Mister Beacon Episode #168

Connecting Food Supply Chains with Farm To Plate

June 27, 2023

In this episode, we sit down with Bill Ritcey, the Senior Director of Strategy at Farm To Plate, a pioneering organization that is transforming the way food supply chains operate. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of connecting manufacturers, distributors, and consumers with advanced technologies and strategies.

One of the key areas we explore is Farm To Plate's crucial role in tracking and preventing foodborne illness outbreaks. With impending legal requirements under Rule 204, we uncover how the organization is leading the charge in standardizing data, making it easily traceable and trackable by the FDA. This move not only enhances food safety but also strengthens consumer confidence in the products they consume.

Moreover, we delve into the concept of food visibility and its profound impact on the industry. Farm To Plate's innovative approach aligns with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FISMA) and the modernization efforts aimed at improving food tracking. We explore how the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology is revolutionizing the entire supply chain, enabling real-time monitoring, and streamlining operations.

During our conversation, we also touched on Farm To Plate's unique flat-rate subscription model, designed to cater to companies interested in enhancing their supply chain efficiency and visibility.

Tune in to gain insights into the future of food supply chains and the critical role played by data standardization, IoT, and innovative business models in creating a safer and more efficient food system.

Song links:

Let it be, The Beatles: https://bit.ly/44bDQzl

Dream on, Aerosmith: https://bit.ly/46fQKy1

No more tears, Ozzy Osbourne: https://bit.ly/3NKNnbp

Transcript

  • Steve Statler 00:00

    Welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast. This week, I'm going to be sharing with you a recording that I made. The recent GS One Connect show that was in Denver, I spoke to an industry expert in the area of food supply chains, Bill ritzy from farm to plate. And we talked about the way that you pass data up and down the supply chain. It's amazing when this podcast first started, we were very focused on Bluetooth beacon technology. But as we seek to build our knowledge and ability to connect the digital and physical world, it all comes down to data,


    Bill Ritcey 00:49

    how you pass it around and how you join it up. And Bill ritzy is a veteran of food companies and gives us some really interesting insights into how do you join up the members of the supply chain and pass all the data that we need to implement these applications that are going to drive the purchase of ambient IoT systems. So hope you enjoy this discussion with Bill. It's a little bit noisy in the background, it actually is at the conference. But we got the good mics out. So hopefully, you'll be able to tune out the background and enjoy the conversation as I did.


    Steve Statler 01:36

    The Mr. Beacon ambient IoT podcast is sponsored by Willie after bringing intelligence to every single thing. So Bill, thanks very much for being on the show. Steve, thank


    Bill Ritcey 01:50

    you very much for asking.


    Steve Statler 01:51

    So we're here in Denver, we're at the amazing Gaylord resort. And it's just one connect lot of data professionals. And on this show, we've traditionally focused a lot on technology. But that technology is worth nothing if we can unlock the data. And one of the things that I've been, you know, as we've been students of this emerging ambient IoT, where we start to connect more things with carriers that put them online. You kind of look at well, what are the barriers to the scaling? And one of the key barriers is the exchange of data between players in the supply chain. Now, you work at a company called Farm to Plate. And your it seems to me that what you're doing is helping to join up. A lot of these companies exchange the data. So I'm very pleased that you've agreed to be on the show, sir. What is your role in in the company?


    Bill Ritcey 02:59

    I am the Senior Director of Strategy


    Steve Statler 03:02

    and give us the elevator pitch. What does fun to play the


    Bill Ritcey 03:07

    elevator pitch? We are a combination of food industry and technical people that have developed a transactional platform that gathers data that standardizes the data into the GS one formats and creates a digital pipeline from producer to consumer. Okay, that's what we do.


    Steve Statler 03:37

    So and it's not a direct, is it a direct link? Or what's the architecture of this and who are your customers? You're presumably you? Let's that's the question who are your customers?


