The need for good indoor air quality (IAQ) has been a topic for years, but COVID-19 significantly exposed deficiencies, challenges, and concerns surrounding IAQ. Now, with facilities teams around the world discussing how to better clean their air, this area of facilities maintenance is more important than ever.
In this first episode, Saul and David chat with Kirk Steward from Sunbelt about supply chain, buying versus renting equipment, and the types of products that are available — and how to choose through the noise.
Hi everyone and welcome to E&I’s Cooperatively Speaking! Today I’m here with my partner in crime David Manz. Hi David, how are you doing?
Saul Alvarado! It is great to be here and I love talking about facilities stuff. This is exciting.
It has been an interesting year Saul, we have gone through an amazing transition. And one thing that remains constant has been the need for good indoor air quality — IAQ. It has been a topic for many years, and COVID really exposed that. It showed people some of their deficiencies and weaknesses and really the lack of concern for it. And now, especially this summer, every facility in the world is going to be discussing how to clean their air better.
And so we brought in Kirk Steward, National Product Manager from Sunbelt Rentals, to join our conversation. How’re you doing, Kirk?
I’m doing well and thank you for having me on the show.
It’s a pleasure! I’d love for you to take a minute or two to tell us who you are, what you’re about — I think you’re dynamic in this field and absolutely an influencer in this indoor air quality topic. So, tell us a little bit more about yourself.
So, like many of the listeners on this show, I would imagine, I come from a restoration background originally. Been an owner of several restoration companies over the last 20 years, working in the areas of dehumidification and indoor air quality, pretty much everything that goes right along with the restoration industry. Since then, I have been with Sunbelt Rentals as a product manager for about four years. And have worked in the climate control division specifically, but also the overall Sunbelt efforts in the world of indoor air quality.
And as you said, if COVID has done nothing else for us it has created a tremendous awareness of IAQ and what it is. And we here at Sunbelt Rentals are listening to that and putting a focus on it as well.
Very well put. It’s hard to find a silver lining with the stuff that we’ve gone through, however sometimes we find positive benefits and this conversation is one of those.
There’s three main topics that we’re going to discuss today. One is supply chain — very important. Two is the question, “What do I do? Do I buy a bunch of product with capital expenses? Do I rent? Is there a mix?” Then lastly, what types of machines are out there and how to choose through all the noise.
And that first one, the supply chain, we’re seeing a dynamic situation around the world right now with availability of everything from computer chips to raw materials, the cost of lumber… the demand is high and there are a lot of shortages. This is where you live every day for Sunbelt as the National Product Manager. What are you seeing in the world, in the industry, and tell us some best practices, what to expect, and how we prepare for summer now and what you’ve seen people do successfully.
Sure, well taking a step back and looking at the past year, the supply chain issues started in the beginning of the pandemic probably most directly from factory closings, individuals not being able to come to work, facilities not being able to produce at the same rate that we are used to with our global supply chain that we all live in. And unfortunately that’s had trickle down effects. You can probably directly track all the way to February of last year when this broke out until the present time and see shortages of really everything. I think of the national news with all the manufacturers talking about chip shortages. I think of your reference of lumber. I think we all realize it’s a bad time to build a deck! Lumber prices have really skyrocketed. And of course we’re seeing the same thing. The industry as a whole relied on relatively few manufacturers for things like IAQ equipment, specifically air scrubbers, negative air machines, things like that. And when those manufactures get backed up we all just get in line. And that’s really what happened and what continues to happen, even until today.
We can expand on that and separate ourselves from equipment and just talk about something as simple as a HEPA filter. If you’d tell me prior to last year that I would have trouble getting HEPA filters when I needed them, I’d say you were crazy. I would have suppliers calling me saying, “Hey are you ready to order thousands?” But nowadays a lot of it is getting in line, a lot of it is doing a lot of pre-prepared work, understanding what the need is going to be.
In this country we’re dealing with the upcoming California fire season, or what I call the “west coast fire season,” where things like natural disasters really set the stage for things like this to become even worse. Especially when talking about a localized area like the west coast of the U.S. where the fires broke out last year almost nonstop. Now we have taken some actions, and I’m sure everyone else has, too, to try and preorder things, prepare some existing equipment, make sure that we have the logistical capability to respond as we always want to at a moment’s notice. But yeah, it’s been much more of a challenge this year than in years past.
