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The senior living industry has a voice. You can hear it on Bridge the Gap podcast!

148: Josh Crisp & Lucas McCurdy

Hosts Josh Crisp and Lucas McCurdy wish the Bridge the Gap network audience a merry Christmas and Happy New Year with this year in review! They discuss the Contributor Wednesday series, partners and the new Industry Spotlight series and take us on a journey of Season 3. 

Top 5 Shows:

Richard Hutchinson

Glenn Van Ekeren

Vikas Gupta

Lynne Katzmann

Rick Matros

Happy Hour Recap videos of Jay Allen and Perrin York.

Lucas:
Welcome to Bridge The Gap Podcast, the senior living podcast with Josh and Lucas on our year in review Christmas special. In tradition, we have done a year in review at the end of each season, season three, 2020. What a wild ride this year has been, you know, and despite the challenges, there’s actually been a lot of success this year.

Josh:
It’s gone by really fast. It’s, you know, when you’re living it, you’re thinking, Oh my gosh, are we ever going to get through 2020? And then now we’re sitting here doing a year in review at Christmas time, just a few days before jolly old St. Nick, that I know you have very firm feelings about… We won’t get into that on this episode, but we had some awesome moments this year. So I’m looking forward to reliving some of those with our listeners.

Lucas:
You know, Josh, season three, we had big plans this year, big plans, and a lot of that got changed, but you know what, we pivoted. We’ve got a very strong team. We’ve got amazing listeners and we’ve got an industry that has become a world conversation, a national conversation due to the coronavirus. So a lot of things have changed, a lot of things have happened, but before we get into that, let’s talk about our top five downloads. And lets just run down the list here. And this is not in any specific order, but our top five downloads of this year. CEO, Richard Hutchinson of Discovery Senior Living, that was one of them, Glenn van Ekeren. Leadership lessons from an old guy. He’s got a great book. What a nice guy, he’s followed us and he started his own podcast.

Lucas:
He sent us his books, hand signed so nice and then some great lessons there. Vikas Gupta, that was a great interview that we did at Nick. Actually that was Nick Q4 the previous year, but we rolled it into the first segment of this season. Lynne Katzmann, our good friend. What an icon. You remember? We were at ASHA and she was accepting the, um, let’s see, that was the hall of fame. Yeah. Right. Big deal. And Rick Matros, you know, the CEO, the tatted up CEO with the big hair. Yeah. What a fascinating guy.

Josh:
Yeah. And that was actually Lucas, I think, at NIC spring. Yeah. And that was our last conference before the world radically changed. Literally. Exactly. And so man, those are some big names in a great year. I mean, like I know we talk about how this year, there were so many bad things that happened, but we’re going to choose to focus on a lot of the good that came in this year. And those interviews, the content that we brought, we brought more than we’ve ever brought in a year.

Lucas:
Absolutely. And highlighting a lot of these leadership stories. This is a year where leaders really, you know, they separated the leaders from non leaders and this industry has a lot of them. So Josh, you mentioned, Asha. We did Asha at the beginning of the year, we did a hot air balloon ride. What a fun event that was with our friends. We did the spring nit conference and then coronavirus, right? That’s right. Changed everything.

Josh:
Well, you know, we were in San Diego and, you just think about that. And I think at that time we were all still thinking, is this really happening? What is happening? And everyone was already responding very differently to it. I know there were some groups immediately went into travel ban. There were people leaving the conference early. And I think, everybody’s worlds kind of began to change at that point. And it wasn’t very long after that we had a major pivot ourselves.

Lucas:
We did. So at that moment, what BTG did we pivoted and we started to do a daily podcast. For an entire month series, we spun up overnight, took us 48 hours, all the new logos, the new format, virtual setups. A lot of our listeners, you’ve been used to high quality audio recordings and high quality video from Bridge The Gap. And so those have all done, been done in person and that’s how we were able to control that quality. And so we had to pivot and set up virtual studios, you in Knoxville and me in the DFW area. And we spun that up very, very quickly. We did over 22 shows, over the course of 30 days where we released one every day of the week during the business week to talk about updates and the stories from what was happening.

