Kelly Vargas Natural Therapeutics

Natural Therapeutics

Kelly Vargas is the owner of Haley Jenae Skincare and Bodywork. In her entrepreneurial practice, she aims to help all those in need using natural therapies. Kelly completed coursework at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics, has crafted a line of skin care products and devotes much of herself to lifting other women up in their entrepreneurial journeys.

Advice

Kelly Vargas, Owner of Haley Jenae Skincare and Bodywork
Kelly Vargas, Owner of Haley Jenae Skincare and Bodywork

Kelly’s optimistic outlook on life seeps into her daily work and she says that surrounding yourself with the kind of people you want to be helps to bolster that positivity.

She says that if you’re interested in a career in natural healing, to submit to the journey and be open to where it may take you. Kelly also says to find the lessons in the lows of life.

It takes a lot of strength to look at the lows as growth.

She wisely says that her younger self may not listen to the advice she’d give now, but she would tell any young lady that you are enough, you are worth more than you give yourself credit for.

Philanthropy

Kelly donates her time and resources to UNM Children’s Hospital as well as frequents any small and local businesses she can.


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Susan Swafford Performance Development Strategist

Performance and Development Strategist

Susan Swafford is a performance and development strategist, a certified mentor and an entrepreneur. Through her company, CORE Advantage, Susan aims to learn about your unique goals and challenges and tailor a solution just for you.

Susan enjoys helping people be their very best selves and does so by utilizing her strengths and available tools. Susan meets with all sorts of people in all sorts of various life stages and assists them in identifying what their core strengths are, what their energy level is, and who they are deep down. She uses this information to help them align with the appropriate careers, strengthen relationships, and even works with organizations and teams to ensure the right people are in the best positions for them to thrive.

Advice

Susan says you should be sincere, open, vulnerable, structured and able to really listen to those you are helping. As an entrepreneur, you must be self-disciplined and it’s best to build a team around you in order to succeed.

She says to try to realize who you are at the core, make decisions that leverage your strengths and live out your passions.

We plan to travel, why not plan our lives?

Philanthropy

Susan is an avid supporter of women. She founded W.I.N., the Women Investor’s Network. It’s an organic network of women who invest in life, business, and their community.

Susan is also on the Albuquerque Rotary Club Board of Directors.


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Ailesha Ringer Ph.D. Candidate

Ph.D. Candidate in Communication

Ailesha Ringer is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Communications with one year left until she has completed this degree. Ailesha has been pursuing higher education for 12 years and has always known she wanted to obtain a Ph.D.; she just thought it’d be in a different field than Communications.

However, her path to be where she now is, though a bit winding, has shown her how much she thoroughly enjoys parsing the world through the lens of the Communications discipline.

Advice

Ailesha’s advice for anyone interested in pursuing an advanced degree includes taking some time off. She says to finish high school, maybe that first bachelor degree, but then to take a minute and reassess and make sure you are learning what is truly interesting to you and what you can make a career out of. She says a Ph.D. is not for everyone and that it really needs to benefit you in the long-run in order to pursue it in the short-term.

Ailesha says you must be self-disciplined, highly motivated, thick-skinned, and be willing to expand your horizons. She adds that a tenacious curiosity will serve you well.

Philanthropy

Ailesha regularly donates to Planned Parenthood, a community service clinic offering care to people from all walks of life who may not otherwise be able to afford the vast array of medical services the locations provide.

She is also involved in her graduate programs and volunteers when she can, most recently at St. Martin’s Hope Works.

Extended Interview

Special note** I had to edit the interview with Ailesha to fit within the format of the podcast. However, we discussed even more of the ins and outs of the world of academia, feminist theory, tax law, deep work, the value we place on academics, and much more! So as a special treat, I invite you to listen to the full, unedited conversation by clicking here Ailesha, Ph.D. Unedited Interview.


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Adrienne Quintana Publisher

Publisher

Adrienne Quintana is a writer and micro-publisher. In many ways, she is a matchmaker. She introduces authors to illustrators and utilizes her vast network of literary big shots to market works of written art.