    Bill Ritcey 03:50

    Sure. Well, let's talk about the architecture first. Yeah. The supply chain obviously is made up of different companies who were the product starts off at a harvester producer, yeah. goes to a manufacturer to a distributor wholesaler, then a grocer or restaurant. There is a new rule put out by the FDA, their FISMA group rule 204. That targets some high risk food categories. When I say high risk for foodborne illness, ailments, Cetera, targets those categories and says By January 2026, there has to be a digital link all through the supply chain. So that if there is an issue, FDA can get the data that they need within 24 hours, and then a digital format. So as you pointed out the connectivity of all of these players, you have 16,000 manufacturers or 35,000 manufacturers 16,000 distributors 18,000 wholesale, a million restaurants, half a million gross. So thinking that all these have to connect is a monumental challenge for everyone. What we do as Farm to Plate is we go to each company and say, we'll take data from your existing ERP system, we'll standardize it in the GS one format. By doing that, with each company, we create a common language across the supply chain, we make it easy to digitally collect, augment, and transfer this data from one end to the other. That is the challenge that the industry faces is getting those connections put together. But one of the things we do if a manufacturer decides to get on our program for a distributor customer, he gets connected his data standardized, he will probably find that on our platform, our dozens of other distributor customers that he does business with. Now he has an instant data connection. He doesn't have to map directly with them. It's done through our platform.


    Steve Statler 06:26

    And your platform doesn't just service the requirement to meet FISMA does it it goes beyond that. And it predates the final rule. Right? Yeah.


    Bill Ritcey 06:37

    What we've realized, and this may be because of my background and the design of the program, in working with Paramount software solutions, which is the company that founded farm to play. We've worked food industry up as opposed to tech down, right. Because of that we have a broader view of what this pipeline can do. And paint, it not only connects the producer, the consumer, it connects the consumer to the producer. So it gives the opportunity of not just product data, but marketing data, brand statements, information differentiating product from the competition. Putting the consumer at the point of purchase, in a position to be more educated about what they're facing the choices that they're facing in the marketplace.


    Steve Statler 07:41

    Seems like a hugely ambitious endeavor. How far have you got with joining all of those players up? Have you gone into and are you literally providing data to consumers? Or is it mainly around an earlier stage in supply chain?


    Bill Ritcey 08:02

    Very good question. My background is mostly in the food service, and the business. The total food business in the US about a $2 trillion business almost equally divided between retail grocery and food service, which will be restaurants any meal prepared and presented. Wow, we


    Steve Statler 08:24

    eat out a lot. Yeah, nation. Yes, we did. I bet if you went to other countries, the restaurant side would be smaller. But it's America. It is


    Bill Ritcey 08:34

    it is and eating out has become part of our culture and part of our way of life. Yeah. Nothing wrong with that. But reaching the food service consumer. When you're presented a plate of food, there's no little tag on the chicken that says produced by so and so right. You're given a meal. Having this big a marketplace, trillion dollar market to be unreachable by the manufacturer, to the consumer has always been a challenge. Yes. Because of my growth in the food service, and that's where we've been focused to this point. So the manufacturers, the distributors, the restaurants. We're partnering right now with a company that is very large in the automated ordering process for restaurants where you go in, there's either a kiosk that you order from, or there's some type of device on the tabletop that you go through and it has a menu and you order from but what we've done is we've said okay, this digital pipeline, the communication of Veda is done in a 2d format QR code. So that goes through the pipeline. When it's sold to the restaurant, the restaurant can take a picture of it, and automatically put it on their digital menu that's showing up in this automated ordering process. So the consumer at a restaurant, if they look, and they say, Wow, chicken Kyiv. That sounds good, they can click on that QR code. And it will give them a short amount more of information right about that product.


    Steve Statler 10:36

    So this is building on the calorie information and that sort of thing, which some we've expected to see from the these large chains, what sort of information? So is this a concept that you're promoting? Or is it live? Now? How far have you got in this vision?