Lucas:
Yeah. And it changed daily. And as we know this year, you know, you can talk about COVID related issues one week, the next week, things can be drastically different. And so, yeah, I think you and I got a little COVID fatigue over those three weeks because we were literally sitting down in our makeshift studios at that time, we hadn’t even set up our official full audio video studios at that time. I think I was at an Airbnb where we had to shelter in place for a week or two, and I set up a studio in an Airbnb and we just kept rolling. But, thankfully the leaders in our space, even with everything going on, they were committed to telling us and spending time with us what was going on from their perspective, which I hope, and I believe was very helpful to our listeners.

Lucas:
Absolutely. And then that’s when, zoom became probably word of the year. Everybody had to get on zoom.

Josh:
Talk about fatigue and the word zoom. I feel like now, you know, my kids didn’t even know what zoom was until this year and now they’re learning from zoom. So yeah, it, it became a world known platform for sure.

Lucas:
You know, one of my favorite episodes from that series that we did, you know, we talked to Donna Moore and what a leader she is. She set up and lived in a tent inside one of her communities, I believe in Georgia. And we had her on the show, what an amazing story it was.

Josh:
It was amazing. What a great leadership example of someone that was basically leading from the front, you know, something you don’t see that often today. Thankfully we’ve got several of those examples in our space, in our industry. And she’s a great example. It was a widely covered story. National news and in a year when unfortunately, um, you know, we, as an industry became on the world spotlight, the whole world looking at us, and sometimes for not the best reasons, there were a couple of bad stories out there that were not really fair to our industry. Thank goodness for people like Donna Moore and the coverage that that got. So, wow. Awesome story motivated us. As a matter of fact, I think we asked her if we could come down and stay in a tent with her sometime and she offered to let us do that. So

Lucas:
Why isn’t that like a national, you know, world renowned story? Um, because, and, and the thing is, is that that’s one of many, right? That really is a Testament to the greatness of this industry. And then we spun up new series and a lot of our listeners that have been following us for a while, they have been wanting more content. And then some of our new listeners are like, wow, look at all this content. And we’ve talked about it, our contributor Wednesday series. Yeah.

Josh:
It has been one of the coolest things because one, actually I listened to those episodes and I’ve learned, yeah, we learn a lot. And I actually, I’ve told people I don’t go back and listen to our episodes just because I don’t like to hear myself talk, but on theirs, I love hearing the different perspectives. It’s all coming from their personal thoughts on a variety of topics. And that’s something we’re carrying forward into the new year. We’re going to be talking more about that in future episodes, they’re going to be meeting more contributors. So I can’t wait for our listeners to hear and continue to hear more from those contributors.

Lucas:
Absolutely. I think people are going to get a master’s degree in senior living just by listening to the Bridge The Gap network specifically on the contributor, Wednesday shows.

Josh:
100% and what that has done to bring more content way above and beyond what we could do in our time, is just increasing the reach of the Bridge The gap network.

Lucas:
Industry spotlight. That’s something that we’ve been excited about. We wanted to do for people that have followed us for a long time. You know, that we don’t interrupt our interviews with commercials and things like that. We do highlight our partners because they helped underwrite our content. We have a team of six, seven, eight people that help our post editing and all of our stuff. Producer, Sarah puts in countless hours. We all put hours into this. Um, and you know, there’s a cost associated with that. And so we’re really happy that we have supporters that come alongside us to help kind of offset some of that cost.

Josh:
Well, I’m going to guess. The majority of our listeners don’t know that the elves are working 365 days a year to produce content. They never stop working and there’s content every day of the year, going out, no matter what day or holiday it is.

Lucas:
You got it. And so the industry spotlight is an opportunity to unashamedly talk about the products and services that different companies bring to the industry and the people and stories.

