#196 Curtis VanWalleghem, CEO of Hydrostor

Hydrostor is enabling the energy transition with their compressed air energy storage technology.

Curtis VanWalleghem has been CEO of Hydrostor since its inception and has led the company through technology development into commercial operations. Prior to Hydrostor, Curtis was Sr. Manager in Deloitte’s Corporate Strategy Consulting Practice where he advised and consulted for some of the top energy companies globally. He has also held positions at nuclear generator Bruce Power and wind developer Environmental Electric Company.

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Bigger Than Us #196

This transcript has been lightly edited.

Host Raj Daniels 00:00

Curtis, how are you doing today?

Curtis VanWalleghem 00:42

I’m doing fantastic Raj; really pleased to be on with you this morning. Thanks for the opportunity.

Host Raj Daniels 00:48

Curtis, I’m looking forward to dig into a conversation about Hydrostor. But first of all, and I’m asking for a specific reason here because we have many people that listen to the show that perhaps are on the brink, or thinking about how to get involved specifically with climate tech. So I was going through your LinkedIn profile. And I would like for you to share the journey from being a procurement cost engineer at Celestica, which I know is a contract manufacturer, to the CEO of Hydrostor.

Curtis VanWalleghem 01:56

It has been a long and windy road. I grew up in northern Ontario and Canada, and I was recruited to play varsity hockey and do engineering at the University of Toronto. They had a internship program where after your third year, you would go and work for a year and then go back for your fourth year. And I did that at Celestica, as you mentioned, as a cost engineer. And upon graduating engineering and having that experience at Celestica, I kind of realized that I wanted to be in business more than doing engineering work. 

So I applied to an MBA program that was kind of combined with the engineering school. I got accepted and got a scholarship for that. So I immediately went to do my MBA. I had another spell of one or two interns in between, but effectively went right from engineering into the MBA program. And upon graduating from the MBA program, I joined Deloitte and their management consulting in the energy sector. And I spent nine years flying around the world, turning around refineries that were not producing properly, doing business cases for new pipelines, post-merger integration of pulp and paper mills, that sort of thing. And it was great, but I got to see the world, live in all different places around the world. 

But I really got sick of the traveling. And so I left Deloitte to join Bruce Power, which is a nuclear and wind generator here in Ontario, doing business planning work for them. And it was while I was at Bruce Power that I’d be responsible for pulling together all the annual budgets and the capital investments. They changed the rule to be, the dispatch onto the grid goes wind, then solar, then hydro, then nucular. So when it would be windy out, we’d have to turn down the nuclear reactors to make room, and they weren’t designed to do that. 

So it boosted the costs, the maintenance cost, and it hurt the life of the reactors. So I said, there’s got to be a way to store this energy. I looked around and tried to build a pumped hydro plant, realize that there weren’t really cost effective ways of storing lots of electricity outside of pumped hydro, which has very few sites. And I bumped into someone that had filed a patent for a new way of doing compressed air. 

So I got to meet him, and he just had a brand name for the company, Hydrostor, and filed the patent. And that was about it. And he was more of a technical guy, inventor, and I got to know him and I said you know what, this has got some real merit to it. So I quit my job, put money in. He appointed me the CEO in 2010. And we were off to the races somewhat naively, I must say, in the early days, and it’s been a long 12 year journey at Hydrostor since then. Tut that was kind of what brought me from cost engineering to being the CEO of a startup.

Host Raj Daniels 04:49

So you took what I, perhaps, would call the scenic route. If there are other people — and I love this quote about “not all who wander are lost.” So if there are people that are listening that would be interested in getting involved with climate tech, but perhaps aren’t in that area right now. What one, two pieces of advice could you give them?

Curtis VanWalleghem 05:09

If you have the passion for it, life is probably is too short in my mind to not do it. I mean, what really spurred me to want to take the plunge was, my older brother had his daughter. My niece. And I remember growing up, my grandfather was in World War Two. And I remember always admiring the service that he put in for the country and everything, and thinking about how that must have been a really compelling thing to do, go serve for your country. And I just really respected that about him. 

And I got to thinking, you know, when she grows up, is she going to look up to me because I was helping the oil and gas companies get their refinery production up a little bit? And I thought, climate change is my generation’s big battle. And I really believe that and I wanted to try. I was passionate about it. I wanted to at least say that I gave it a shot. 

