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A Career at USAA


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Careers At usaa


Curt Sheldon:                    John, welcome to the show.

John DiPiero:                     Thanks Curt, appreciate you having me on.

Curt Sheldon:                    I'm really excited to have you here today, because I believe, not only have you transitioned from being an active duty military member, and a Senior Officer, but you've also, I think been involved a little bit in the hiring side of the business, as well.

Curt Sheldon:                    So, I'm really excited to get your experience, or talk about your experiences, and hopefully pass on some good information for folks. So, to start with, why don't you tell us, uh, what you're doing right now?

John DiPiero:                     Okay. I'm with USAA, here in the home office, in San Antonio, Texas, been with them now, for a little over sixteen years. My current position, is in what we call, military advocacy, under military affairs. The advocacy team, is focused on strategic programs, for veterans in transition, for military spouses, and for financial readiness, and I'm the guy that's kind of, focused on the veterans, and transitions program, and what USAA does strategically, to help other companies, and organizations be veteran friendly, and understand the value of hiring veterans, and for that matter, military spouses.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, great, and I was thinking about asking you to explain what the company USAA is, but I think probably most of our listeners have a pretty good idea of what USAA is all about, so I won't ask you about that. Why don't you tell us about your last position in the military.

John DiPiero:                     Last position in the military, was at Randolph Air Force base, at the Air Education, and Training Command headquarters, which is the Air Force's training business, for the entire command. I was the Director of Staff, probably better known to some people, as the Chief of Staff for the command section working for the, at the time, the four star, and the three star, keeping the paper work moving, advising the staff about what needs to be done, and how to flow the information up, and down the chain of command.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, and just a kind of, a quick, tell us a little bit about your overall military career. What did you do most of the time, when you were in the military, prior to getting out?

John DiPiero:                     Well, I guess a little more in the first half, was fundamentally about being an aviator. I flew little helicopters for my brother, and in the Marine Corps, and the Army, and in the Air Force, I flew Hueys, and then I flew fifty three, super Jolly Green Giants.

John DiPiero:                     Then, I converted to fixed wing, and became a T-38 instructor pilot, at Sheppard Air Force base, in what, at the time, was the German Air Force program and then, the Euro NATO program up there. So, I got about same amount of helicopter time, as I got T-38 time.

John DiPiero:                     Then, you know, staff jobs, Pentagon tour, opportunity to be a Squadron Commander, which was a great job. Then, after that, other requisite staff, and leadership roles culminating in the role as the Chief of Staff, or the Director of Staff role, at AETC headquarters. I spent probably, the majority of my career in the training business, once I got out of the helicopter operations business.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay. Sounds like a sounds like a pretty good career.

John DiPiero:                     Not bad.

Curt Sheldon:                    So, I've heard you speak before, so I'm pretty sure you didn't start out at USAA. So, what did you do right after retirement?

John DiPiero:                     Yeah. You know, it's one of those things about, how did you get there? But, my first role after I retired, was at Randolph Macon Academy, which is in Front Royal, Virginia. It's a high school level military school, and I was the Commandant of Cadets up there, for a couple of years.

Curt Sheldon:                    How did you find out about that job?

John DiPiero:                     It's kind of an interesting story, Curt. I made my decision to retire from the Air Force, pretty abruptly. So, there I stood after I said, 'I'm going to retire', then I went, 'Oh my gosh, now what am I going to do?', and this was before TAP was a big deal, ETAP didn't even exist.

John DiPiero:                     I was kind of out there on my own, trying to figure out what I was doing. I found a head hunter, that told me I was worth a lot more money, than the market was really looking for, and I was buying some of that. Well, so one day, I'm sitting at my desk, and a letter from the President of the military school, Randolph Macon Academy, crossed my desk, going into the Vice Commander’s office.

John DiPiero:                     Well, the letter said, 'I'm looking for a retiring Colonel, to be the Commandant of Cadets, at Randolph Macon Academy.' Well, the guy that wrote the letter, was a retired Air Force two star, and in a previous life, I was his vice commander, at a numbered Air Force.

John DiPiero:                     So, I knew him well, the wives were good friends, it was a good family fit, based on the size of the organization, and everything, and I reached out, and we had the conversation, and I went through the process, and got selected for the role.

Curt Sheldon:                    So, even though you had worked for the Commander, or the boss there before, you still went through a hiring process, you went through that process?

