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The Honorable Yvonne Atkinson Gates

Political leader Yvonne Atkinson Gates was born on June 10, 1956 in Henderson, Nevada to Bobbie Davis Atkinson and Eddie Atkinson. Gates graduated from Ed W. Clark High School in Las Vegas and went on to earn her B.S. degree in political science and journalism in 1979, her M.P.A. degree in 1982, and her Ph.D. degree in public administration in 2012, all from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Following her graduation from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Gates worked as the research and planning manager for Clark County’s Department of Social Service, as well as personnel manager for Clark County’s Department of Aviation. From 1985 to 1992, Gates served on the Clark County School District Board of Trustees in Las Vegas. In 1992, Gates was elected as the youngest and only minority member to serve on the Clark County Board of Commissioners for District D in Las Vegas, becoming its first African American female chair in 1995. She was chosen as a super-delegate for the Democratic National Committee; and, in 2002, she chaired the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus. As chairwoman, she worked with black female elected officials like Donna Brazile and Minyon Moore to found the Women Building for the Future Political Action Committee. Throughout her political career, Gates advocated for strengthening public education and daycare programs nationwide. After resigning from the Clark County Board of Commissioners in 2007, Gates was appointed by Senator Harry Reid to serve as a Democratic National Committee super-delegate in 2008 for Hillary Rodham Clinton, although Gates later shifted her support to Barack Obama. In addition to her political career, Gates founded the construction firm of ECO Construction LLC in Las Vegas.

Gates was a recipient of the Community Image Award from the Professional Black Women Alliance in 1989, and a recipient of the Community Service Award from the Westcoast Black Publisher's Association in 1990. In recognition of her public service, the Clark County Board of School Trustees opened the Yvonne Atkinson Gates Center in 1996. In 1997, Gates was named Outstanding Democrat of the Year by the Democratic Party of Nevada. In 2002, she received an Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the DNC Women's Vote Center; and in 2006, she received a human rights award from Church Women United.

Gates and her husband, former Judge Lee Gates, have four children.

Yvonne Atkinson Gates was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 25, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.061

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/25/2016

Last Name

Gates

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Atkinson

Occupation
Schools

Madison Elementary School

William E. Orr Middle School

Ed W. Clark High School

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

First Name

Yvonne

Birth City, State, Country

Henderson

HM ID

GAT05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Nevada

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere on the Water

Favorite Quote

The Greatest Achievement Requires Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

6/10/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Political leader Yvonne Atkinson Gates (1956 - ) represented District D on the Clark County Board of Commissioners, where she was the first African American woman to serve as chair.

Employment

ECO Construction, LLC

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Clark County, Nevada

City of Las Vegas

State of Nevada

Favorite Color

Blue, Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Yvonne Atkinson Gates' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers segregation in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her likeness to her parents and paternal aunt

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her father's work as a brick mason

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her neighborhood on the Westside of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her early education in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers Ed W. Clark High School in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her athletic involvement in high school

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers building a homecoming float

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers a student demonstration at Ed W. Clark High School

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the casino industry in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her start at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her experiences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the Runnin' Rebels basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers her professors at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her early political activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers her early employment with the City of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the growth of Clark County, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her early employment with Clark County, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her appointment to the Clark County Board of School Trustees

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her work on the Clark County Board of School Trustees

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes the jurisdiction of Clark County, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her decision to run for the Clark County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers the riots of 1992 in West Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her husband's career

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls joining the Clark County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the authority of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the authority of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers the congressional representatives for the State of Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her advocacy for early childhood education centers

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers campaigning for President Bill Clinton

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her divestiture from Fat Tuesdays

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers the gubernatorial campaign of Joe Neal

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls speaking to the Democratic National Committee in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her work at the McCarran International Airport in Paradise, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates reflects upon the presidential election of 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about chairing the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the population growth in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls the conviction of four Clark County commissioners for corruption