So I’ll ask you a question. You all have to prepare to have product available to rent — that’s your entire business model. You don’t have it, you can’t rent it, you can’t make money. What have you done in preparation and anticipation for these shortages, and what best practices might a facilities director or a school district copy from what you are doing and seeing for their school opening?
There’s going to be a record number of students in seats during this summer across the country — kids getting caught back up from being out of school or homeschooled, and so that’s going to also create an additional challenge of doing this work in and around students and people in the buildings. But what have you done in preparation to get product?
Absolutely, I actually heard just this morning that, I believe the largest school district in the country now said they’re going to be back with 100% in-person classes, So I imagine almost everybody else will follow suit.
It’s a challenge, it really is. Now we have, or maybe I have, kind of a long tenure in this world. I think it all starts with changing the way you think. One good thing of coming out of the restoration industry is you learn to operate 24/7. You learn to think that way. Rarely do people call and say, “Hey, I might have an emergency a month from now, can we get ready?” That’s just not the way it works, you know, everybody calls at 6:30 Friday afternoon and says, “Okay, let’s go, I’m ready, I need ya!” And that’s okay. We understand that. It just goes hand-in-hand with the world of indoor air quality just as it would with restoration. Taking actions like making sure your suppliers are receiving their orders, right. And this goes well beyond a month. This is months and months in preparation.
We started preparing for the wildfire season more than 6 months ago. Simply because we recognized that it was going to be an issue and there was a long runway to try and make sure we had all our ducks in a row. And we had to pre-reposition just a tremendous amount of equipment in those traditional areas that simply burn very often. The areas where wildfires have existed in the past and also the current drought conditions that extend well into Oregon and Washington state. And areas that just normally wouldn’t be on our radar screen, now they are. Along with some of our larger customer groups, they are also being proactive, they’re reaching out to us and saying, “Look, what’s your plan? What is going to be available when the call comes in or when I need you? How much gear is positioned? Are we ready for multiple filter changes?” With fire season specifically, it kind of ends up being a whack-a-mole. You got a fire here, they’ll deal with it for a week or 10 days or so, then another fire will pop up somewhere else, then another one, and believe it or not based on last year we actually had some fires rekindle. Or there were some areas where we had customers call and three weeks later, they called back! And said, “Hey we need even more gear, or we need you to return the gear you already picked up because we’ve got a new fire that is burning in our vicinity, the wind patterns have changed, and now we’re inundated with smoke in a major metropolitan area.”
So, quick question on some of what you shared — and thank you for that insight. Amazing for you to take us behind the scenes on what you deal with and how you and Sunbelt handle that.
You had the benefit when it comes to fire season of prepping for this for a couple years. And so in anticipation for that, it looks like y’all have a good plan, you were just preparing 6 months ago for this, you know what to prepare for. As it relates to indoor air quality and COVID specifically, and I know it’s kind of early, it’s one year, but what do you guys see moving forward? Have you guys looked around the corner and said, “Hey, look, moving forward, this whole area of indoor air quality is going to change and we need to get ready for X, Y, Z,” and do you have some of that already that you are looking at? What does that look like in your world?
Yeah, absolutely. So, one of the catalysts to really bring Sunbelt into the world of indoor air quality for health reasons — and I always like to distinguish the difference between, you know, traditional IAQ, the mitigation part, the wildfire smoke, the mold remediation, asbestos remediation, and I could go through a longer list of more traditional air quality ideas. But now that we have a health concern, believe it or not it was actually the measles outbreak that happened in NYC a few years ago that gave us a trigger, gave me personally a trigger to say, “Wow that is a real thing! That is a real incident!” I was not familiar with how measles transmits, but learned al lot about it and recognized that, okay, this is an indoor air quality issue and, by the way, it kind of goes along with a bunch of the other stuff that we’re already doing. So, again we got ready, we investigated some new lines of equipment that simply weren’t widely distributed in the marketplace, and that has moved us all the way through the COVID year where we clearly understand that, although more and more people are getting vaccinated, what else are we breathing every single day? How is my office space conducive to the air that I’m breathing — how I’m living my life?
That’s exactly it.