Josh:
That’s right. So, exciting year. Can we talk and tease a little bit about what our listeners have helped us to achieve? As far as downloads, it’s been a huge year for us.

Lucas:
I’d love to this year, we did over 108 episodes, 108 episodes! Which is more than double the year before. And this year in season three, we had over a hundred thousand downloads on our program.

Josh:
No wonder you and I look a little older than at the beginning of the year, Lucas. I’m actually, using anti-wrinkle eye cream now at age 41. And I was thinking, my listeners probably at the beginning of the year, our listeners didn’t see these glasses on my face. So I’m definitely aging. We’re producing great content, but no wonder we’re a little tired.

Lucas:
I know it, I know we got a little more gray in our beards, and I’ve got a little less hair on top, but you know what we’re going to keep on keeping on. You know, a couple of other big things that we did during kind of the virtual shift is we did a couple of BTG happy hours.

Josh:
Those were fun. And a couple all-stars! And we’ve been blessed that some people outside of our industry with really cool ties to our industry have partnered up with us. And one of those was Jay Allen, our friend that has been on, I think he kicked off our second season show. Actually in Nashville, played a song, blank stares… You gotta check out Jay Allen, if you haven’t. Go back and listen to that episode and his story. Jay’s come a long way, such a hard worker, such a great talent, and so committed to just helping people. His song that he has produced called “Blank Stares.” That song has raised millions upon millions upon millions of dollars. And I’m so glad to see his success and he’s just skyrocketing.

Lucas:
Totally. And, in such a high demand. And he’s given freely of his time to come onto our network to tell his story, to encourage people in the industry that are caregivers for dementia care and an encouragement to so many people and their families that are dealing with dementia. Sure. Then we had Perrin York. Yeah. Industry, family insider. That’s a wild superstar.

Josh:
Well, and it’s no secret. She is the daughter of our great friend from It’s Never Too Late, Jack York. He’s been on our show multiple times and it’s fun. And I can sympathize and understand from Jack, when you just mentioned parents’ name, that guy lights up and he glows, and you can tell he is so proud and every right to be. So American Idol contestant that went a long way, came so talented and did a happy hour and sang some of her music. It was so good, so much fun. And this year it’s been one of those years that you’ve got to just do what you can do to safely, still have some face-to-face time, even if it be virtually. So those little happy hour events really meant a lot to us. And I think meant a lot to our listeners as well.

Lucas:
They did. And we had hundreds in attendance to each of those events. And for anybody that’s listening can go to our YouTube page and you can rewatch those if you’d like to. You know, Josh, one thing that we cannot forget is the countless hours and efforts that all of the workers in this industry have done this year. For the most part nationally, they’ve been unrecognized. A lot of attention has been put on hospital workers as it should be. But, our industry, the people that are working in this industry really don’t get the attention that they deserve. And they have been working every day nonstop. There has really been no end to what they have been challenged with. And that thought process is very close to our thoughts in our hearts.

Josh:
It is, and this is a special time of year when we think about others, when we think about giving. And it’s a wonderful time for all of our listeners to hear directly from me and you and from the team at Bridge The Gap, how grateful we are for them, how much we appreciate them. And also for all of our listeners to begin thinking of how they can help others, encourage others, give to others during this Christmas season. Think about those residents, think about their families. Think about those frontline workers in your community and others. This is a special week. We’re excited. We hope everybody has a Merry Christmas. And I hope that people are thinking of how they can help people in the senior care world.

Lucas:
Absolutely. You know what we’re going to get through this. We’re going to get through it together and Bridge The Gap network is committed to bringing the content that is going to meet you where you are to help you in your daily roles. And also give you some encouragement to let you know, you’re not alone. We’re here for you. We’re going to continue to bring the educational content that will educate, inform, and influence. And most of all, Merry Christmas. And we’re praying for you. This is something that is very important. And we’re praying for you and we’re here for you. Merry Christmas, everyone from the Bridge The Gap family to yours, Merry Christmas.

148: Josh Crisp & Lucas McCurdy