So if you have the passion, just make the plunge would be my advice. And there’s no shortage of opportunities in climate tech there. It touches every aspect of life. And it’s a great place to make money as well as have a positive impact. And it’s complicated. It’s engineering, it’s production, energy systems, but you figure it out. And it’s all new to most people. When I got in, I was so naive about what it would take to build a business and the type of solution that we’re pulling together. 

But now, I’m kind of a world expert in it, because it was a new industry, and no one else was doing this. And I’ve spent 12 years in it since the industry kind of existed. It’s the same for all types of clean tech. So I would just encourage people to go for it if you’re passionate for it. And you’ll find a way, and there’s no shortage of opportunities.

Host Raj Daniels 06:58

I really appreciate you sharing that story. We both mentioned Hydrostor and solution, can you share with the audience or give the audience an overview of Hydrostor — and you mentioned you’re the CEO, so we know your role — but what Hydrostor actually does?

Curtis VanWalleghem 07:10

Certainly. We build long duration energy storage systems using our kind of proprietary invented way of doing it with compressed air. And the reason you need storage is as the grid goes to renewable sources, wind and solar, they’re intermittent. And so if you have a day that’s cloudy and not windy, you couldn’t produce electricity. That clearly is not going to be reliable and acceptable. 

So if we want to get off fossil fuels, we have to find a way to firm up wind and solar. And that’s what storage does. You soak up extra sun and wind when it’s very windy and sunny. And then when the sun goes down, and there’s no wind, you give it back, you lose a little bit to the loss of efficiency. But the idea is you can then use wind and solar as the dominant, only source of electricity. So the way we do it is we only use air, rock, and water. And we do this much cheaper than lithium ion batteries. 

And when we build a system, it lasts for 100 years. So we sink a shaft going down 2000 feet underground, we then hollow out a rock about the size of a couple of basketball courts, just to give you kind of an order of magnitude, or a parking garage. And then we flood it with water. And then when there’s lots of wind and solar, we turn on an air compressor, which is used to move natural gas down the pipelines, but we just suck in atmospheric air, pressurize it. 

When you pressurize it, it gets hot. We then run it through a heat exchanger and pull the heat out and store it in hot water at about 200 degrees C. We then send the air down into that rock cavern that was flooded with water. And as the air starts to fill the cavern, it displaces the water and lifts it up to the surface into a little pond. We took all the rock out of that hole underground and use a berm to make a pond. 

And so then you displace all that water out of the cavern into the pond, your system’s now fully charged. And when you need power, a valve opens the way to the water, forces the pressurized air backup. It collects the heat again by going through that heat exchanger to heat up the air. And then it goes through a turbine, which is the same as a steam turbine, just re-arrowed for air, and the air goes back to the atmosphere, and the cavern floods back with water. So it’s a hole in the rock — air, rock water — and it acts as a giant battery that is an order of magnitude about the same scale as a gas plant. So every time we build a plant, we’re effectively shutting down a coal plant or a gas plant that was producing emissions.

Host Raj Daniels 09:58

Now I’ve watched the video; it’s very interesting. You drill two shafts, correct?

Curtis VanWalleghem 10:04

We actually use more than two. To construct, you actually have one for people to get up and down, one for rock to come up. And then you have another one for ventilation as well as a kind of safety emergency shaft. So there are about four shafts during construction. And those are all about two meter or eight foot diameter. But then I think maybe what you’re referring to the airline, which pushes and pulls the air up and back. That’s only a 12-inch airline. And that is constructed separately. So you’ve got the construction shafts that are also used for the water to go up and back. And then you’ve got the airlines, which are much smaller diameter. And those go in through the top of the cavern.

Host Raj Daniels 10:54

Now when I was watching the video — and this could be just the video itself — it looked like there was a almost a container for the error. Is there a container, or you just use natural surroundings?

Curtis VanWalleghem 11:04

Yeah, we just use the hole in the rock. Yeah, you’re right, it is kind of awkward looking at it on the video because you’re trying to show that there’s just the hole in the rock, but not show the whole rock. All it is, is just the rock itself. That is the container down there.

Host Raj Daniels 11:20

And then gravity pushes the water down when you need the air?

Curtis VanWalleghem 11:24

That’s right, it’s just the weight of that water. Because effectively, we’re using air to lift water 600 meters up, or 2000 feet up. And then when you open the valve, it’s 2000 feet of water head sitting on pressurizing that air that forces the air to come shooting back out to drive that turbine.

