot more effective.

Lan Elliott:

Yeah I agree. That was something I had to learn as well when I first started leading a team. And I think it was Jack Welch who said the sign of a leader is someone who can move from being individual. Contributor to leading a team and teaching them to do what you can do. And I think part of that is maybe surrounding yourself with really smart people, which I love surrounding myself with people who are smarter than me. And then, like you said go slower so you can all go faster, right? To bring them along and help them learn how to do it. It's always going to be faster if you do it yourself, but there aren't enough use to get everything that needs to get done. And it's such a gift to younger people or people who want to grow their skills to, to be able to be trusted to learn and grow as

Thom Geshay:

well. A hundred percent. It shouldn't be a hard concept, but I think it just is. I think we just, we all get in our heads sometimes and that ability to let go is great. And to your point. It's a gift to those, the younger folks that are trying to learn and go. Now they feel like they have a bigger responsibility.

Lan Elliott:

Absolutely. Let's talk a little bit about taking risks because you don't get to where you are today without taking some risks. Sounds like one of the risks you had to take was going back and telling your family that you were going to become a beverage director. But I'm curious about how you approach risks. How do you prepare yourself mentally to do that?

Thom Geshay:

Yeah, risk is great. This is a Davidson. We have seven core values. One of our core values is greatness requires risk. The truth is we all learn so much more by our failure than we do by our success. I think it's true in life as it is in business. I remind my kids of this all the time. You learn a lot more in a loss on the soccer field or the basketball court than doing a win. And frankly, this is where I feel really blessed to have spent so many years with Davidson because the way our core values are derived here in the beliefs that we have our culture here supports taking some risks. And truthfully, if you wait till you're 100 percent sure to make a decision on any decision you make. You're never going to make a decision. So there's a certain amount of risk you take every time you make a decision. And frankly, timing and speed is also a factor. When making a call on something, if you wait till you gather 100 percent of the data might be too late, your competitor have done something or you lost a deal or you'll have missed something that was important because you're waiting for 100 percent certainty. To a certain degree, we take risks all the time in the decisions we make. What we do here and we talk about it a lot because it is one of our core values, but it has to be a safe place for people to take those risks. Now we don't encourage recklessness but if you've done your homework and you're thoughtful about it, you can take risks and understand what comes from it. We make it safe. If people make a decision and they take a chance on something that doesn't work out, how you treat them when it goes wrong. is really important because that creates the psyche to how they're going to react the next time. So we want to encourage people to take risks, but if it doesn't work, you have to be supportive, you have to analyze it, say, okay, what could we have done differently? What would we do better next time? But you can't chide them for taking a risk. You asked for an example. I'll give you one that's very recent and top of mind, but in 2020, right after the pandemic hit most third party managers and all the brands were laying off a lot of people. We didn't know what was going to happen in the industry and it was just a very uncertain time. It was this fight for liquidity. What are we going to do? We had contingency plans for everything except our revenue going to zero. So everybody was scrambling and the easy thing to do really was cut all your costs, which in, you know. And a lot of companies is labor and try to survive that way. Coming off of 2019, where the industry had 3. 5 percent unemployment pre pandemic, it was really hard to find good people. And so we were struggling to find people before the pandemic, as everybody was in our industry. We noticed, in early 2020, something that we hadn't seen in years, and that was. A lot of our competitors and the brands had laid off a lot of people. There was a ton of great talent on the market that we were just looking for six months earlier and could not find. And now it was there in droves. And and so we looked at ourselves and said, Hey this is a moment in time where perhaps. Perhaps everybody is right and cutting costs and cutting people and slashing the corporate overhead. But we've come through a lot of these before in 2020 and 2021 and 2008. we've done this before. We know we'll come out of the back end of it. We always know we're gonna need good talent. So we actually added about 20 people. to our corporate staff in 2020. And thank goodness we did. We needed all of them to get through the pandemic. Not surprisingly, we had two of our best growth years in 2020 and 2021 when we had all the services and all the resources and all in the people in place to support all our owners when a lot of other folks did not. So was it safe or advised to do that? Probably not. We were looking at losing a lot of money. That's not the right time to add staff. We took a risk knowing that we'd been there before we've been through it before and we lived the consequences one way or the other and it worked out in our favor, but we took that risk. Yeah,