John DiPiero:                     Absolutely, and you have to do that. I mean, he had one opinion of me, but the Chief of Staff, the Dean, the head, the CFO, the development guy, they all had to see me, along with about three other people, that interviewed for the role.

John DiPiero:                     So, I felt pretty fortunate about the opportunity, because I knew a couple of the guys that were applying for the role as well, and I went, 'Oh man, I don't have a chance, I know these guys, they're great guys.' And you know, I ended up coming out on top, which was great, and it was a good two years.

Curt Sheldon:                    So, it sounds like the hiring process, involved a couple of interviews, or multiple interviews. Anything of note there?

John DiPiero:                     Well, actually, yeah, it was it was a group interview, and it was all of them, about four, or five of them, as I recall against me, and I'm kidding when I say it that way, because they were very friendly, very open, very upfront, very collegial, didn't have any real issues associated with it.

John DiPiero:                     I mean, it's the first time I ever did anything like that, because that's the first time I ever interviewed really for a job. I think I kind of, interviewed when I got my Pentagon tour, but I didn't think it was really that much of a real interview, but this was really the first time I went through that process.

John DiPiero:                     So, as far as surprises, no real surprises. Nothing that caught me off guard, other than, this the first time I've done this, you know, so it was, it was an eye opener, from that perspective. I don't want to mislead any listeners that, you may get individual interviews, you may get group interviews, you may get invited to lunch, you know, there's a lot of different things that can happen, in that interview process.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, and then when it came down, and just kinda, in general, talking money, was there much negotiation? Were you able to negotiate your salary, or was it kinda, 'Here's the offer, take it or leave it?'

John DiPiero:                     You know, again, I was the sheep in the woods, kind of guy. But, what was interesting is, the President was in Dallas during a fundraiser, so he said, 'John, come on up, let's talk about the job, we think we want to hire you', and so, I drove up to Dallas to meet with him in another office building, and we talked about it, and then he made me the offer, and he said, 'Think about it, and then get back with me'.

John DiPiero:                     Well, as I recall, I was in the car going home, and I called my wife, and we talked about it. She was a very supportive of the move, which is another thing that we need to be careful about, when we think about our families, and being supportive of the opportunity, and I told her what the money was, and frankly, it wasn't big money.

John DiPiero:                     It's just not a big school, but it was livable, and it got me above where I was with my retirement check, but then, I called him back on the phone, and I did actually say, 'You know, I'd probably be a little more comfortable at this', and to my surprise, he says, 'You know, I think we can cover that.'

John DiPiero:                     And then, I'm thinking after I said, 'Okay, it's a deal', I'm thinking, 'Man, I should have asked for more'. I'm kind of kidding, but I'm not. The point of the conversation is, be prepared, and know what the market is, know what you’re worth, know what the expectation is, for that type of role, regardless of what the role is, and I was, you know, like that babe in the woods, still trying to figure out how all this stuff works, but don't get me wrong, it was good money, and it was comfortable, and I did actually negotiate a little bit.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, and then, anything that either you thought was I guess, interesting, or surprising, with their on-boarding process, that would be of worth noting?

John DiPiero:                     Well, you know, it would be based on the size of the organization pretty much, because the on-boarding process for a small school, was more like, on-job training with the boss, and there was two people, that were kind of my on-boarding training guides.

John DiPiero:                     There was the President himself, 'cause we had a relationship, and then the Chief of Staff, who was another Air Force retired Colonel, frankly, a guy that was a little older, he had even flown B twenty-fives. Great guy, but he had been the Commandant in the past, and the guy had a great memory, and every time I'm looking at programs, or maybe we need to change this, and do this, the first guy I'd go to, was the Chief of Staff.

John DiPiero:                     So, in a small organization, with like-minded people, taking care of a specific mission, not a lot of surprises. It was very open, it was very friendly, it was very helpful, because everybody had their eye on the target, and making sure the mission was accomplished.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay. Now, you were there for a few years, as I recall, and then, I think from what I've heard you say before, you made the transition from there, to USAA. That's probably a pretty big difference, although USAA, was probably not the same size then, as it was now, but let's talk a little bit about going to a bigger organization. How did you initially find out about the position at USAA, and I don't believe it was the one you're in right now.

John DiPiero:                     That's correct. What happened was, I was at the school for two years, signed a contract for a third year, even it wasn't a passion for me, but we were doing good things for kids, so there's that piece of it, but we had some significant family issues, that mandated we move back to San Antonio, and the boss let me out of the contract, 'cause he knew.