Adrienne has loved to read for most of her life and when she wrote and illustrated a children’s book for a friend, found a passion for writing and subsequently publishing.

Advice

READ and then read some more. After that, pick up another book and read. She associates being a writer to being a runner; one step at a time, one mile at a time, one page at a time. Once you’ve become an avid reader, start writing. Write as much as you possibly can she advises.

Adrienne also says you need to develop a thick skin and a love for feedback. She says to look for ways to grow in the feedback being given. To give feedback is to genuinely care about the work and want to help make it the best piece it can be.

See constructive criticism as a big hug!

She also says to leave your options wide open and to continuously move forward.

Philanthropy

Adrienne donates her time, teaching expertise and devotion to her church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

You can find Adrienne online  at https://pinkumbrellapublishing.com/
http://www.readysetwritepodcast.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUIAbuihdn0jHaRTkb8OBGA


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Amber Pechin, Writer and Entrepreneur

Writer & Entrepreneur

Amber Pechin is the co-owner of Amplitude Media, a creative agency that “writes words that sell stuff”. She and her business partner provide branding, content, and strategy for businesses to reach the right audience, with the right story, at the right time, and turn them into customers.

Amber says she has always enjoyed making ideas come to light with words. She’s a storyteller, a creative, and enjoys figuring out other humans. She says that how you tell a story makes a difference and that we should use our powers for good.

Amber touches on some points that are particularly challenging for women. One item of note is that we tend to pick something to do for a career and then feel like we are supposed to continue on that path for eternity. She says that what we want to do at 19-years-old may not be the same as at 35 or even 60.

Advice

Amber says that when we stop having at least some fun with the work we are doing then it is time for a change. She says that if you are interested in becoming a writer or an entrepreneur that you should seek out a mentor in that field and ask them questions. You should also write; every single day. Amber advises you to be open to constructive feedback and develop a thick-skin for both career pursuits.

I would add that a level of curiosity would serve these professions well as would the ability to collaborate and always strive to be a better version of yourself in these roles.

Philanthropy

A pro bono client of the company is Heart Affect. It’s a group started by two mother’s whose children had complications from Congenital Heart Defects.

We believe all children deserve a healthy heart. Heart Effect advocates for children with congenital heart defects by educating communities and funding programs and research for Phoenix Children’s Heart Center and Cardiac 3D Print Lab. -Mission of Heart Effect


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Ashlee Andrews Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Ashlee Andrews is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Eubank Animal Clinic as well as her house call service ABQ Mobile Vet.

She has known since she was 8 years-old that she wanted to become a vet in order to care for animals and their human companions. Dr. Ashlee says that each day is a new adventure and she truly enjoys her career. It’s not without its challenges as she feels she must be capable of performing animal medicine as well as be a people-person and a business-savvy employer.

Philanthropy

Dr. Ashlee chooses to give back to her community through supporting Saranam and the Animal Humane Society of New Mexico.

Are you interested in becoming a veterinarian? What other questions would you like to ask a vet? Leave a comment below. Also, we conducted a video interview with Ashlee, watch it here.


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Firefighter

What is it Like to be a Firefighter

To fully grasp the lifestyle of a firefighter, you have to think of the occupation on a level that you might be more familiar with. Last September, my students and I delivered breakfast items to a local fire station where we were able to visit with and express our appreciation of some of the heroes working close to home. They were so thankful and willingly showed their gratitude by giving my students a tour of their station as well as some of the equipment, and of course, the fire trucks. I couldn’t have wiped the smiles off my 7th graders’ faces even if I wanted to! They were so intrigued by all the equipment and the daily routine of people who save lives for their career.

The work schedule was one of the benefits that the firefighters seemed to like best. As a firefighter, you would stay a certain number of nights in your fire station with your fellow firefighters, waiting and preparing for calls of varied natures to respond to. Then, they spend a number of days off where they get to rest at home and spend time with family and friends.

If you ask any firefighter, they would be very likely to tell you that the life of a firefighter is never put “on hold” just because you have days off. However, they would also tell you without hesitation that they wouldn’t want days off from a career that is so fulfilling.