Lan Elliott:

I love that. It was really a calculated risk, right? Because you knew that it was hard to find great people. And when you saw great people available at that one moment in time you took a risk to be able to hire them. And that allowed you to bounce back much faster than a lot of other people who were scaling up and hiring people at a time that you were moving. Quickly.

Thom Geshay:

100%. I could, we couldn't find him today. It'd be impossible to get the talent today. Because of, we're virtually fully employed. So it now it may have cost me my job if it didn't work out and the pandemic lasted longer and we had these massive losses. I wouldn't be with an interview today. So risk can also go the other direction, but that one worked out. Okay.

Lan Elliott:

Absolutely. Let's talk about a risk that maybe didn't go in the other direction because you had mentioned earlier that you learn more from your setbacks actually than your successes. Do you have an example of something that didn't go the way you had hoped, but turned out to be? A good learning or it turned out well in the end, even though you didn't see it at that moment in time,

Thom Geshay:

come on you think I've made mistakes, Jesus, just about all I do. I make a whole lot more mistakes. I do things right. I make mistakes every day and learn from them. Example. Oh, one particular example comes to mind back in the late nineties. I was a young deal guy. I was on our business development team. I'd only been in the business development team for a few years coming out of operations. And but I had done a few deals. And so far they're all going well. And I was feeling pretty good about it. Like I was learning the trade. I was learning what I was doing and I felt pretty good about it. But due to my lack of experience in the business, I got a little ahead of myself. And I pursued a deal that I probably shouldn't have. I found this deal where the primary driver was basis and not really a sound business plan. I won't mention the hotel or the market. I don't want to offend anybody. But we bought a hotel for about 15, 000 a key. We spent about 30, 000 a key on the renovation. So we're all in for about 45, 000 a key. That's a low basis. And I can remember saying to myself, we're in this so cheap, we just can't lose. I uttered those words and I was a deal advocate for this and I was pushing it on the investment committee and telling them why and all this other. What I learned was there's always a reason that real estate is inexpensive and and there's never a shortcut to doing the full underwriting in understanding it, all the ins and outs of the deal always run the downside scenario because anything can happen. Timing is so important to every transaction that we do. And it's hard to factor that in when you do it. So I I really looked at that deal through one lens and that was it's cheap. How can we lose? We ultimately got all our money out with a little profit, but it didn't come anywhere near the underwriting. That I had put together into this day. It's been the worst deal of my career. What did

Lan Elliott:

you learn from that? Run the downsides, obviously.

Thom Geshay:

Yeah, you got to run the downside but listen, there's always factors you can't take into account. And when we look at, when we look at real estate deals. We do it based on a sound business plan. There's got to be an improvement in the operations that has to happen. There has to be an improvement through a repositioning or rebranding through a renovation of some sort. There's something, some dynamic happening in the market that is important. Every deal, like every stool has four legs to it. And you, and for a very sturdy seat, you want to have all four of those legs solid. That deal really had just one. Factor to it. That was really attractive. All the others. I had to manufacture and I didn't put as much weight into because I thought just being inexpensive would be enough. We'd get out of it and do fine. But that's not always the case. The timing wasn't perfect. The market wasn't perfect. There were some changes that happened there. The asset frankly had More scars than I believed it did. And so while we made a small profit it didn't come anywhere close to her underwriting. So you always have to be thorough and never buy a deal just because it's cheap. There's usually a reason. Great advice.