There are numerous studies out there right now, being that this is the season, showing that the carcinogens that are in wildfire smoke are dangerous. Not only dangerous in the short term, but these are long term things. These are things that can create health effects years and years from now. So, it just brings me to the point of saying, “Why don’t we get ahead of that? Why don’t we focus on indoor air quality?” And, unlike most of the things that are out there in the world of Sunbelt, this thing is not seasonal. We have seasonal events, but the reality is that the room that I’m sitting in right now, the room that you’re sitting in right now, I’d feel a whole lot more comfortable if there’s an air scrubber in here! And that’s true for every restaurant I visit, it’s true for every conference that I attend. It’s simply become something that I look for not just because I’m in the business, but also I want to understand the response of others.
And I’ll offer an example if you’ll bear with me for a moment. I had a dental appointment not too long ago. And my dentist is very forward-thinking and went ahead and got some air scrubbers and had them in place in all of their areas and cleaning rooms. And I asked the question, “What caused you to do that? Why’d you do that? It’s an extra expense, you run a small business.” And maybe you can think about it that way. And the response was great. She’s a wonderful woman. And she said, “Kirk, I care about my customers. I care about my patients. I care about the people who are in this chair because these are my neighbors, these are my friends. These are people I know, I see every single day. You come back every six months.” She knows me, my name, my kids’ names. And it really struck me to say, wow, if she’s thinking that way, I wonder how I can convince others that this has value. And its one of the reasons I’m attending this show today.
That’s amazing Kirk. And David, think about that. I mean one of my biggest things from that, Kirk, is that this is not seasonal. It’s an every day thing. And that’s the biggest “ah ha!” for me. You’re right, this is not seasonal. You need to prepare for floods and the fires that you’re talking about. The winters and the summers and whatnot. But this is not going away, it’s an every day thing. And every segment of industry, doesn’t matter where or what type of business, it effects them all. That was a big one for me, David.
I agree, it’s a relevant topic now, obviously because of COVID. However it really is bigger than that and I think people are catching onto that. We have to breathe! And what we put in our lungs really has an impact on our performance, our health, all of it.
And so there’s something you mentioned in other conversations we’ve had, Kirk, that I wrote down and I am going to steal it but give you credit for it. And you basically said, “If it’s important, you measure it.” Like with our students, right, if their education is important, we measure to see where they are. Your gas tank — it’s really important to know about how much gas you have in your tank, so you measure it. In the same way people oughta do more than just a temperature measurement in their facilities and their buildings to see what the quality of the air is. How do you know if the quality is better or worse with the products that you put in? How do you measure that? Is the cost beneficial to get that increment? What’s the goal to get to within that indoor air quality?
There are some things you said — the carcinogens, mold, all the things that are in almost every building and every home. There are different types of machines out there. Can you walk us through some of the basics you talked about — scrubbers, things you can put on rooftops — and give us the general idea of what people can use now to make incremental changes?
It absolutely is very important to measure. I’ll liken it to something as simple as the HVAC system in your home, in your office, or wherever you happen to be. Every single one of them is the same. There is a monitor on there and it is going to tell you what the temperature is, and then i’ts going to show you what the temperature is set at, right? And that is simply the way for you to know, hey my system is working and it’s keeping me at a nice comfortable 72 degrees and everything is working great! Well the industry, luckily, is moving in that direction, and Sunbelt is ahead of that. Being able to measure indoor air quality, the performance of not only your existing HVAC system but the performance of the portable systems that you might put in, the negative air setups that you might be designing for you solutions, all of that has value.
Now IAQ usually has to take a couple of different measurements to really get a big picture. There’s no silver bullet, like there’s no one thing that really tells me, yep everything is working exactly as I want it to work. So you start off with something as simple as a particulate counter. Particulate counters have been around forever. They’re nice little easy devices, you pay a small amount or a whole lot depending on which brand and all the bells and whistles you want to get on there, but they all relatively do the same thing, right, measure the particulates in the air of a given size. We like the idea of having that technology built into machines, into the air quality gear in your space. Now that can be done on something like an air scrubber. You would call me and say, “Kirk, I need an air scrubber and I want to make sure you give me one with a particulate counter built into it.” It can be done through a more wholistic way with monitors in your building or as part of your HVAC system. There’s several manufactures out there that are incorporating that technology into existing systems, and standalone systems. and there are other ways you can measure and get a perspective of how good your air quality is.