    Bill Ritcey 10:56

    Where it's operational? If this goes through with this kiosk? Okay, company that we're talking right? It will be in place, right? Okay. But it goes, as you said, nutritional information, things like that. We want to engage the consumer. Yeah, that's where I talk about brand messaging, where I talk about going beyond just here's the data of the product, right? Consumers today, whether it be retail or food service, want to know more and more about the food choices I make?


    Steve Statler 11:36

    Well, over in the EU EU, there's legislation that is requiring proof that food doesn't come from Amazonian rainforest, and clear cut to find beef. So presumably, this, we don't have that law here in the states where you operate. But this is part of the trend of people wanting to understand provenance, understanding the source. And think of this as a very funny satirical show called Portlandia. Its take on the liberal Portland culture, I actually used to live that. So I find it very funny. And there's a scene in a restaurant where the customers are basically asking for the name of the chicken they're about to eat, and what were its hobbies, and where did it live? And so this is like, I'm trying to not kind of delve into that. But what kind of information are we talking about? I can imagine it could be, you know, whether the, what the conditions are of the animals, some people want to make sure that they're eating food where the animals been killed humanely, and there's potentially carbon footprint, organic, or many renewable farming sources. Renewable farming could be a way of us eating our way out of the climate crisis by buying food from farms that are putting carbon into the ground, rather than tilling the soil up and exposing it. Is that the kind of information that you're talking about or something else?


    Bill Ritcey 13:11

    It's the kind and frankly, it depends on the manufacturer? Yeah, there are some manufacturers, they manufacture commodity products. They're not going to give a whole lot of information. But if you're choosing a product, because it is organic, or it was produced at this location, or it was treated in this way, consumers, it's the old Trust, but verify. Yeah, they hear the marketing message. But they want to see, yeah, they want to prove it. We can do that.


    Steve Statler 13:48

    Well, I think this is good work. Because you know, this is a way of driving the industry in the right direction. If consumers if they really care if they're willing to put their money where their mouth is, then they can drive change in the way food is produced, which is a huge industry with massive environmental impact and many other ethical considerations. So I think it's if you can succeed in joining this up, then. That's good. I'm assuming this is not the where the bulk of your revenues coming from today, though.

    Bill Ritcey 14:23

    The revenue comes in from the manufacturers. Actually, the whole supply chain the reason I'm grinning is because there have been several attempts of putting what are called track and trace solutions into the food industry. Those have been geared to larger organizations, and had been very expensive. The food industry is very fragmented. It includes small niche companies as well as very large organizations. Even those small niche companies are Part of that supply chain. So any solution that comes in has got to be affordable for all of the players, not just the big, the big players. Yeah. So we've structured our program, to the point that we are affordable to especially small and medium businesses. We believe that once we're broadly out in that category, the big business will


    Steve Statler 15:32

    come. And how do you charge for what you do?


    Bill Ritcey 15:36

    Actually, it's very simple. We charge an onboarding fee. And then we charge a monthly subscription fee.


    Steve Statler 15:42

    And that subscription fee is what are the dimensions to that?


    Bill Ritcey 15:46

    Very simple, it's a monthly subscription fee. So


    Steve Statler 15:49

    it's a fixed fee, doesn't matter if you have one product or 10,000. fixed fee. Okay. Interesting. So what are the so we've talked about provenance, exposing that to the consumer you touched on on FISMA. Can you explain a little bit about how your solution helps with FISMA? We've, on the podcast, we had an interview with Ed Tracy from IFTA, international fresh produce Association, he explained what FISMA is. So let's build on that and just explain how you know, there's this concept of key data elements, the traceability lock code, the some date stamps, how, what's your role in passing that information up and down.