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers the presidential election of 2004

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her decision to leave the Clark County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls becoming a Democratic National Committee superdelegate

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates reflects upon Barack Obama's first presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her retirement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the legalization of marijuana

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about superdelegate reform in the Democratic National Committee

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her support for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her family and community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her chairmanship of the Clark County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates reflects upon her legacy and how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

16$11

DATitle
Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers a student demonstration at Ed W. Clark High School
Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her divestiture from Fat Tuesdays
Transcript
You mentioned earlier, and I didn't ask you what happened, but you said the black organization had demonstrated--$$Yes, we did (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) at the school [Ed W. Clark High School, Las Vegas, Nevada]. What was the issue?$$We had a walk out (laughter) because we didn't think that African American kids were being treated fairly; and at the time, Brian Cram was the principal, and I was an officer, and we had a walk out, but he was able to calm everyone down, and, you know, kids came back, back into the school, but we, you know, we really voiced our opinion when we felt that something wasn't right.$$Okay. So did, did things change at the school as a result of the walk out in the?$$I would, I would say, yes, because--and, and Dr. Cram, at the time was really--he was more of a people person, so he was able to calm the kids down. We had meetings and discussions and so forth, and things improved a great deal. But we had students who were really active and wanted to make sure that the treatment of African Americans was fair and we received the same as other students.$$Okay. You--do you have any stories about discrimination at the school that--I mean, or a personal story about it?$$No. Actually, actually, I never really experienced, experienced that so much, but I do recall a conversation with one of my--he was the president of the, of the--of my class. I remember having a conversation. We had a conversation one day, and it really struck me as very--it, it touched a nerve. Let's put it that way. And he lived in a neighborhood that I later purchased a home as an adult in, and he said to me that the reason that they did not want blacks to live in their neighborhood was because if a black moved--a black person, a black family moved in a white neighborhood, then it would decrease the value of their property because African Americans didn't take care of their homes and their property the way in which they did. And I--you know, I never forgot that, and later as an adult, I purchased a home in that very same neighborhood, and I remember it vividly.$$Okay, okay. Now, did, did they have--did everybody go to the same prom?$$Yes. We all went to the same prom.$$Okay.$$There was no segregation in that respect; and blacks and white actually got along pretty well at the school when I was growing up.$$Okay, okay.$$Never--you know, no tension or anything of that nature. But there were times, as I said, when, you know, we felt that we weren't being treated fairly and equally, and, and we had the one walk out, sit-in.$In 1997, there's something that--there's some kind of scandal around Fat Tuesdays or something?$$(Laughter).$$What is that about?$$At the time, I was--I, I wasn't--I was a--start- well, I was working with a friend of mine to open a business, and we were talking about Fat Tuesdays. Hadn't been opened at that time, and we were just right in the process of doing it, but we weren't, we weren't open. We weren't--hadn't created the company, or we were doing our due diligence, and, you know, a few people didn't want me to have any connection to the business, and so I just stepped to the side and let my friends go ahead, and they actually got the business open. I wasn't a part of it. I abstained because they were friends of mine because they had to come to the county commission [Clark County Board of Commissioners] to get approved, and that was the extent of it.$$There's a couple questions on this. Now to what extent does being on the county commission handcuff you from being involved in--$$Well--$$--regular business?$$--you can be involved in business. You can be involved in business, and many of my commissioners were. You know, Paul Christensen owned Christensen Jewelers [M.J. Christensen Jewelers; M.J. Christensen Diamonds, Las Vegas, Nevada]. He was on the county commission, but there was different standards for African Americans than there were for whites. I--they, you know, just didn't want me to be involved, and especially when some of the locations were in casinos and so forth. I could have abstained but never had the opportunity to do that because it never came before us. I divested myself and wasn't involved, and--but I still abstained. So you can do that, and long as you abstain, there is no ethical conflict.$$Okay.$$And so I--of course I never got that far, didn't get that far.