So, there’s no silver bullet, but there are things like measuring the CO2. It’s been shown in several different studies, especially some recently, that air quality kind of follows the CO2 levels within any given space. And that kind of makes sense when you think about it. Now it’s not a surefire way to measure things, you can’t simply take a number and say, “Yup, we’re spot on because we’re at that certain level.” But it’s a good gauge along with things like particulate counters, humidistats, understanding the temperature and relative humidity in a space — these are all part of a wholistic indoor air quality system. Having something that can give you several pieces of information to allow you to determine if the existing system is working correctly and if its not, what action do I need to take? Do I need to bring in more makeup air to reduce that CO2 level? Do I need to incorporate more machines with HEPA filters to reduce the particle count? You know there’s several different actions you can take, but it all starts with having a baseline of information. That’s step one.
It seems so common sense and yet we have to be told to do it, right? You know it’s funny, it’s kind of like your health as well. It’s important to exercise, but sometimes we just need reminders of the very important things.
One of the big hurdles in this space, well there’s a few of them, but one is the amount of product that’s out there. There’s all different kinds and now many people are getting into this space because it’s important and there’s money to be made here with all the CARES Act flowing into this space. We’ve seen that they can use those funds – not a lawyer – but we’ve seen many schools that have used these funds to pay for upgrading their systems. So, there’s a cost to purchase. There’s a cost to rent. And there’s probably a sweet spot between the two.
Your world is rental, obviously. But tell us the pros and cons of both and what people should consider when upgrading their systems.
Upgrading existing HVAC systems with IAQ capabilities can be notoriously difficult. Over the last year, I’ve had lots of conversations with mechanical contractors about the different methods that they try to incorporate, things like UVC light built into duct systems, upgrading MERV filters, directing UVC lights onto coils, and all sorts of other technologies that you can incorporate into existing buildings. They all come with positives and negatives.
I can say something as simple as adding upgraded MERV filters into existing systems – that works OK until you realize that once you get above MERV 13 or so, sometimes even lower, you really run into a problem of back pressure on your machines. That motor is working way harder than it needs to simply because there is more resistance because you upgraded your filter. And that’s just with MERV 13, much less something like a HEPA or HEPA equivalent, something a little bit higher down the road. I’ve heard things like, “Well, we’ll just add a bunch of makeup air into the building.” Well anyone who’s lived in Miami in the summertime realizes that you can’t add 40% makeup air into the building – you run into all sorts of other problems with humidity and trying to maintain temperature control.
So, that’s why the portable offerings, specifically in rental but also in the area of purchase, kind of make a lot of sense. And we’ve had a lot of customers take advantage of the HEPA or physical barriers using portable air scrubbers in their buildings to design an IAQ system. It’s not the only thing they’re doing but it’s simply part of an overall solution. And I like to talk to the customers I deal with. When people ask me, “Is this the best thing since sliced bread? Is getting this machine going to make sure I am safe and I’m never going to get sick and my kids are never going to get sick?” And I say, “Look, it’s just like washing your hands. When you wash your hands, does it mean you don’t have to wipe the countertop? Well, no you do both. Or does that mean I don’t need to wear a mask if I know I have COVID or someone else has COVID? Well, no, of course I’m going to have a mask on.” It’s just layers. It’s building a sandwich and adding in a bunch of things that are going to keep you safe. Upgrading existing systems can be part of that. Portable equipment can be part of that. It really comes down to what is the best system for your application. For you to customize.
Kirk, what you say is absolutely true . There is a direct correlation between what you do and what you get out of it. And I get questions every day from members that ask, “What is that silver bullet? What is that thing to do, what is everyone doing?” And it really is custom. It’s based on facility size. What the use of it is. How long they’re there each day. Is it 24 hours or just 2 hours a day? And all that plays into the rental vs. purchase model as well because if you only have students in buildings for a short period of time and not 24/7/365, does it make sense to rent and return it or does it make sense to purchase something? And really that is a determination you have to figure out. But I think it’s a blend of both.
We see often people wanting to do the right things and say, “Let’s throw HEPA MERV 13 filters on everything.” And they choke their systems out and they don’t get the cycles of air that they previously had. And they had unintended consequences. Or they got a bunch of portable systems and now there’s ozone issues. And issues now with the quality of air in those facilities. So, measuring it like you said earlier, bringing in systems, and doing a test of what you have will tell you what you need to do. It’s obvious with the gas meter on your vehicle. When it gets to E you have to put more in. When you measure your air quality and you find out there’s mold or you need more cycle counts with your air, you know what actions to take and what choices you have available to you.