    Bill Ritcey 16:40

    First FISMA, was formed to bring the food industry and the monitoring of food industry products into the modern era. It wasn't before, before FISMA. So the idea of rule 204, in digitally connecting the partners creates a singular platform that not just these particular products can be monitored. But all products


    Steve Statler 17:17

    eventually this is a food traceability list. And as it's just a subset of the of food products, they're, there's no meat, there's no milk, hard cheeses, non they're soft cheeses a lot of leafy vegetables are. And so I think what I'm hearing you say is, yeah, to meet FISMA, this, this, this may change, by the way over time, but to meet FISMA, you need to track and trace this. But if you're doing the integration, then why not get the benefits of linking yourself up with other stakeholders in the supply chain? Absolutely. What are those other benefits,


    Bill Ritcey 17:52

    companies are always trying to be more efficient, they're trying to be more cost effective. What they've done is a good job of looking for and gathering data within their company. And mining that data for opportunities to be more efficient and more effective. They've been doing that for some time now. So the continuance of that has diminishing returns. Now, companies are realizing that they're part of a supply chain. That whole supply chain impacts the cost of the consumer. You can be the low cost manufacturer, but if you're part of a high cost supply chain, that's minimize the impact that that is minimal. So what this digital connection does is it reveals Transaction Sets and allows the supply chain to work together in minimizing those transaction costs. COVID when COVID hit in the US, it had a dramatic effect on the food industry. Because the half of that marketplace, in restaurants disappeared. Everybody went to grocery stores to buy their products. Grocery stores were running out a product. The challenge wasn't that we had no food. The challenge was the food was packaged in food service containers as opposed to retail contain. There was food that was not properly put in a position to be consumed because no one had the full visibility of the supply chain. These types of digital connections allows the supply chain to act in situations like that in concurrence as opposed to hammock live. With good visibility to just what they do.


    Steve Statler 20:04

    But what do you do about some of the players in the supply chain are proprietary about their data? And they don't want to share it? How do you address that?


    Bill Ritcey 20:13

    Actually, that's one of the big reasons for our existence. They don't want to trade data directly with other people, because of that proprietary notion. We're an independent third party. Okay. Basically, we have no skin in the game, when it comes to distributor manufacturer. We're operating under a platform that allows permission to access the data. So we can bring in the data, we can determine and parse out who sees what, what's communicated to who, and not reveal that proprietary information.


    Steve Statler 20:53

    And is that, you know, can different players turn on and off the visibility of these attributes, or


    Bill Ritcey 21:02

    what we would do is we would in our partnership with them, we'd be very specific about their requirements. At this point, we would not want them to go in and have the ability themselves to turn off and on, because we are talking about a complete supply chain. This allows us being in the picture allows for certain data, to change hands, that is lost for the words to use. But let's take private label products. If a grocer has a product under their brand, they don't really want the world to know, where it actually comes from, where it actually comes from, right. We can go in working with the manufacturer, we can collect all of the product data, send it through the supply chain to meet the rule tool for constraints, but not reveal who the manufacturer is, right. So, in effect, we're the gatekeeper of that information on that data, in partnership with the companies that we're working with.


    Steve Statler 22:28

    Okay. And so before 204, and before, you know, this nirvana of the QR code that tells you the source of the food, what were the main, you know, where did you start to see momentum first, where, you know, can you talk about your customers at all to give people a sense of how established your businesses? Well?


    Bill Ritcey 22:59

    Let me approach it this way. If you think of a pyramid, what I started seeing was, there were different elements that were coming together were peaking. At the same time. Technology was bringing advances that allowed for a lot of this manipulation of data, and sharing of data cloaking of data, if you will, that hadn't been there before. There were food regulations that hadn't been there before. There's consumer demand, wanting more information about their food product that was getting increasingly important. And right now, we're in a situation in the food industry. We can't find enough workers. So from a business aspect, they're looking to be more efficient. They're looking to say, how can technology help us eliminate the need for certain positions, because we can't fill them. So I saw this coming together of this. And we created this platform. We have worked with several companies who shall remain nameless right now, but to a point that we feel very confident that we're in a very good space. If this chaos thing goes through, that's going to be quite the quite the event. But we realize we're in an industry that historically has been very slow to adopt technology. They are encountering issues with workers and their focus is on different things. We realize this is going to be a little bit of an uphill Row. But we're, we feel good the message about rule 204, which does affect everyone in the food supply chain? Yes, the actual enforcement date is January 2026. Here at this conference and talking with other companies that are providers such as we are we all agree that if people wait till 2025, to talk to us, we'll already have hundreds of people that we're working with, we won't have the resources to provide them what they need. Yeah. So we're encouraging people please act now. Yeah. To get these things set up these connections, and this end to end.