Host Raj Daniels 11:45

So in explaining it to my children last night, I drew a very, very coarse parallel. The example I used was, imagine when you blow up a balloon, you have this air trapped in there. And then when you let it go, the energy is used for something else, essentially.

Curtis VanWalleghem 12:02

Very apropos analogy. Now the reason we use that water head I was describing is that it has a whole bunch of technical benefits. It reduces the amount of space that you have and keeps it at a constant pressure. And then the heat — you need that because when an air expands any moisture in it would freeze up around the turbine. So you get into a whole bunch of technical engineering challenges. But the fundamental basic principle is exactly how you described it, just the air coming out of the balloon that could spin a fan.

Host Raj Daniels 12:33

Now, the video also shows that your plant is actually connected to a potentially a renewable source. So solar wind, is that correct?

Curtis VanWalleghem 12:43

Yeah, we can take any electricity in and we produce electricity when we discharge out. But the idea is in the business case. It really requires you to be in and around lots of renewables. The price variability is very dramatic. At certain times, prices go to zero because there’s so much wind and solar. That’s when we charge up. 

And then when there’s no wind and sun prices spike, that’s when we discharge. And that arbitrage of that peak and off-peak is really a big portion of the business case that pays for these plants to be commercial enterprises. So we could charge off of gas or coal electricity, but those don’t have that variability in price when you turn them on. They have one set price. And so it does make sense with the wind and solar but more from the business perspective than a technical requirement.

Host Raj Daniels 13:40

Now, depending on where the plant is located, is there an issue with the water evaporating?

Curtis VanWalleghem 13:46

No, oddly enough. We get that a lot because water is in scarce supply. And that’s one of the real issues with pumped hydro, is they use 25 times as much water as us for the same capacity. We use very little water. Our footprint is very small compared to a pumped hydro plant. But when you compress air, you’re pulling atmospheric air and when you compress it, you knock out moisture that is in that air. 

We use so much air to pressurize to send underground that we knock out a lot of water that makes up for the evaporative losses from the pond. So it turns out that we’re basically imbalanced. In some places we actually produce a little bit of water. In others, there’s a very tiny bit of makeup that you just get from your municipal water supply, but it’s very marginal. And the systems are generally imbalanced from taking moisture out of the air, and then the evaporative from the pond.

Host Raj Daniels 14:45

Now you mentioned the size underground being two basketball courts parking garage, What’s the footprint above ground?

Curtis VanWalleghem 14:55

It obviously depends on the size of the system, but to give you a rough order of magnitude, for a 500-megawatt plant, that can discharge power for about 10 hours. So that’s equivalent to one of these gas peaker plants, we would fit that, everything, subsurface and surface, including parking lots, noise buffers, the pond, everything, in about 40 or 50 acres. That would be the total aerial footprint of a facility of that size, which is slightly larger than a gas plant. And it would be about the same size if you wanted to fill with that many batteries to have that much capacity, it would be a very similar scale, about 1/20, the scale of a pumped hydro plant.

Host Raj Daniels 15:41

So is there an opportunity or a business model to work with farmers as a revenue model?

Curtis VanWalleghem 15:46

You know, the thing with farmers is we we would take up 50 acres of their land that they would otherwise farm with. We do look at wind and solar farms, though, because if you look at a wind farm, they have quite a bit of space between the turbines. We could easily put our system just between the rows of the turbines, and then we’re co-located with the wind, providing better use of that land. And similar with solar, we can even put solar panels on top of our water reservoir, and either have them floating or on a structure above that, to have dual use for that land. 

So we are looking at some of those opportunities. And really, what drives us to look at those is maximizing the use of the interconnection to the grid. That’s really going to be the bottleneck as we try to decarbonize the grids, getting access to those power wires. They’re very congested, and they’re full. And it’s very hard to build new ones because of nimbyism and everything else. So getting access to the grid is what’s going to slow down and set the pace for the energy transition. And if we can make double use of existing interconnection, points, wind and solar, that can really speed up and minimize the cost of helping to transition to renewables.

Host Raj Daniels 17:16

How long does it take to build one of these plants?

Curtis VanWalleghem 17:19

About three years.

Host Raj Daniels 17:20

And do you have any operating right now?