There was one product you mentioned in a previous conversation, and not that I’m pushing a product because I’m not since we just said it depends on your system, but tell me more about the UV400 because I think you said it has a good mix, or at least what to look for in these units when you’re trying to put one of these in your space.
Absolutely, and if you bear with me for just a moment, I would like to address one of the points you had in your earlier question: the idea of the rental vs. purchase. I like what you said that there are available options for both and you really have to look at your scenario to figure out what’s best. One of the things that we’ve run into is simply that this is new technology. Now it’s not new technology in the sense that HEPA filters have been around forever. Traditional scrubbers have been around forever. But the advances in the technology are new. That lends itself to rental obviously because with such a large company and such a large fleet size, we’re able to turn over our equipment much more often than a typical individual who is making a purchase. We’re always able to get the latest and greatest. And of course you can run down the laundry list of things that make the rental world really make sense. Simple things like, I’ll liken it to a school superintendent I had spoken to who was thinking of purchasing 1,000 portable air scrubbers, and I just said, “Well if that’s what you want to do that’s great, I’m happy to help you with any technical knowledge. But let me ask you a question, where are you going to put them after you’re done?” And you know he just didn’t have an answer for that! And I’ve heard the same thing from hospital facility directors, infection control people, we all know that hospital space is at a premium, and there’s just no space to keep large volumes of portable gear in most applications. So I always like to mention that when talking about the world of rental.
To answer your current question about the UV400 – Sunbelt has, I like to say, a great advantage in the marketplace because we own a manufacturing company and we are able to very much in real-time design, build, vet, and test new units, in this case in the world of indoor air quality.
So, right at the beginning of the event last year, one of the things that got dumped on my plate was the idea that, hey, can we produce our own scrubber and can we do it better than what’s out there in the marketplace? And that’s where we came up with the idea of the UV400. It incorporates a lot of the technology that’s already out there. It has the HEPA filtration to offer that physical barrier, we have UVC lights built into it, we stayed away from some of the ionization technologies for some of the reasons you indicated with the possibility of ozone being produced. We really want to stick with those tried and true methods that we know work and are recommended by the experts in the fields such as ASHRE and people like that. That machine incorporates not only those traditional methods of filtration, but also incorporates some of the things we talked about. It has the CO2 meter built into it. It has the particulate meter built into it. The humidistat built into it. And it all comes in one nice easy-to-use machine that we can produce and get out there to the marketplace to our customers. And say, “Hey, we designed this thing because we’re responding to your questions. We’re responding to the ask from you.”
Believe it or not we run across a lot of government contracts, for some reason, that are very specific about their asks. They want to know, “Hey, is there an indicator on the machine that tells me when the HEPA is full?” They want to know if there are auto starts and auto shut offs on these machines. These are things that I hear every single day, and maybe a year or two ago I had to say, “Well, you know, our gear doesn’t have that.” Now I can say, “Sure, I have a machine that does that simply because I listened to you last year and we built our own.”
That completely makes sense. And there are a few main things I’ve taken so far from our time today. One: if it’s important, you have to measure it and find ways to measure it. Two: you gotta start preparing sooner rather than later. We had an issue early on with many school systems when COVID started that couldn’t get masks and gloves. There was a shortage, right, the federal government took a lot, private industry took a lot. Other countries took a lot of product. In the same way with filters and with substrate and materials that go into even the KN95 masks, there are shortages around the globe with those and long lead times. So, prepare now in advance. Start doing your research now in advance.
Another unintended consequence that we’re going to see in the summer is that the people that are doing the work – the contractors – are going to be in short supply. Many of them are having a hard time finding labor and everyone is going to be doing projects. So, there is going to be a shortage of people. Another key is to make sure that you’re finding those contractors now so you’re not trying to find one and it’s too late and you get whatever is left over – because no one wants to get left with what’s left over.
You know David, I wanted to add from just hearing Kirk describe their philosophy and how they go about pivoting getting product ready. You explained the difference between renting and purchasing, and the philosophy behind that. And, Kirk, you shared about your manufacturing facility and why that’s a differentiator and what goes into that and what comes out of that. And some of the experts you listen to – you talk about ASHRE, you talk about the CDC and how that guides some of what you guys put together.