John DiPiero:                     I said I'd stay, but my wife was leaving, and he said, 'No, don't be silly', and he let me out of the contract. Well, you know, some people would call it luck, and Curt, you've heard me say this before, that the four pillars of success are, luck, timing, competence, and who you know. Well, you can call it luck, you can call it divine intervention, I don't care.

John DiPiero:                     That's up to you as an individual to decide, but something, now I know I'm looking for a job, 'cause I'm moving back to San Antonio. It's April of two-thousand, and two, this Summer, we'll be packing our stuff, and moving, because we have to, for other reasons.

John DiPiero:                     Well, for something drove me to the website. I went to the USAA website, and I started looking through the jobs, and this job popped up, and it said, 'Military Affairs, and I went, 'Well, the word 'military' is in it, that's a good thing.'

John DiPiero:                     So, I opened up the job description, started reading it, and it was essentially being a marketing guy, a face-to-face marketing guy, traveling around the country, going into military events, active guard, and reserve, and talking about USAA, and helping them pay for family days, and maybe giving financial presentations of colleges and universities, and ROTC program, but I said, 'Man, I can do this. This sounds like a lot of fun', and so, I went through the application process.

John DiPiero:                     Well, I was one of many, obviously, that applied for that role, but I networked. I had a senior officer, that told me if I ever needed help, to call it. Well, the one thing I would like to pass onto the audience, especially for senior folks, that feel funny about asking for help, don't be bashful, ask for help.

John DiPiero:                     People didn't offer you help, because they didn't mean it. They meant it, and I called this guy, and after a couple of phone calls, the Vice President of Military Affairs called me, and shocked me, and it turns out I knew who it was, and this person was an active duty senior officer in the Air Force, and I knew this person, but I didn't know that person was in that role, and so those things kind of come together, and I applied for the role, but that was in April, and I didn't go to work til September, and I had to go through the interview process again.

John DiPiero:                     But, the interview process was essentially the same as it was at school. It was a bunch of guys, military affairs, all retired military people, officer, and enlisted, doing the interview process for me, and that's how that process worked. But, it took a while, which was a good thing, because I needed to be able to move the wife, and find a place to live, and do all those kind of things. So it actually worked in my favor.

Curt Sheldon:                    Now, was that a big interview again, with a bunch of people, or did you kind of work through a process with them?

John DiPiero:                     Yeah, it was essentially the same. It was a bunch of people in a room. I went through one interview process. I'll tell you a funny story. As I'm walking out of the interview, a close friend of mine, is walking in for the interview, so we see each other, and we both did the same thing. We rolled our eyes, and went, 'Well, I'm not getting this job', and again, I felt fortunate, to be the one that was selected for the role.

John DiPiero:                     And, here's another part of the story, which worked in my favor, but it's not gonna work anymore, in today's world. But, when I applied for the school job, I said, 'What kind of resume do you need?'. The guy that was hiring me said, 'Just send me your top ten OER's', officer efficiency reports. I said, 'Well, that's easy. You wrote three of 'em', and then, when I applied for the role at USAA, keeping in mind that everybody in that interview, we're all retired military people.

John DiPiero:                     I said, 'What kind of resume do you need? And they said, 'Just send your top ten OER's', and I hope people, when they hear that, don't think they're going to get away with that, because I don't think that'll ever happen again. It was just one of those things that worked in my favor.

Curt Sheldon:                    Yeah, I don't think I've heard of anybody else having that opportunity, but lucky you, that you did. Now, what about the salary, salary negotiations, on the side with a USAA? Again, were there negotiations, or was there an offer? How did that work for you?

John DiPiero:                     That's interesting, 'cause it was different for this one, and after the interview process, and everything, and it looked like it was going to be me getting the job, I had a friend of mine that worked there, reach out to me and say, 'You're going to get an offer, my suggestion would be, don't negotiate, because there's two, or three right behind you that they'd be willing to hire,' and I just took him at his word.

John DiPiero:                     I had no reason not to believe him, and no reason not to trust him, and so, when they gave me the offer, which was, it was even a little bit more than I was making at the military school, plus all the other benefits that come with an organization like USAA.