Curtis VanWalleghem 17:23

We have two small plants operating. These were kind of demonstration facilities — one was kind of pure science R&D, if you would. And that’s on Toronto Island, we did that with Toronto Hydro, put that into service in 2015. And then we got a commercial facility contracted to the IESO in the town of Goderich. And that’s been running since 2019. And now we’ve moved on to much bigger facilities. And we have contracted a facility in Australia, as well as one in California, and now are are looking to replicate that success and go build dozens more all around the world.

Host Raj Daniels 18:02

Well, speaking of success, I don’t want to don’t leave the fact out that you recently received a $250 million investment from Goldman Sachs, I believe, is that correct?

Curtis VanWalleghem 18:15

That’s right, Goldman Sachs as well as the Canadian pension plan. I’m really excited to have them as investors and to have this amount of capital to help us grow and have the impact that we want to have. Because through the early years of Hydrostor, it was always underfunded — really, me, my friends, and family putting in money, angel investors, and it was that every six months, we had to raise a little bit some money to show what it could do. And now with investors of that caliber, and the quantum of funds and trusts they put in us really puts us into a new league altogether.

Host Raj Daniels 18:52

So a 12 year overnight success.

Curtis VanWalleghem 18:54

Yes, exactly.

Host Raj Daniels 18:57

So you mentioned Australia, you mentioned California, where else are you seeing interest from?

Curtis VanWalleghem 19:04

When I first started in Hydrostor, no one was really buying long duration storage because there wasn’t enough wind and solar. And then storage started with just needing 15 minutes, and then it turned to an hour, and it was two hours, then four hours. Now it’s 8, 10, 12 hours and getting longer. And it’s opening up more and more markets. So when we first made our bets in California and Australia, it was because those were the leading markets and the only ones that we could see a pathway to contracting. Now it is almost everywhere. 

We’re in an Central African countries, all of Europe is pretty much opened up as they’re trying to get off Russian gas. India’s consistently running RFPs and awarding contracts for storage. China, Japan, almost every market in the United States. Ontario here and Alberta have big storage programs. There is Chile; we’re active in Chile now. So it really is going global. And as grids go to renewables, you must have storage. Once you get to 10, 20, 30% renewables, you then have to start buying this. And almost all the grids, because of how low cost, wind and solar are, they’re all getting into the game. Now, it’s just slightly different paces with slightly different structures in each market, but it is very much a global opportunity.

Host Raj Daniels 20:32

What’s the sweet spot for storage right now, from a time perspective?

Curtis VanWalleghem 20:37

It is probably in that six to eight hour mark. And the reason is, if you think about a 24 hour day, you have peaks. When are the prices the most? It tends to be kind of six to eight hours. And then when our price is the least tends to be overnight when people are sleeping, and they’re not using that much electricity. 

Because you have round trip efficiency losses, if you’re discharging for six or eight hours, you probably need 10 or 11 hours to charge up because you’re not perfectly efficient. You’re already using 17, 18 hours in the day. The rest of the hours are when prices aren’t compelling you to charge or compelling you to discharge. They’re the average price, if you would. So that seems to be where it’s gravitating to. But as renewables keep getting higher percentage, that will extend. There will be the need for 20, 24 hour storage for those couple of days in a row. 

Even if it only happens a few times a year, there will be times when you don’t have wind and solar for a few days in a row. And you need something there to backstop it.

Host Raj Daniels 21:50

How does the price of your storage compare to traditional storage?

Curtis VanWalleghem 21:54

We’re a little bit cheaper than pumped hydro. There are many different metrics that we use. But if you look at it on the cost per kilowatt hour of energy storage capacity that you have, the cost of a battery that can store one kilowatt hour, us and pumped hydro, they’re probably around $250, $200 a kilowatt hour, we’re a little bit less than that. 

Lithium ion batteries about 300, 350. So we’re quite a bit cheaper than lithium ion. But more importantly, US and pumped hydro, once you build it, it’s a 100 year asset that never degrades. And the batteries kind of peter out after 10 years, as you would know, from using your phone over the years. And so it’s a combination of us having a lower cost to build per unit and a much longer life. That that gives us the big advantage that we have over lithium ion.

Host Raj Daniels 22:55

Now you mentioned several opportunities. With opportunities come challenges. What kind of challenges are you experiencing right now?

Curtis VanWalleghem 23:03

Inflation is a big one, just because inflation is hitting everything, and it’s hitting electricity prices. So it’s all going to come out in the wash. It’s the challenge of not knowing what it’s going to be because we’ve got to bid for contracts. And then it takes you a year to finalize all the engineering, and getting the money, and then it takes you three years to build. If prices go up 8% a year over a four year period, that’s a big difference than having 1%, 2% inflation. 