To become a firefighter is already one of the most courageous careers an individual can pursue, but it is also comparable to joining a big family. A family solely focused on putting others first, and running in when everyone else is trying to run out.

Daily Work as a Firefighter

The job of a firefighter is defined by the ability to fight and deplete fires in homes, businesses, and environments of varied sorts. Also, if disaster strikes, firefighters are there to make sure that everyone involved is safe, and provide additional medical attention that might be needed.

Firefighters are also expected to not only protect lives, but to also protect property and avoid damages involving either. As a firefighter, you would also participate, enforce, and evaluate preventive activities and practices within your fire house, as well as for different families, businesses, and communities. Maintaining the cleanliness and efficiency of your designated fire station to ensure timely proficiency is something that firefighters work together to achieve, because it can be difficult to respond to emergencies quickly if it is a challenge to leave the station in a timely manner.

Another aspect of this occupation is that you get to participate in the development of public education, including information on fire safety and handling procedures for situations where a firefighter is needed. Going into schools and businesses, or speaking at public events, you are able to interact with students, parents, and employees about how to stay safe when the unexpected happens.

Not only are you a selfless hero of epic proportions, but you are passing on the knowledge you have to those in the community around you, making them better with every lesson.

Working Conditions for a Firefighter

  • Works both indoors and outdoors depending on circumstances
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures, depending on assigned tasks during emergency situations
  • Extreme noise levels and stimulations (sirens, lights, etc.)
  • Exposed to some hazards such as driving hazards, rescue attempts and difficult terrain. The possibility of hazardous material spills. Firefighters might be exposed to exhaust fumes, heat, smoke, water, dusts, fire retardant chemicals, and toxic fumes

This list shouldn’t scare you because you get trained on how to mitigate accidents as well as how to handle them if they were to unavoidably occur.

Physical Performance – Strength, Endurance, and Speed

As we’ve discussed so far, the daily work of a firefighter is nothing shy of extraordinary. And where there is “extraordinary”, hard work, discipline, and sacrifice stand behind it. From a daily career like this, it is impossible for a working woman like you to be absent from feeling empowered beyond your wildest dreams. Women one hundred years ago would have jumped for an opportunity such as this, and here it is, within our reach.

Job Requirements for Firefighters

Effective communication skills will take you far in whichever dream you decide to chase. Along with that, having the ability to be an effective, helpful, and encouraging team player in all circumstances is priceless, especially those where stress and adrenaline have a tendency to take control.

Whichever state you decide to work in as a firefighter, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license. Most of the time, firefighters beginning their careers won’t exceed the ages of anywhere from 28 to 35. Not to say that those limits can’t be broken, but it’s the average age of firefighters because the physical requirements of the job as well as the fundamental need for physical excellence.

Being a firefighter requires at the very minimum a high school diploma or GED, and highly encourages EMT certification as well as a secondary degree in fire science. Upon being hired as a firefighter, all applicants are required to pass a physical ability test that includes tasks such as the stair climb, hose drag, equipment carry, ladder raise and extension, forcible entry, search, rescue, ceiling breach and pull.

Part of being a visible hero in a community is holding yourself accountable to the tremendously honorable position that you hold. Most fire station jobs will monitor things that you post on social media, as well as things like your credit score to ensure that they are hiring a wise and responsible citizen. Fire stations, as well as any number of employers, will respect individuals that take ownership of any mistakes they have ever made as long as they also commit to being a better version of themselves.

Men and women striving to be firefighters must also pass the written exam that is included in the hiring process. Thankfully, there are a lot of test taking practices and exercises available to help you feel more comfortable and prepared for success.

If you are an even-tempered and emotionally intelligent person, being a firefighter is a fulfilling career where you will be tested, but the rewards are more than could ever be expressed in one blog post. Being the hero to someone in need might not be a cakewalk, but someone out there needs the heart that you have. Also, if you or someone who knows you well would characterize you as a fast-learner, this is the perfect career for you.