Ulysses Ford

Ulysses Grant Ford, III was born September 28, 1943 in Charlotte, North Carolina to Roberta and Ulysses Ford, II. Ford graduated from West Charlotte High School in 1961. Moving to Talladega, Alabama to attend Talladega College, Ford pursued his interest in mathematics and received a B.A. in 1965. That year, he married Beverly Odom Ford, who now owns the consulting firm ASM & Associates. They have three sons.

From 1965 until 1968, Ford worked as a math teacher and basketball coach at Charlotte Catholic High School. In 1968, Ford became an accountant and worked for Allstate Insurance and Equitable Life Insurance. In 1972, he began his career in civil service as an administrative assistant for the public works department of the City of Charlotte. In 1978, Ford left Charlotte to become the Director of Solid Waste Management for the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ford went on to hold the title of Director of City Services for seven years in Fort Worth, Texas. Then he moved to Houston and served as Director of Public Works until 1992.

At this point in his career, Ford moved from government service to business and became responsible for marketing as the Vice President of Waste Management, Inc., a post he held for six years. In 1998, Ford founded SDC Consulting, Inc. in Macon, Georgia. SDC represents private companies, helping them increase their access to local governments across the country and thus combines the two main areas of his life's work.

Ulysses Ford, III has been a member of 100 Black Men of America since 1998 and served as president of the Municipal Waste Management Association of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Ulysses Ford passed away on March 20, 2012.

Accession Number

A2002.020

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2002

Last Name

Ford

Maker Category
Schools

West Charlotte High School

Fairview Elementary

Northwest School Of The Arts

Talladega College

First Name

Ulysses

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

FOR03

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaska, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Do The Things That You Fear And The Death Of Fear Is Certain.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/28/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Macon

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens

Death Date

3/20/2012

Short Description

Business consulting chief executive Ulysses Ford (1943 - 2012 ) was the president of SDS Consulting.

Employment

Charlotte Catholic High School

Allstate Insurance Company

Equitable Life Insurance

Charlotte Department of Public Works

City of Ann Arbor, Michigan

City of Forth Worth, Texas

City of Houston, Texas

Waste Management

SDC Consulting

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:14636,204:30030,378:30435,384:31731,418:48524,667:58806,838:80090,1142$0,0:7781,115:47218,585:57265,781:71594,1020:79312,1484:138217,2211:161685,2695:178030,2872
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ulysses Ford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford describes his maternal grandfather's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford describes his maternal grandfather's first job

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford describes the difficulties his family faced after his father left

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ulysses Ford talks about his household chores

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's personality, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's personality, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ulysses Ford describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ulysses Ford describes his segregated childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ulysses Ford describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at the Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience as a Boy Scout, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at West Charlotte High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience as a Boy Scout, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford describes his pride at receiving his Eagle Scout badge

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's and grandfather's reactions to his receiving his Eagle Scout badge

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford talks about his childhood athletics

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford describes receiving a scholarship to Talladega College

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ulysses Ford describes being a good student

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ulysses Ford talks about deciding to attend Talladega College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's interest in his athletics

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about growing up without a father

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about his mentor and teacher at West Charlotte High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford remembers his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford remembers meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes his Civil Rights activism, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his Civil Rights activism, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford describes his mother's reaction to his Civil Rights activities

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses his grandfather's reaction to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about overcoming his fears about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford describes meeting his wife at Talladega College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford describes his wife Beverly Ann Odom's personality

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford talks about looking for jobs after college

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford describes becoming a high school teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford describes his experience teaching at Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford talks about being hired as an underwriter for Allstate Insurance Company

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience as an underwriter for Allstate

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford discusses the racism he encountered at Allstate

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses becoming an insurance salesman

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford discusses his alcoholism

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford discusses starting work for the Public Works Department in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford discusses someone he inspired