John DiPiero:                     I said, 'This is good', and so, I was happy with it anyway. I was happy, because it got me in a role that I really liked, working with a bunch of great people, for a company that has the focus on the military community. So, all of those things played in my favor, so, I was very comfortable with that. So, as far as the negotiation, I was given advice not to, and I took the advice.

Curt Sheldon:                    Yeah, probably was good advice, and again, it kind of flows back to, if you have a network that's in the organization, you get a little bit, maybe not the inside track, but you're better off than somebody who's just coming in from the cold.

John DiPiero:                     Curt, I would agree with you a hundred percent. The networking in both jobs, before USAA, and USAA, were significantly important to me, in my career opportunities.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay. Now, I think, as I recall, you've kind of been on the other side of the table as well, or at least have observed it, from the other side of the table. Any thoughts on someone, not necessarily, I won't say, trying to find a place at USAA, but maybe just trying to work their way into a larger organization? What things should they be considering?

John DiPiero:                     Well the first one is, and these are generalities. I've got to be very careful about that, because there's no one story that fits everything. But, from my experience, and I was a recruiter at USAA in the veteran space, for six years, so I've seen it, and I've seen senior officers, and senior NCO's come, and go.

John DiPiero:                     And I've seen some flag level people come, and go, and I will tell you, that while you have great leadership skills, and great program, and project management skills, which are lacking, regardless of the company, if you don't have the fundamental, underlying skills, and experiences, based on what that organization, does and in USAA's case, it's investments, banking, and insurance, you gotta learn that stuff.

John DiPiero:                     So, you come in, in a different role, at generally, you better be ready to come in, at a individual contributor role, and then make your way to the potential for leadership roles, or other opportunities within the company.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, good. Good advice there. So, let's move on, just a little bit. One of the things, I know I struggled with, and I think a lot of other people struggle with, is we hear this, you know, you need to network, and at least for me, it was like, 'How in the heck do I get started with this?'

Curt Sheldon:                    So, just some thoughts there on, you know, how does somebody, how did you get started? How might somebody get started, you know, just energizing their network I guess, if you will?

John DiPiero:                     That's great. You know, there's energizing the network, and understanding what your network is, and there's a couple of different approaches. Obviously, in today's world, if people aren't using LinkedIn as their professional, networking opportunity, they're really making a big mistake.

John DiPiero:                     They need to be out there, they need to have a professional, LinkedIn profile, and it should be focused on what you want to do with your career, not just about, who you are, and what you did in your past career, but it's got to tie that in, with what you want to do going forward.

John DiPiero:                     Energizing your network, whether it's LinkedIn, or elsewhere, is taking advantage of the opportunities, for people that have said, 'If you need any help, call me'. I know I made that point before, but it was very, dramatically helpful to me, and if anybody's ever said that to you, or anybody else, you do that.

John DiPiero:                     You keep the lines of communication open, you talk to people, you pick their brains, you ask, 'Can I buy you lunch', 'Can I buy you a cup of coffee?' Maybe one of the agendas is, you're looking for a job. Maybe the other agenda is, you just need more information about the organization, is this someplace I'd like to work?

John DiPiero:                     Well, that's fine because these folks are used to, especially ones that say yes, they're used to talking to folks, and trying to help them, and guide them with what they think they want to do, or what they should do. So, there's different ways of approaching the network, and another network opportunity, is family, it's friends, it's neighbors, could be church, could be sports, with the kids.

John DiPiero:                     There's a lot of different avenues, and opportunities to pick people's brains. The one thing that's best about network, is let people know what you're doing, and why you're doing it, and you might be surprised at the opportunities, that might come your way.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, thanks for that. So, you know, as I've said before, I'm a money guy, you know, that's kind of the business that I'm in, you know, work in transition, any money issues, surprises, either good or bad, anything that kind of, caught you off guard, on a good or bad side?

John DiPiero:                     Well, for me, you know, I have to tell a story on myself. I was never the guy that watched money very closely, guilty as charged. I wish I'd had somebody to beat me over the head a little bit, but don't get me wrong, I never was in debt horribly. A little bit of debt, here and there, put some money aside, did all those things, but not as much as I should have.

John DiPiero:                     So, if the younger folks are listening to me, take advantage of the programs, if you're veterans, then take advantage of the thrift savings program, take advantage of the advice you get from other people, that are trying to help you put some money away, because it can make your life a lot simpler. But if you didn't do that, or if you had other expenses, or other things that have impacted your life, where you could save a lot of money, it's never too late, but you may have to adjust how you do it.