Above all else, the heart and attitude of a firefighter is the number one thing that stations are looking for. When you’re in the business of saving lives, there can’t be any exceptions within that area.

Resources/Benefits of Field Experience

As we have mentioned countless times here on Career Talk with Working Women, and will continue to mention for all of our posts and podcasts to come, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to VOLUNTEER.

One thing about firefighting is that they encourage and accept any form of volunteering as “experience”. Work in any area within your community, whether it’s fire related or not, and fire stations appreciate all of it. As I also mentioned earlier, look into taking extra credits/ classes that will contain useful and practical information that will prove beneficial to you as you dive further into the pool of fire safety.

Licensing Required for Firefighters

  • High school diploma or GED
  • EMT certification
  • Additional education in related field
  • Pass written exam
  • Pass physical ability exam

Make sure to research the fire station you want to work at and the state you want to be employed in. Sometimes the requirements and licensing are different or have more that they request.

Salary and Employment Outlook for Firefighters

As it is with any career choice, it’s always wise to not only consider the lifestyle and the job requirements, but it is also prudent to research the information regarding salary and employment.

When I took my students to the fire station, the first question they all wanted to ask was how much the firefighters make. There isn’t anything wrong with wanting this information– the only logical way to make an educated decision is through genuine inquiries such as these.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary average for firefighters is $50,520 with a mean average wage of over $24 an hour. The highest employment rates of firefighters are found within local governments, followed by support services, and then with the Federal Executive Branch.

This is notable because that means you can potentially work under a variety of employers and you can serve a number of purposes within those communities. At the top of the employment averages in the United States are California, Texas, with Florida in third. And if you are like me, then it might not come across as much of a surprise to know that there are higher percentages of employed firefighters in metropolitan areas as opposed to non-metropolitan areas.

How to Get Hired as a Firefighter

One of the first steps that should be taken when pursuing the road to fighting fires and saving lives should be to speak with a local firefighter.

Here on Career Talk with Working Women, we have provided firsthand information from a working woman who fights fires for a living, and that will pose as an excellent resource for real information from a real hero. You can listen to the episode where we interview Michelle Vasquez-Herrera here.

Also, don’t be afraid to go out into your local fire stations or departments and ask to speak with and interview firefighters working in your community. Most firefighters are more than willing to speak with people, especially those aspiring to the career. Also, be aware of the fact that each state and firehouse could have different criteria expected from their applicants, so professionals say that speaking with the fire station you want to work for is the optimum thing to do for qualifications and certifications.

Lastly, it is crucial to prepare yourself for the interview. Interviews are pivotal for all career paths, but it is imperative that you contemplate the different questions in order to present genuine and thoughtful responses for this specific career. Sites such as Fire Rescue 1 and Fire Science provide resources for ground work such as this.


Don’t forget to listen to the weekly podcast to hear directly from working women on their careers, work-life balance, and advice for young women. Listen to an interview with Firefighter Engineer Michelle Vasquez-Herrera who is a certified Firefighter. Subscribe to the podcast, and share it with your friends.

Liz Foott Safety Consultant

Safety Consultant

Liz Foott helps maintain the utmost safety for employees and customers while crafting her own work-life balance.

Liz Foott is a Safety Consultant who works with a variety of businesses on all aspects of safety. She enjoys being able to interact with hospitals, orchards, and trucking companies. She says you need to be self-motivated, be an excellent communicator, and a very good listener in order to perform well in this line of work. Liz earned the Associate Safety Professional certification in addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as a plethora of on the job experience.

Liz advises young women to volunteer in all sorts of careers in order to get a good idea of the environment. She also says we can all be safety consultants by simply looking around our schools and homes for potential hazards and mitigate those risks.

Resources for Safety

Learning more about safety is an easy, safe thing to do! Visit the following websites for tips and ideas.

Philanthropy

Liz donates her time and resources to the Oregon Habitat for Humanity as well as A Home to Share and Central Oregon Veterans Ranch.