But for our listeners, I think we are quick to jump on and build relationships with suppliers to say, “Hey, they have it, let’s just go buy it.” And I get that because you need it. However, I would challenge and hopefully get our listeners to ask themselves, “Hey, what’s the philosophy behind that supplier? How do they go about creating and bringing this product to the market for us and what goes into that?” And once you start understanding that, you start to realize that there are suppliers out there that really do have a robust process, philosophy, and resources that go into what comes out for you and your facilities and your crews. I think that’s important homework for all of us as a takeaway. Because as I sit here listening to Kirk, even I start thinking about it — have I ever thought about the whole philosophy of a supplier and what goes into their products and services and their supply chain? And I think that’s important for all of us to ask ourselves. What does that look like as I’m planning ahead for the future?
That’s a good point. The idea that somebody’s been doing this for a relatively long time lends itself to at least tell me they’re in it for the long haul. I would love to see a statistic of how many manufacturers of air quality gear there were February of last year and how many there are February of this year. I imagine that there has been an exponential growth in those individuals. And don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot of good people out there, there’s a lot of people doing good science, good testing, putting the time and effort into building a quality piece of equipment. Unfortunately, there are others that will slap a few metal plates and run an electrical charge across it and say, “Yup, I got a filter! This thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread!” And I would simply advise any consumer out there, just like anything else, do your research, look at the testing, understand what you’re purchasing, renting, thinking about as a solution, and make a decision. There’s a lot of information – the CDC and ASHRE provide a lot of good information, and of course podcasts like this!
There’s three things that people ask for: there’s time, there’s money, and there’s quality. And you cant pick all three usually. You can’t have cheap, fast, and excellent, usually, so you get what you pay for. So do your due diligence for what you need in your facility. One room might be different from another room or one building from another building. Even relative humidity can change within certain parts of the city. I live in Houston, it’s always humid, it’s just one area may be less humid than the other. So, in your facilities, really bring in experts. Bring in the Kirks of the world to tell you what other facilities have done and to help you measure this.
Kirk, I’d like to give you, in closing, an opportunity. From where you sit, what are some things that you wish people knew, what are some things that you find you often have to reexplain or educate? We’re talking to educated people here, we’re talking to facilities directors, the people that know what IAQ is and are working hard to continue to stay on the front lines of delivering great air quality to their people. What keeps you up at night? What do you wish you could tell people if you had a bullhorn?
Well the good news is things are getting better. The technology is moving along. I think there is a wider education, a wider understanding of indoor air quality and that’s just going to increase.
I’ll touch back on some of the points that I made here today. Preplan if you can. Think about what may happen, not just what is happening. The world of indoor air quality moves relatively quickly. Having some forethought will pay of in a big way – the ounce of prevention vs. the pound of cure. That definitely applies to indoor air quality. Then the second thing I would just simply say is: do your research. Understand what you need. If you don’t understand, then ask an expert. Or ask somebody who is in the business. Ask multiple people! None of us would simply accept a plague diagnosis or something detrimental without talking to another doctor. Doesn’t mean the first doctor didn’t know what he’s talking about, but it’s just a good idea to get a second opinion, get a broad array of information, and then again think about it as a customized solution for your facility. For your space. And understand that what worked next door may or may not work for you. But usually a very simple conversation, understanding the basics of indoor air quality, understanding the research and the facts at hand, will take you a long way.
Yes, that is so true. As you bring in experts, those experts are there for a reason and sometimes it’s just to deliver information, and sometimes it’s to sell a product. So absolutely, get different bits of information from different people.
Thanks again Kirk for the amazing points and insight that you brought to our listeners today. And for all the teams that are helping maintain, operate, and manage facilities across universities, across the U.S., we thank you as well and hope this podcast was beneficial to you.
We’re grateful for you all spending some time with us. We learned a ton from you, Kirk, thanks a ton to you and to Sunbelt for allowing you to spend some time with us. Saul, as always, its been a pleasure. And to our listeners, thank you for listening to Cooperatively Speaking, a podcast from E&I. We’ll see you at the next episode!
Cooperatively Speaking is hosted by E&I Cooperative Services, the only member-owned, non-profit procurement cooperative exclusively focused on serving the needs of education. Listen to every episode at www.eandi.org/podcast, on Buzzsprout, or through your preferred streaming service.