So just not knowing where the inflation is going to go. And it makes planning and pricing very difficult. The other is talent. It’s really tough to find people and the cost to get people is really going up, and people deserve it. So no complaints paying a high salary for people that drive a lot of value. But there’s a quite a war for talent out there. 

And then the last bit is more around getting access to the grid. That interconnection that I mentioned earlier, it’s really tough to come by like in California. They’re going to go two years without allocating any new access to the grid because it’s so bottlenecked. And that’s just limiting the pace that we can get off of coal and gas because they just don’t have enough wires and interconnection points. 

And maybe the last one is just regulatory. Power markets are regulated. There are rules, and the rules are very conservative. And they take a while to change. As we’re moving from centralized coal gas nucular to distributed renewables and storage, there are a lot of subtle rule changes that people are very cautious about changing for unintended side impacts, and there’s a lot of invested interests that don’t want to change the rules because they were making good money the way the old way. And so getting those regulations changed, getting access to the grid, and then war for talent, inflation, and how you bid on your contracts without clarity on inflation. 

Those are some of the things that kind of keep me up at night, in addition to, how do you spend $250 million and grow in all these countries around the world? What’s the right pace to grow? And what’s the right target markets, and that sort of thing. So that’s what I spend my days thinking about.

Host Raj Daniels 25:29

I can’t imagine what the inflation issue must be like, especially globally. I speak to a lot of tradespeople here locally in Dallas, and they’re telling me some of the cost of goods change on a daily, if not an hourly, basis.

Curtis VanWalleghem 25:44

Yeah, we’ve been so blessed in North America to have stable inflation for so long. We’re getting a glimpse as to the havoc it can wreak on all different businesses. And it really is a problem. There’s a good reason our central banks focus on keeping it low and stable. And I hope they can get the cat back in the box here and get us back to that world, even if they’ve got to drive rates considerably higher, because it really is a problem. 

So hopefully, this is transient, as the catchword was. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as transient as people hoped it was at the beginning. But hopefully they can get it put back in a box here soon. Because if this stays for another year or two, it’s gonna cause real problems for a lot of businesses and the economy in general.

Host Raj Daniels 26:35

Yes, we’ve got a few perfect storms brewing between the resurgence of COVID supply chain and inflation. I’m not sure how. I don’t envy their job.

Curtis VanWalleghem 26:44

No, exactly. Throw a couple wars in there as well. Right? Arguably a cold war with China. It’s a real mess.

Host Raj Daniels 26:52

Interesting time. So you’ve been with Hydrostor about 12 years now. What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned about yourself and your journey?

Curtis VanWalleghem 27:02

I think perseverance is probably the number one, just how hard it’s been. There have been many times I’ve had to mortgage my home to get through payroll. It’s really difficult to bring new infrastructure through them valley of death, they call it. When you’re trying to start up a company, these venture capitalists, they want to see you, give you money, you make lots of big multiple on that, and they can cash out in five years. 

Whereas with us, we’re 12 years in, and we’ve got these big contracts now, but it’s going to be a number of years before we’ve constructed those first big plants. And so it’s just not really a fit for the venture capital model. So it’s been really trying, and the ability to stick with it, there were so many opportunities to just give up and throw in the towel. But when you do that — I kind of make the analogy of Hydrostor: a startup is like a patient on life support. And when you look away, and you say, “I’ve got enough,” and it dies, there’s no bringing it back. It’s done. And so you’ve got to be watching that patient. 

And for 12 years, despite everything happening in your personal life and everything else, you’ve had to keep the patient alive, come anything. There was a time when my son was born, had a very challenging birth, was in the ICU for weeks while my wife was also in the hospital. And my company was running out of money, and I’m refinancing my home, and then sure enough, we find an investor and it works out. 

My wife’s good and my son comes through, and it’s healthy. And you know, you hit multiple times like that. We only had about three or four weeks of cash in the bank when COVID hit. And all the investors said, “Well, we don’t know what the world’s like, we’re not investing.” And so again, refinance things, find a way through. There are a lot of times, and really what pushed that perseverance is, one, the belief in what we’re doing, the want to have the impact, and just truly believing that our solution was a compelling option out there. 