    Steve Statler 25:50

    So we're at the GS one conference, which of the GS one standards are you using to achieve or with?


    Bill Ritcey 25:57

    Which ones aren't we using? Everything from the G tins to the LG tins to the SSC coat, pretty much everything you can tag on to a product and identify from an individual piece to the case, to the pallet, to the shipment. Our system recognize this, especially at the start of the supply chain. Onboard ships in the farm, they can be technically challenge, we've developed a mobile app that allows them to use the cameras to record what they need to to start this process. Our system will actually generate the two D codes, the QR codes that allow the product to be tracked through the supply chain actually generate so yesterday. So we're trying to help as much as we can. This conference was great because it allowed me to set up relationships with people that provide printing solutions provide labeling solutions. That isn't our expertise. So it's allowed us to create a group of people that can help the the customer.


    Steve Statler 27:28

    Very good. And what about EPCIS? See you using that or not?


    Bill Ritcey 27:32

    Not as yet. Right? But that certainly is what we're looking towards.


    Steve Statler 27:38

    Okay. And then for someone that kind of just coming into this and saying, Well, this sounds a bit like EDI and obviously isn't EDI, but can you compare and contrast? Absolutely.


    Bill Ritcey 27:48

    EDI is a standardized set of communication documents, if you will, in a bachelor. That has been good up to the point of that technology. What we're seeing now EDI require the individual mapping of one, one customer to another receiver and the sender. We've got to go beyond that. We can't do that individual mapping anymore, we have to speak a common language. And we have to be able to go in and transfer not just the data that EDI says but those consumer messages as well. And we have to be able to react as a supply chain as opposed to individual companies. EDI doesn't allow anything like that. Right. So we're taking the next step in the evolutionary process, if you will. And it promises huge benefits for everybody involved in the supply chain.


    Steve Statler 29:08

    Very good. Yeah, I think this is important work. The food is at the center of our existence and visibility of the supply chain can yield so many benefits, whether it's economic benefits, cost reduction, better safety, you know, regeneration of, of the climate. And so I'm glad that you're doing your bit to realize the potential of greater visibility on the supply chain.


    Bill Ritcey 29:43

    But there's there's a responsibility that goes with it because of the importance of it. Food is a part of any culture. And what we do when we go in, we don't try to change the culture. What we say is, let's make the culture a little more efficient. We have offices in Middle East, we have offices in India, we've dealt with doing this in other parts of the world. And we're very sensitive to that, then that we don't go in and say we're going to change it. Now, we want to be part of that culture. And augmented any way that we can.


    Steve Statler 30:26

    Very good, Bill. Thanks very much. Next section. We'll talk a bit about your career. And but thanks for introducing us to farm to play,


    Bill Ritcey 30:37

    Steve, I really appreciate it. Your questions are great. And it helps when you talk things through and go through. It's very, very, very good for me as well.


    Steve Statler 30:48

    So Bill, you've got a pretty interesting job. How did you end up in this place where I often I find one of the most interesting parts of these conversations is the career advice. And what if, what could it have been like? So how did you end up at Farm to Plate doing the job that you did?