John DiPiero:                     I'll give you an example. When I came to USAA, I knew I was behind the power curve, on putting some money away, where I felt more comfortable for a lot of personal reasons, and so, what I did, is there was a minimum for what you could put against your 401(k), a percentage that the company would match.

John DiPiero:                     Well, not only did I match that, I went over it by a significant percentage, based on the rules, and everything, and I'd done that for sixteen years. So, what I had to do, is play catch up. It's worked in my favor. I'm where I want to be, but always be thinking of the future. Always be putting that money aside. Make sure you know the difference, between the saving, and the investing piece of it, because those are two different things.

John DiPiero:                     You know, you save for the little things, you invest for the future. So, big surprises, the only big surprise I guess I got, was the money I was offered, was not what I thought it should have been, but when I looked at the market, it made sense.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, and thanks for that. So, from your overall, you know, retiring, hanging up the uniform, to ending up where you are now, at USAA. Any, real big surprises?

John DiPiero:                     You know, it's kind of funny, you know, for me, I'm very careful about how I answer that question, because when I retired, I went to a military school, wore my uniform every day, and worked with ROTC programs, and things like that.

John DiPiero:                     Yes it was with kids, but I was still living in, quote, unquote, that military community, if you will. So, I come to USAA, where do I go to work? Military Affairs, and I'm working in the military community, face-to-face in the military community. So, for a while I was kind of, living this world of, 'Heck, I've been in the military my entire life', until I went to recruiting.

John DiPiero:                     When I went to recruiting, I was focused on veteran hiring programs, and military spouse hiring programs, but I had to learn the corporate way of recruiting, which was an eye opener for me, because I didn't even know how to talk on the phone, and so, I had to learn processes, and I had to learn a lot of new things.

John DiPiero:                     The good news was, some of these folks down there, were very patient with me, and they said, 'John, the next time you talk to somebody on the phone, don't ask 'em if they're married, and have kids, you're not allowed to ask 'em that'. Me, I was just having a conversation with somebody.

John DiPiero:                     That's just an example. My issue was, when I went to recruiting, after that, I got back more focused in the veteran community, but now, I was now more focused in speaking, and going on panels, and I'm talking to groups that are, and or, are not military. So, I had to be a little bit careful about my messaging.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, and now, I'm a business owner and you know, I think, the curse of a business owner is, you have some really good days, and then you have some really bad days. For you, through this process, any low points that you had to overcome, or was it all smooth sailing every day?

John DiPiero:                     Oh, I can tell you some funny ones, and I can tell you the answer is, it's kind of a sine wave, you know, as I'm looking at the screen here, it shows the voice patterns, that's what it's kind of like. There's the ups, and the downs, there's the good, and the bad, but I truly believe what I'm about to tell you. You get good management and leadership, you're in a good place. You get with an organization that has a great mission, that you can support, you're in a good place.

John DiPiero:                     Those things carry so much weight. Did I have some issues, in some of the different roles I took, not so many that it made that big of a difference. Military people, are focused on completing the mission, getting things done, in a timely manner. Those types of skill sets, and everything, are valuable to the corporate world out there.

John DiPiero:                     So yes, there's been some low points. I hit a pretty low point, when I was in HR, to the point where I almost retired. I actually submitted retirement, because I didn't feel like I was functioning anymore, for this new boss, in a new role, and I put in my retirement paperwork, and there were some other things going on in my personal life, that were mandating some of these decisions, even though they weren't. I shouldn't have done it.

John DiPiero:                     He brought me in his office. This is when I'm talking about leadership. He brought me in his office, sat me down, he says, 'Why are you doing this?'. I said, 'I'm not delivering what you need. I feel like I'm in your way, and I'm getting frustrated, and I'm not helping the mission, and I got to get out of your way', and he kind of looked at me for a minute, and he said, 'What if I gave you your old job back, part time?'

John DiPiero:                     And, I just kinda sat there looking at him like, 'You got to be kidding me'. I didn't even think this was an option, and I said, 'Let me think about it'. So, I came back the next day, and I said, 'I don't know how to thank you, but yes'. He said, 'Good, I want you on the team. I'm happy, you're happy, let's move forward'.

John DiPiero:                     Then, that turned into what I'm doing now. But, there was a low point, but it worked out. I guess my message there is, patience is a virtue, and you never know what a low point might turn into, if you just hold on for a while, and don't make a quick decision.