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Claire Ann Johnson Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

Claire Ann Johnson is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Claire’s been utilizing horses in her therapy with children for more than two decades. Claire says that you should be curious and genuinely like people if you want to become a counselor. She says to really listen to your inner voice as soon as you can hear it when you’re young and don’t let anybody tell you not to do something that you might be interested in.

Claire obtained undergraduate degrees in public relations and family studies then went on to complete a master’s degree in counseling. From there she completed over 3000 hours of direct service in order to finish her license.

Claire has always enjoyed animals, especially horses, and created a way to incorporate the four-legged coworkers into her practice. She has watched the children thrive in that environment.

Claire has been able to craft her work and thus has found a work-life balance in which she thrives!

Philanthropy

She regularly donates her time and resources to a number of organizations to include Tootsie’s Vision, a resource for blind dogs.


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Career Talk With Working Women Episode 001

Career Talk with Working Women logo

Career Talk with Working Women Podcast Launched!

Introducing you to the podcast, Career Talk with Working Women, where we explore the vast array of careers and lifestyles women have crafted for themselves. I’m your hostess, Anna Doo, and I possess an insatiable curiosity about how women navigate work, life, and define what success means to them. Join me on a journey to explore every possible career; the challenges, the benefits, the work-life harmony. No more fairy tale fluff. Let’s talk about the truths, the nitty gritty for each career.

Women Working Together

I am interviewing women who are interested in sharing their thoughts, advice and journey with the next generation of the workforce and even those of us adults trying to figure out where we fit.

I want answers.

  • How do you know what you’re meant to do for work?
  • Does it change at different phases of life?
  • Or is it best to craft life around work?
  • What defines career success?
  • How can we change the rhetoric that a huge paycheck equals success?
  • Are there any parallels between childhoods of those women finding fulfillment in their careers, or is it all a whim?
  • How many adult women change careers completely at different phases of life?
  • And what triggers those changes?

All of these questions and more are what I aim to explore in this podcast.

Why a Podcast About Women’s Careers

The idea for this podcast came about after I had my second child in my mid 30s. I had never really gotten onto the path of a lifelong career. I had dabbled here and there in many different things. Most of them full-time Army National Guard work which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was a photojournalist for the Army National Guard and that afforded me the opportunity to ask people questions.

I am curious by nature and this trait has only strengthened the older that I’ve become. But once I became a mother, working full-time, taking care of two very young children, trying to be a good wife, and just be everything that I feel that I’m expected to be, working became much more challenging. I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do.

You know you talk to people here and there and they know exactly what it is in life that they’re meant to do. I don’t have that feeling. I don’t have that ‘this is me, this is exactly what I am supposed to be here to do.’ So I started asking around. I started asking other women who are in the same space of life that I’m in with young children and who maybe had budding careers that they either try to continue on after this phase of life and some of them stopped their careers because of becoming mothers.

Passionate Career Women

I also just talked to women who seem genuinely passionate and interested in the work that they did on a daily basis. I want to know what drives them, what gets them to that mindset. Is it really just identifying that this is what they are good at in life and this is where they can be of service to others and then crafting your mind and your brain around this is what I’m supposed to do? Or do people truly feel like they have identified their calling?

I have a number of female friends who have gotten past this phase of life if you will. They’ve had children, or chosen not to have children, and their children are grown and out of the house and so they’re back in the paid workforce. I wanted to ask them whether they are still doing the same jobs that they were when they began their careers or are they changing constantly in what they’re doing for work. How do they define what success is? Is it really the amount of money that they’re making? Is it that they feel like they’re making a difference or that they’re just genuinely happy in the work that they’re doing and the people that they’re doing it with?

I had all of these questions that I just started asking people. I started asking women in particular because I feel like we tell young girls that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. But then the examples that we show them are rock stars and actresses and princesses. While those are wonderful things to aspire to be, the vast majority of us are not going to make it to those careers.

I want young girls to be able to see women in all sorts of careers.

Podcast Guests

The guests are women firefighters, women zoo keepers, women scientists, women entrepreneurs, women who have worked in restaurants their whole lives; whatever it is that these individual, local, you could reach out and touch them type of women are doing.