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience in the Public Works Department, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experience in the Public Works Department, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford discusses recovering from his alcoholism, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford discusses recovering from his alcoholism, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford discusses leaving the Public Works Department of Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford discusses his experiences in the Public Works Department in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford talks about the difference between a strong mayor and council manager forms of government

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford discusses privatizing garbage pickup in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford discusses his growing reputation in Public Works Departments

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his grandfather's passing

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ulysses Ford discusses his move into the private sector

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ulysses Ford talks about his experience at Waste Management

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ulysses Ford talks about launching SDC Consulting

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his motivations and mentors

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ulysses Ford discusses books that have inspired him

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ulysses Ford reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ulysses Ford narrates his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Ulysses Ford remembers meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ulysses Ford talks about launching SDC Consulting
Transcript
But the momentous occasion in my life was when Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] came to campus. And again, as luck would have it, or fate, or whatever you want to call it... The three rooms that we would have for male guests on campus were in my dorm. And the one Dr. King was in was on my floor, right across the hall from... our doors faced each other across the hall. [HM] Jesse Jackson came with him, it was the first time I met Jesse. And I know if Dr. King were alive, I don't see a reason why he would remember me, as I don't see a reason why Jesse would. But I did get to meet them. And I can remember--because Dr. King came back a couple times--that we would sit in his room on his bed and talk till daylight. He was talking about all kind of things. He was very knowledgeable about what other things were going on in the world, whether it was sports or politics or whatever. And I can remember--not just me, I mean there were three or four of us. It was Tracy, my roommate at that time, and we sat there and talked with Dr. King. And sure enough, the day finally came, in the spring of '62' [1962], still my freshman year.$And then in October... Well, I formed my company in August of '98' [1998]. In October of '98' [1998], I began to work it. And those relationships that I had developed over the thirty years just did it for me. What I do is represent private companies desiring to do business with local governments. So, if you've got a good or a service that you want to market to anybody--to any city or county in the country--then I'd like to be on your team, to help you get that business. I mentioned getting to know the staffs of these professional organizations. I remember a client saying that they wanted to go to Salt Lake City [Utah], because the Olympics was coming. And they financed airport work, and they knew from Atlanta [Georgia] that Salt Lake City would be doing a lot of work at their airport, and they wanted to be the bond financier of it. And I said to myself, "I don't know anybody in Salt Lake City. I never... to my knowledge, I've never met a Mormon." (Laughter). So I said, "Um." So, I called the Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors [Tom Cochran]. I said, "Tom, who do I know in Salt Lake City?" He says, "You know Deedee." Deedee Corradini was the mayor. I said "Well, I know Deedee to speak, and she may know me to speak, but we don't know each other. You know, we're not buddy-buddy." "Oh yeah, you do." He said, "Hang around." About thirty minutes later, Tom calls back. He says, "See, I told you Deedee knows you, she's waiting on your phone call." Sure enough, I call up Deedee, take my client out, and we got the business. (Laughter). So, those kind of relationships worked, as well as me being able to pick up the phone and call a Solid Waste director, or a Public Works director. I remember when I was with Waste, and we were going after the city of St. Louis, and another company had the business. And supposedly the city, the Solid Waste director, really liked the other company, and wasn't interested in changing. The other company had had the business for 15 years or something. We put our bid on the table, and we were high bid. Not high, we were the second high bid. But we came in and did our presentation. And I'll never forget when we walked in to do our presentation, there was Steve sitting there. And he said, "Oh, hell, Waste Management has got to be serious now. They done brought that damn Euly Ford here." Well, I had forgotten Steve was a Solid Waste director in St. Louis. I'd flat-out forgotten. Steve and I had been on the Education Foundation for eight years; we had some real war stories to tell. (Laughter). You know, we got the business. And people say when we left that night, Steve was the one that converted everybody to vote for Waste Management. So, those relationships have come in very, very handy for me. And now, I'm able to help my clients that in turn help me.