Curt Sheldon:                    So, would it be safe to paraphrase some of that, and say that fit, is really important?

John DiPiero:                     Oh yeah, I think fit is very important, but when we talk about fit, I'd like to dig just a little bit into that, because you may come into an organization, in role X, not the watch, role X, okay? And, it may not be the perfect fit for you, but let's say you come in, and you got a good team, and you like the people, and your boss is helpful, and he's helping you learn, and grow, and you like the organization, and the focus of what it is.

John DiPiero:                     And then, while you're there, and you've done it for about a year, and it's now time to start looking around for a new opportunity, guess what? Now, that role Y is available, and you say, that's kind of where I'd like to be, you get the opportunity to apply for that job, and so, I don't believe there's any such thing as the perfect fit, but getting close, is very beneficial, and then adjusting fire, because when you come into the organization, there's an expectation of leadership, that you're not coming in to just do the rote thing that the original person did.

John DiPiero:                     They're looking for you to push the bar, do different things, be innovative, and so, they bring you into this role, not expecting you to just have the halo effect, and be like the person that just left, but be that person that takes it to the next level.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, thanks. So, I think probably, a favorite thing that O-6’s like to do, is pontificate, I know I do. So, I'm going to give you a chance here, to pontificate about anything you'd like to pontificate, as it applies to the transition process. So, pontificate away.

John DiPiero:                     All right sir, thank you. Pontification point number one: Start early, that's number one. Give yourself as much time as you possibly can, to start thinking about this process, and believe me, it's a process, okay? It's like having almost, a full time job, when you got a full time job to start thinking about.

John DiPiero:                     The next pontification point I would say is, and we've hit it a million times, but I'm going to hit it again: Networking. Networking, is not just about getting a job, it's about educating yourself, about the art of the possible.

John DiPiero:                     The third pontification point that I would make is: Open your aperture. Think outside of what you are, or what you do. Take a Myers Briggs, get an idea about who you are. Maybe, you want to do the same thing you did in the military. Maybe, you don't want to have anything to do, with what you did in the military anymore. I totally moved away, from what I did in the military-, not totally, but for the majority of what I do now, I didn't do any of that in the military and so, those opportunities to find out, quote, unquote, that fit, who you are, you gotta open the aperture, and start thinking about that.

John DiPiero:                     Pontification point number four: Your family is so important to this whole process, and keeping your family in the loop, and making the decisions you make, aren't just about job. It's about a future, it's about your family, it's about all the things that are important to you in your life, and you have to think about all that stuff at the same time. Those are pretty good ones, as far as I'm concerned.

Curt Sheldon:                    Yeah, I'd have to agree with that, those are pretty good points. So, obviously you've got a lot of information, a lot of experience. If someone wanted to connect with you, what would be the best way for them to do that?

John DiPiero:                     Just look for me on LinkedIn, and if you've heard this podcast, just let me know. I don't care if you liked it, or didn't. I'm kidding, I do care, I hope you liked it, but be glad to reach out to you. Hit me up on LinkedIn, be glad to connect.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay, and we'll also put a link to your LinkedIn profile, in our show notes. So, that would be, www.CLSheldon.com/blog/episode2 that is www.CLSheldon.com/blog/episode2, if you're listening to this on Google Play or iTunes. So, the last thing I like to wrap up with, is a question I ask everyone.

Curt Sheldon:                    So, if you were to go back to your retirement, and back it up another six, to twelve months, and you knew then, what you know now, what would be the one thing, that you would really like to understand better?

John DiPiero:                     Probably the meaning, and the definition of transition, as a process. I know that we talked about it, but for me personally, that could have made a big difference. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy where I am. It worked out. I've been able to move through, but it could have changed things.

John DiPiero:                     Who knows where it could have gone differently, but I didn't do that. I waited, and I waited, when I made the decision to retire, I'm going, 'Oh my God, I'm going to be out in less than two months. Now, what do I do?' Don't put yourself there. Don't do that, If you can help it. Go after the time, use it to your advantage. That's the one thing, that I think I would have done differently.

Curt Sheldon:                    Okay. Well, John, thank you so much. I've really enjoyed talking to you today. A lot of good information, I think that will help folks out. So again, thanks for being on our show.

John DiPiero:                     Curt, I enjoyed it very much. I appreciate it, and have a great day. Bye Bye.

Curt Sheldon:                    You too.

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