Lan Elliott:

Absolutely. One of the things I think you do particularly well is developing a network because Tom, we've known each other for a long time. I always see a you with a smile pretty much every time I see you. But one of the things that's wonderful about our industry is that people come into hospitality and they tend to stay for a long time. So our relationships last, not just six months or a couple of years, they tend to last decades. And I won't say how long we've known each other, but it's like a long time. And I love that working relationships can become friendships in our industry, but you're such a great networker. How do you network in a way that feels authentic to you? Because not everybody is super comfortable doing that.

Thom Geshay:

Yeah, networking is such a vital part of our business in probably any business. I've spent my career in hospitality, but I imagine in any business you're in networking is important. But what makes it so important hospitality and you mentioned it, we're a very small industry, and so we cross each other's paths a lot. And I think that's what makes building a strong network, more critical to success in what we do. And it's important in every facet of our business. On the operations side, it's important to build good relationships and a strong network of talent, because when you're in operations, you're always looking to You know, you need to replace you need to find, fill an empty position, find a general manager or director of sales or someone you're, there's always a position that you need to fill. And having a strong network allows you to, get the word out and find somebody on the real estate side. And you have done this so successfully through your career as well. But understanding and having good relationships gives you access to data, gives you knowledge, market knowledge, insider info, if you will, on deals that may about, happen or even. underwriting a market and knowing people allows you to get more information there. Building a network for me, really, it has come natural. And I think it's because I'm just an extremely curious person. I always want to know more. I always feel like there's something more I can learn. When I'm at an event, an industry event I love to spend time with the people that I know, but I always challenged myself, I've got to leave this meeting or this event or this conference, knowing someone new that I didn't know before. And I did it really purposefully younger in my career, especially when I was new in business development, I didn't know. Anybody John Belden, Steve Margo or our business development team. And they did all the conferences. They knew everybody. I didn't know anyone excited been in operations. So I was always the last to leave every one of the broker parties at the events. I would stay late and make sure I met everybody. You're at a brand event or whatever it was. I wanted to be, I wanted to talk to as many people as I could. And, I'll put a plug in here for one of the other speakers that you guys have highlighted. Stacy Silver. She teaches a class at Cornell. It's called the networking mindset. I'm a mentor for her for class. She aligns professional mentors with each of the students in the class. Because there's a lot of book smart students, just brilliant, talented book smart students that are really fearful of speaking to strangers or speaking a large group. And the class that she's put together helps teach them tips on how to improve that. But, I think when you recognize that, sometimes who you know is just as invaluable as valuable as what you know, then it becomes a vital skill to have. And so you have to put yourself in an uncomfortable position, walk into a room, know yourself, know the three or four things that are important about you. And then I heard this the other day. But when you're in those kinds of settings. Be interested. Don't be interesting. Don't go in and talk about yourself, but go in and talk to people, ask them about themselves. If you're genuinely trying to get to know people, they will open up because most people like to speak about themselves. And I love to learn about people, love to know people. And I don't think you can have enough friends or people in your network. Only good things happen when you rub elbows with more people. And yeah. I encourage everybody to when you're in those environments, just get a couple of good questions in your mind that you want, know the three or four things that make you and yourself are important and work them into the conversation, but ask questions of other people. Be interested genuinely in other people. Listen intently when they speak to you. And you'll build a relationship and you'll be surprised they know someone that you know. And then you start to you. Tie those together, and after 35 years, the network becomes pretty diverse.

Lan Elliott:

Yeah, those are really good tips to be curious about other people. Use the curiosity you mentioned to your advantage to learn more about people. I like the idea of being purposeful and challenging yourself to meet a couple people. I think, like most things, it's really uncomfortable at the beginning, and then You get a little better at it after you've done it a while. And and then it becomes a little bit easier after that.

Thom Geshay:

It does. But that challenge gives you a purpose, right? Take a deep breath, walk into the room, say, okay, I'm going to get to know one person I didn't know before I got here. And then make that your goal. And you give yourself a grade when you're done. You either passed or you failed.