    Bill Ritcey 31:08

    Absolutely. I'm actually third generation food business. My father in the seafood company, my grandfather ran a large wholesale place in Nova Scotia. And when I went to college, I wanted to be in anything but the food business. Hmm. So my degree was in quantitative analysis and computer science. So I came out. And the first thing that happened was the food company got in touch with me. Really, yeah. And said, Gee, we'd, we'd like you to come in and be our customer service manager. So that started the whole 40 years plus in the in the food business, wonderful thing about the food, businesses and people. And once you get into it, you create those connections. Yeah. And it becomes your family. Yeah.


    Steve Statler 32:04

    So you, but you've actually, we were talking yesterday, and seems like, you know, you started up a business. And that was part of the formative experience that kind of helped to mold the ideas that you've taken into this one.


    Bill Ritcey 32:20

    Absolutely. In working for food manufacturers and distributors, I was able to see the challenges that they have in transactional business. And I was in a position where I was able to formulate a company that removes some of those challenges for both manufacturers and customers. And I focused it around the cheese industry. So naturally, Wisconsin was where I decided to go.


    Steve Statler 32:53

    So you started off with cheese, and then you went to Wisconsin, it wasn't the other way around.


    Bill Ritcey 32:57

    Actually, it was at the same time, okay. When the idea was to help move inventory for companies and cheese being a perishable item. Yeah, with a short shelf life. That was the area to attack. None of us had the courage to attack the meat industry. So we go after cheese, meat, scary meats, very scary, very scary to fluctuations in pricing. Oh, okay. Is is instantaneous and very direct. Whereas cheese, normally, it's on a weekly basis.


    Steve Statler 33:32

    And so what was the problem that your business was solving


    Bill Ritcey 33:36

    a very fragmented manufacturing base, that was reaching a very fragmented customer base. I found that all these manufacturers were selling to the same customers. These customers were all buying from the same manufacturers, but everybody was doing it separately. So there were there was redundancy in the cost of, of the order itself and getting it fill very much an issue with freight costs. Because these were smaller orders. I was able to consolidate from both sides buying the product from the manufacturers selling it bundled Yes. to the customer. Yeah. So in doing that I was actually saving money for both. So it's kind of a unique situation.


    Steve Statler 34:28

    And it seems like you developed a pretty cool system to manage the cash flow to everyone that was kind of underpin this business model. And on the show, we tend to focus on technology but I think like financial architecture is its own thing. What was can you kind of briefly describe how you address that?


    Bill Ritcey 34:49

    Yeah, I started out with and it what's the phrases whether it'd be lucky than good? Yeah, I started out with a realization and that the terms to the manufacturers were longer than the terms that the customers were used to pain. Okay. So I was getting paid by my customers before I had to pay the manufacturers. That's when it started.


    Steve Statler 35:17

    And so who was your customer? Your customer was the retailer,


    Bill Ritcey 35:21

    retailer foodservice distributors? More wholesalers? Yeah. Than retail? Oh, okay. Okay. The wholesalers were servicing. Yeah. And they had the same problem of the consolidation. Right? So we started off and ended up with very quickly a positive cash flow. At that point, I went to the manufacturers, and I said, What if I paid you faster than your terms? And they agreed to substantial increases in their discount terms, if I paid them faster. Very cool. So that ended up building up a lot more cash. Yes. And it was a self perpetuating type of situation.


    Steve Statler 36:08

    Very good. So you kind of earned your way into the supply chain for a couple of reasons. There was the economies of scale on distribution, and then you were kind of doing some financial engineering to improve the cash flow and increase your margins at the same time.


    Bill Ritcey 36:21

    One of the biggest things that did too for these manufacturers it gave them breadth of reach, because I was dealing nationwide. Okay. So where are they may not have been able to sell a customer in Texas. Yeah. Now they could do that economically through us. Very cool. So it was quite the expansion of business very quickly.