Along with this podcast, I’m writing a series of children’s books that are going to highlight individual women doing their jobs. The first one is a firefighter. She’s been a firefighter for more than 16 years and she’s actually one of the guests on the podcast. You’ll be able to listen to her interview and then by springtime you’ll be able to find that book and purchase it. I will of course include that information once it’s available.

In addition to the firefighter I’ve also had the privilege of speaking with a mechanical engineer. I’ve had the privilege of speaking with a Ph.D. candidate in communications and a clinical counselor. All of these different women doing all of these different types of jobs and they’ve all found peace in their work. They’ve found a sense of purpose and that really resonates throughout the interviews.

They’ve all found peace in their work. They’ve found a sense of purpose.

I hope you’ll listen to all of the interviews. I really hope that you’ll give me some feedback and let me know what other kinds of careers you would like me to seek out that women are doing. I also hope that you’ll share those podcasts with other women who you feel might be struggling with identifying what it is that they’re supposed to do with their lives and accepting that what they are doing is enough.

I also hope to reach young women and young girls who are just starting to identify what it is that they want to be doing for the rest of their lives. Whether they’re in mid high school, late high school or even college and going through that phase of life where you’re really just sort of experimenting; trying this job, volunteering over here, seeing what kind of work this kind of career would entail on a daily basis. That’s what I hope to share here as I interview women doing different jobs.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know the Daily Life in a Given Career

I am asking the questions of what it’s like day-to-day. What’s been the most exciting thing that’s happened in their career so far. What are the challenges that they have. How are they creating and crafting a work-life harmony that works for them. Is it a career that allows you to do so. Or is it a career that you really have to craft your external life around your work life. I want all of those answers because I want to share them with you. I want you to be able to listen to all of these different careers and kind of go ‘oh man that sounds perfect, that sounds fascinating. That sounds like something that I could do day in, day out for the foreseeable future’. Then hook you up with some resources to find some ways to talk with other women in that same career or go and volunteer.

One of the guests is a director of a non-profit and her advice for young girls is to go volunteer, go try out spaces that you think you might be interested in and just see what they are. I think that’s great advice for all of us is to just volunteer and to give back to our communities. But bigger picture than that is to try out a whole bunch of different things.

My Career Background

I was afforded a loving wonderful childhood. I have no qualms about the way that I was raised. The only thing I would say though is that when I was raised and where I was raised there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities to go and try a whole lot of different careers. There really wasn’t a lot of rhetoric in my early education about a vast array of careers and only when I got to college did I start to really look at options.  I thought, well I can make this a career or I can make that a career. But then you’re already there and you’re going OK well I’m paying for this, so maybe I should figure out something to get a degree in and hope that I can create or craft a career and a life out of it.

My undergrad is in Visual Communications in Graphic Design and Website Design from the fantastic Northern Arizona University. And thankfully that has proven to be a space that I really, really enjoy. I love creating. I love the visual design, color theory, the psychology behind why we do this for branding and why we do that for a website and user experience. It’s all very fascinating to me and I’m still trying to craft a career out of it. It’s one of my other side hustles if you will,  is website design for small businesses.

But I really feel like I’ve had to kind of create that myself. I don’t feel like there was a very good resource when I was coming up for trying out a whole bunch of different jobs and just seeing what they are, seeing what they entail.

That’s the whole point of this podcast. It’s to talk with these women who’ve been there, done that, or are currently doing it, and just find out what advice they have. What they would recommend for young girls who might be interested in being a lawyer. What is the time commitment? What is the education commitment? How do you get there any way?!

I hope that you will enjoy listening to the interviews that I conduct with these women. They are fascinating, genuine, wonderful human beings and all they want to do is give back to the next generation and help other people find the happiness and fulfillment that they have found in their careers.

Support the Show

Would you like to show your support for the show? I’d love to have you join the growing community of backers at Patreon.com/AnnaDoo. Here you’ll be able to have access to a patron-only news feed, monthly Q & A sessions, and lots of insider information that you just can’t get elsewhere saved especially for those who are able to financially support this show. I’ll see you there and thank you so much for your support.