Lan Elliott:

Yeah. And I'm also referencing to that time, cause I think of you as someone who has been in this industry for a really long time, has so many networks but you had a starting point, right? When you moved over from operations to development, it was a bit of a different group of people and you had to start over. So I love you referencing that. You mentioned earlier, Greg and John, could you spend a little time talking about mentors and champions and maybe how one goes about doing that? Because there's definitely a right and a wrong way to do it. And I'm curious what tips you might have for people who are looking for a mentor or champion.

Thom Geshay:

tHis is something I'm passionate about and believe in a hundred percent because it's not an exaggeration to say I would not be with Davidson doing what I love were it not for the mentors that helped me along the way. I wouldn't be here talking to you today if it weren't for that. A lot of people have helped me in my career. And it's, and it is as important as anything I've learned or done is what I've been able to learn from those that are around me. The people that have gone before us in the jobs that we have and the companies we work for, and the position which we find ourselves in, they've got a lot of knowledge. They made a lot of mistakes. They learned a lot of things. We owe it to ourself to carry that on and use some of that knowledge. We've used the word, you and I've used the word many times here today, but curiosity and interest are really vital to establishing that mentorship relationship. If there's someone you want to learn from, ask them questions. I said it earlier, but when you act interested don't try to be interesting, act interested in the person you're talking to. They'll pour back into you. And then continue to be curious. Find people that, that are doing something that you want to learn from someone that you want to emulate someone that you've seen or have an interest in or or have a passion for what they're doing. Ask them questions. They'll want to they'll want to give you feedback. And also the relationship that develops as you try to get to know somebody yeah. Mentor is a you it's a great word of honor actually. When I speak of John or Steve or Greg it's with incredible respect. They're my mentors. They've taught me so much. But for them there's also the, this feeling and gift of giving back. When I'm mentoring someone I feel equally as good being able to share all my years of experience with someone and help them maybe shortcut a little bit. Over time, you'll build that relationship where they're doing a lot of teaching and you're doing a lot of learning. But you mentioned having champions or mentors and what, what that means to advance your career. I think that as our as our careers change, when we're in different phases of our careers, we need our mentors in different ways. Early in my career, I spoke about Greg Adams. I wasn't expecting to be in hospitality. I probably wouldn't be were it not for Greg because I was an engineer. I was at IBM and that was going to be what I did. The fact that he took an interest in me Spent the time with me. It poured into me. I loved him and respected him. He pulled me back into the business and he gave me my foundation in it. During my career, it changed. I talked about moving into business development. Steve Marvel was instrumental. I know, Steve. I got a great Steve story. My first business development trip we were in the airport. I hadn't done a lot of traveling. So I've been a general manager. And so I was just at a property. And so I was doing one of my first business trips with Steve. We were going out to underwrite a hotel and we're standing in the gate to board the plane. And I looked at Steve, he's standing. I said, Hey, I got a question for you. So he said, what's that? I said, Okay. What is due diligence? Like I, I didn't know what the term due diligence meant. And he looked at me and rolled his eyes and says, you're kidding. But we get on the plane, of course, I'm an early traveler. So I'm like in 44, whatever a, by the window in the back, Steve's upgraded to first class, cause he's been traveling a lot. So he's got his upgrade. He's sitting up front. We all sit down on the plane and right before the plane takes off, here comes Steve schlepping back with his backpack. And looks at the guy sitting next to me in the middle seat back in row 44 and says it's your lucky day. You're going to first class. I got to teach this guy a few things. He sat in the back with me. We flew to the west coast on that flight and he taught me what due diligence was. But at that point, that was an important part to me. But then later in my career, John Belden, I mentioned and John is a. Still a dear friend. And and he's still, he and I talk every day and he's coaching me today. But in the senior level positioning as I was trying to, grow my career at more senior level, I'd been on the company a long time, but moving into the C suite, John was important to me at that phase of my career. Put me in a position frankly, against my better judgment so I could learn the skills necessary to get to the job that I have today. Those are good mentors. They've helped me out, but different phases of your career, you need your mentors in a little different way. I

Lan Elliott:

think that's really great to call that out and that your mentors can change. You were lucky to have mentors that stayed for most of your career, but. But you could also have different mentors for different stages of your career as well. So it's wonderful that you stayed in touch with them.