    Steve Statler 36:45

    Yeah. And so you sold that business,


    Bill Ritcey 36:49

    sold the business? Well, I was in partnership with a couple other people. My wife would say I'm a builder now to maintain. So it reached a successful level, we were doing about a million pounds of cheese product a week. And you get to a point where you have the slow curve, yeah, coming in. So divested myself of that, and went and worked for a company called Treehouse foods, we spun a division off from Dean Foods, went through a lot of acquisitions. And that was a much bigger company, we ended up as a $6 billion business there. So I got my to be involved through these acquisitions with a lot of different platforms, digital platforms, a lot of different go to market strategies, a lot of different ideas from all these customers. So I was able to glean many things, from these relationships and looking at these businesses.


    Steve Statler 37:50

    Very good. Well, you've come to the time in the show, when I asked all our guests for three songs that are memorable to them. And why have you come up with those I have?


    Bill Ritcey 38:01

    The first song would be let it be from the Beatles. Okay. And that was when I was in my junior high, getting into high school years. And was a I played a lot of basketball and wanted to lead in everything. And my parents were always saying, take it a little easy. Take a little easy. And the song Let It Be kind of resonated with me. It said, hey, just be you. Yeah. And if you're you, everything will be fine.


    Steve Statler 38:45

    All right. And was it? It was very Yeah, it was. Well, let's get one. What's number two?


    Bill Ritcey 38:52

    Number two, would be a song by Aerosmith. And I have to I apologize. Look at my notes. Okay. wherever they might be


    Steve Statler 39:05

    think it's the first time we've had Aerosmith on the show. Oh, is it? Yeah. Well, one of


    Bill Ritcey 39:09

    the things about me, I'm kind of a rocker. So no, my son does. All right. And does. There we go. And does very good. Dream on. Okay. All right. Aerosmith. Yeah. That was my high school. And I got the ability through. Number one, I moved when I was 15. From Maine, to Tampa to Florida. In Tampa. I went from a very small high school to a very large high school. And while that was a little intimidating, it was also eye opening the possibilities. And through basketball, I was able to expand my horizons, I guess you could say and dream back. And the song Dream on, just kind of hit me it's like don't stop dreaming keep


    Steve Statler 40:07

    and what I'm what were the dreams of getting sports achievements or broader things,


    Bill Ritcey 40:15

    much broader things. I am a constant student. I love to learn, I love to learn about things and the exposure to different things as I traveled and went around the the idea of there is so much out there to learn. And there's so much out there to be aware of. I'm still I love traveling, I've been able to travel all over the world and love meeting people from other cultures listening to their story, and learning from that.


    Steve Statler 40:53

    Very good. And final song.


    Bill Ritcey 40:56

    And I guarantee that you haven't had this one on Ozzy Osbourne, no more tears. You're right. This was right. When I was moving to Wisconsin, and starting this company, hmm. I had been very frustrated, because I had all these ideas. But the businesses that I've been involved with, were not moving as fast as my ideas were. So I was frustrated. And it was something that really I felt constrained. Moving to Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to fly or fall. And to decide, are these ideas that I have really valid? I think, really, this vision I have of the industry? Is it really worthwhile? So I said to myself, don't look back, no more tears of what went on. But before, look ahead, be positive about what's ahead.


    Steve Statler 42:13

    Very good. Well, Bill, it's been a pleasure. Thanks very much for being on the show.


    Bill Ritcey 42:17

    Steve, I really appreciate you asking me. Thank you very much.


    Steve Statler 42:22

    So that was my conversation with Bill. He's a real character, full of great knowledge. So thanks for tuning in. I hope you'll tune in next time. And I want to end by thanking Aaron hammock, who is the guy that does the hard work in editing and producing this, this content. And of course, I want to thank you for listening. If you have been persevering through one of the the channels that has adverts if it makes you feel any better, the time that I'm working here at will, which I hope is a long time, there's 100% of the ad revenue goes to the Monique school for for kids who are homeless here in San Diego. It's an amazing cause. And so all that, listening through adverts pays off. It goes into the coffers of a tremendous nonprofit there. So thanks again. See you next time.