Secondly, just not wanting to let people down. I’ve recruited in now over 300 million of investor dollars, they all believed in me and gave that to me, and I don’t want to let them down. And we’re at 30, 40 staff that all quit very good paying jobs to come join. And the thought of having to let all those investors down, all the staff down, and giving up on having the impact just keeps you in the fight, despite it being so painful to your health and your mental health and everything else. You could just keep leaning on those things, leaning on family, and sure enough, you come through the other side and you get backed by Goldman Sachs and CPP and you start winning billions of dollars in contracts. And it’s humbling. And it really makes you glad that you stuck through those really tough times.

Host Raj Daniels 30:08

You know, Curtis, we use words like perseverance, tenacity. And I feel like we don’t understand the gravity of these words. It’s very easy to say the word perseverance. But where does it come from? If you were to put your finger on something, to say, my perseverance comes from here, what would that be?

Curtis VanWalleghem 30:24

I’m not too sure. To be honest with you, I’ve always been a little bit of a stubborn guy. If I’m working on a crossword puzzle, I’ll stay up all night long until I get it done. But it just came back to the “Why am I doing this?” Wanting to be able to look my niece in the eye and say, “I gave it a good shot.” And then also, I think the way I was raised — I grew up in a very small town in northern Ontario. And it’s just not letting people down. You took money from an investor, you sold someone on the opportunity, so they quit their job to come join you. And you just keep going back to, they trusted in me. Why am I given up now? Why is this the end of the road? Is there not another way through this? Because I just didn’t want to let those people down. 

And I’m stubborn enough to put my health second, to just keep battling at it. And sure enough, with enough creativity, and enough people believing in you and supporting it, yeah, you find a way out. And sometimes I don’t know how we did a number of the ways that we came through, but yeah, it was just really to stick with it.

Host Raj Daniels 31:36

It sounds like a phenomenal journey. Now, let’s fast forward into the future. It’s 2030. So about eight years from now, pick your favorite publication, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal. If they were to write a headline or a short paragraph about Hydrostor, what would you like it to read?

Curtis VanWalleghem 31:57

I would like it to read that we materially changed energy flows worldwide. I truly believe that we have to get off fossil fuels. And it’s not going to be overnight, but we got to start trending it down. And the grid, if we’re going to get off fossil fuels, it means to take all your cars off of internal combustion and move them to the grid to be electric. That means the grid has to double and triple in size. 

And by the way, it’s 70% thermal right now, or fossil fuel. So we’ve got to shut all that down. And we got to turn it all to wind and solar and storage. And so you’ve got to replace 70% of what you’ve got today, and then triple it in size. That is trillions and trillions of dollars. And we have a solution that can play a meaningful role, have a couple percent impact on doing that. If we can show in the next 10 years, eight years, that we’ve built five or six of these big plants, like I say, every time we build one, we shut down a coal plant. And we contract for 10 or 20 more. That will register on a global perspective that you’re starting to change energy flows. You’re making that happen. 

Because our supply chain is the oil and gas supply chain, every component, we use these caverns they use to store hydrocarbon seasonally, there’s no reason we can’t build 100 of these, all at the same time, in any continent around the world. And so I’d like to be able to show that we’re doing that. And then we’re really changing the energy flows and having a real impact on climate change. Climate change is gonna require every nook and cranny of our lives and our economy to change. But we would have a meaningful impact on that, or at least are well on our way to showing how we could do that. That’s what I’d like to see.

Host Raj Daniels 33:59

Well, Curtis, it sounds like a beautiful vision, and I’m sure both your grandfather and your niece would be extremely proud of you.

Curtis VanWalleghem 34:07

I appreciate it. It’s like I say, it’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of people believing in us, me, and the team, and a lot of lucky breaks along the way as well. But it is rewarding and I have opportunities to reflect like I am doing with you today here, Raj. It really means a lot, and it’s a humbling and really rewarding experience. So again, going back to your earlier comment, anyone thinking about getting out there? It is worth it. It’s tough, it’s hard work, but it really adds meaning, and you’re only on this life for so long. So it’s best to have an impact and do something that you’re passionate about.

Host Raj Daniels 34:45

Well, Curtis, I think ending with doing something you’re passionate about will be perfect. Thank you again for your time today and I look forward to your continued success.

Curtis VanWalleghem 34:54

Excellent. Thank you, Raj, really enjoyed it and appreciate the opportunity here.

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Raj Daniels

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