Thom Geshay:

John and Steve are still here. Excellent.

Lan Elliott:

That's a good thing. One of our favorite questions at DEI Advisors is what advice would you give to your younger self? Because we think this has a lot to do with self reflection. And I would say for myself, it's changed over time. I would give my younger self different advice, hopefully better advice over time. But I'm curious right now, what would you what advice would you want your younger self to know?

Thom Geshay:

In a financial management, not hospitality, man. No, I'm kidding. Just easy. Don't be an engineer. Those been four years getting an engineering degree, you're not gonna you I would I think what I would say is take risks early in your career when there's less to lose. I think it's important to remember that, hospitality is not brain surgery. It's important that we take ourselves, we take our work very seriously, but we don't take ourselves very seriously. And and travel. We learn so much when we get out of our everyday environment. And we learn and understand other people in other cultures. Don't wait for those experiences. Again, when you're younger, you've got maybe less means, but you've got more time and less responsibility. But don't wait for those experiences. Get out and start experiencing other cultures early in your career, early in your life. It will pay off as you grow. Great

Lan Elliott:

advice. I love that. All right. Tom, as I suspected, we had a whole bunch more questions that I would love to ask you, but we're coming to the end of our time and you're always such a wealth of knowledge. Do you have maybe one final nugget of advice for our audience, keeping in mind that the mission of DEI advisors is around empowering personal success? What last piece of advice would you offer to our audience who are looking to get ahead in their careers?

Thom Geshay:

Yeah. This isn't one, but this is a series of nuggets. I think when you put them all together form a good piece of advice empowering personal success. I'd say enjoy the journey. Should probably explain that a little bit. In that oftentimes we get caught up so much in trying to get to a certain spot or trying to get to a certain position or trying to climb the corporate ladder, whatever those things are that we forget to enjoy the position that we're in today and make the best of what we're in today. Because we're focused. too far into the future. Also remember the setbacks make you stronger. They make us all stronger. I would say, prove yourself at each position you're in, and then you'll position yourself better to ask for a promotion or to be promoted. Read the room that's around you. So align yourself with those that can help you, that can help you learn in advance. You always want to have those champions, advocates, mentors, if you will, that you align with, that you're related with that helps you advance, be a positive influence in the room. There's so many, so much negativity to navigate. in just in life in general, it's easy to get weighed down by all that and where all that. But if you're the positive influence of the room, I think people remember you more. Stay curious land. You and I have said it 100 times for today. That's important. We have a core value here. Davidson says always do what's right. That's important. Conduct yourself and your personal brand with high character, high integrity. Use those as the base point and then surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. If you do that, you'll look better and you'll often win. So that would be my bucket of advice nuggets.

Lan Elliott:

Those are all really wonderful. And I love that you brought in curiosity one more time because it's such a, such an important one and is definitely a theme that has been woven through our conversation today. Thank you very much, Tom for taking the time to share your thoughts and also for all you do. I know that you have mentored so many people in our industry and been a great example for how to lead for others. And so I so appreciate you and your time today.

Thom Geshay:

Oh, Lan, I love what I do. I'm fortunate to be surrounded by the best, people in the industry and and so I've been gifted with a great team and I just, for me, it's an honor to work alongside them every day and great people like yourself and our industry that are doing great things all the time. It's it's it's it's the best industry there is. And and I love what I do and I'm excited to come to work every day, even after 35 years.

Lan Elliott:

That is quite the badge of honor. Thank you, Tom. Thanks for our audience. If you would like to find other great interviews with industry leaders, I hope you'll go to our website, which is DEI advisors dot org. Thank you.