Peter Erdei – Erdei Designs – 021

Peter Erdei builds high-quality custom pieces. And of those pieces, many of them are very high end, unique and stunning tables.

As is most destinations in life, Peter arrived at this one after experiencing many different things in life.

We talk about some of those experiences on the show.

Matter of fact, we talk about a lot of things. I talk with Peter about the long hours he puts in, how his business actually got started (a little urgency!!), getting traction to start his business, learning more about the craft of finishing, and more in-depth knowledge about wood.

We talk about constantly learning, learning from even apprentices.

We talk about where his best employees come from.

We talk about his approach to designing a table, matching design to a customer’s visual preference and usage.

Peter tells you and me about his second business – creating slabs from trees (carefully selecting just the right wood).

One of the things that come across to me is that Peter takes the finishing of the wood very seriously. He approaches this aspect with patience and fastidiousness. He is not willing to rush this aspect and builds up a multi-layered finish with multiple components.

Hang on a second, did he just say, “Walrus Oil”?

Peter wants his pieces, his tables, to be more than just something functional – he has a strong concern for creating a great environment for his customers with his work.

I asked Peter to talk about his future business goals. One of them? “To be one of the best shops in the world that creates custom pieces.”

Peter is building an apprenticeship program that includes everything from sweeping the floors to an entire shop process for getting a product out the door – including packing it.

Peter has a couple of young kids, he brings them to the shop, they like to make things.

What is something Peter thinks you should do? Choose your own destiny!

I was curious about what impact the Internet and social media had on growing his business – Peter doesn’t hesitate to talk about effect these have had on his company growth.

I absolutely recommend checking out his Instagram account. HOLY CRAP there are some amazing projects on there!



The book that Peter uses as his guide when it comes to finishing:

Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish – by Bob Flexner

(Amazon Link CLICK HERE if you want.)




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Peter Erdei - Erdei Designs - 021

Rich Bradbury – Double Oarlock LLC – 020

Rich Bradbury started as a rancher as a kid, worked in the Oil Fields in technical roles, worked on a ranch in Russia, and is back where he started, ranching in Oregon.

His overall strategy involves adding leased land, managing, raising cattle on his ranch and with a group to produce high-quality beef, AND he is a teacher.

To top it all off, he is Dyslexic.

In this podcast, we talk about it all. Dyslexia, ranching, soil, the impact of urban sprawl on the land, the importance of the land to society, regeneration of soil, education… and I’m sure there is more. 🙂

Rich is technically able to solve problems be it out in the Oilfield, or a field where he is running cattle.

A couple of notable projects are Field 55, and the old bunkhouse.

Field 55 is 140 acres or more and has had issues for a long, long time. Experimenting, testing, measuring results is getting this field to produce more. We talk about this a bit on the podcast.

Also on the property is an old bunkhouse, which is being modified to eventually serve as lodging for guests that would like to have a unique experience, a bit different than just any old place.

We also talk at length about Dyslexia – and the impact both positive and negative. Some interesting thoughts you will likely find interesting.

Rich is pretty approachable, and here is how to get in touch with him and/or learn more:


Looking for some of that delicious high-quality beef? Check out: Desert Mountain Grass-Fed Beef.


UPDATE 1-30-2021

Rich called me yesterday, just to catch up. In our conversation, he mentioned being on some other podasts. I asked him for a list, so I can add them here. But ADDITIONALLY, Rich has started his OWN podcast (with a small group).

Rich’s Podcast is called “Far Reaches”, it was started March 2020, and they as of Jan 22, 2020 have put out 30 episodes!

Check it out at: Far Reaches

OTHER PODCASTS Rich has been on:

The Business of Agriculture: 115 – Grass Fed Beef – with Rich Bradbury

Big Food Big Future – Note, as of 1-3-2020, Season Two with Rich hasn’t been released.

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Rich Bradbury - Double Oarlock LLC - 020

Marc LeConte – High Quality Home Maintenance – 019

Marc LeConte is the owner and operator of High Quality Home Maintenance located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Clocking in over 20 years in business, not counting the years spent building up the client list before officially launching – Marc has built relationships with his customers and a reputation that keeps him as busy as he wants to be.

Maintenance and repair, if done properly, require adept and accurate problem-solving skills. Marc started developing this skill as a young lad, along with the skills to implement. After a stint in the Navy where Marc learned more skills, all of this culminated in serving the community with, you know, high quality home maintenance.

I connected with Marc on LinkedIn. Subsequently, when I started Blue Collar Voices, I asked Marc to be on the podcast. He fits the ethos of the type of  Blue Collar pro that I’m looking to speak with.

We had a great conversation – even a good time!

We have a meandering conversation, which is what I prefer. Just a relaxed conversation where we dig in.

Let me know what you think! Contact me at:

If you’d like to contact Marc, here are his connection points:



Phone: 319-721-1859


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Marc LeConte - High Quality Home Maintenance - 019

Trent Hendricks – Cabriejo Ranch – 018

Trent Hendricks is owner/operator of Cabriejo Ranch which he runs with his wife and a whole passel of kids (you won’t believe how many!). They raise grassfed cattle and sheep in more than just a sustainable manner, but in a Holistically Managed Regenerative model.

Trent has a huge focus on “Regeneration” which seems to be at the core of everything he does. We definitely discuss the topic of “Regeneration” throughout this recording, including what exactly this means in practice.

Trent is Vice President on the Board of Directors for the AMERICAN GRASSFED ASSOCIATION. As part of the AGA he is also involved with the BUSINESS & FINANCE committee, GRASSFED STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION COMMITTEE, and the Marketing Committee.

Trent has experience as a cheesemaker, works with horses, raises AKC Anatolian Shepherds, and has the mindset to constantly learn.

Trent endeavors to apply smart scientific principles to improve the soil, increase performance, increase biodiversity, water retention and much more.

We delve into a bit about the politics of food, land, life, and more.

Of particular note is the work Trent is doing to graze land used for Solar Farming. Instead of the land being subjected to chemicals and mowing equipment, the soil is being improved and the animals are being fed. Definitely a win/win.

Trent was very informative, emphatic at times, and this was a fun meandering conversation.






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The Blue Collar Voices Show
Trent Hendricks - Cabriejo Ranch - 018

Nathan Brown – Old World Timber – 017

Nathan Brown is the Owner/CEO of Old World Timber, a reclaimed wood wholesale and distribution company, located in Lexington, KY.

We talk about sourcing old wood from both old buildings, from overseas, from rivers. Nathan tells his story of how he started Old World Timber, how it grew from a small project to a significant part of his life.

The actual process of putting reclaimed wood to use can be challenging, and Nathan gives a pretty good overview.

Old World Timber has grown to where it is becoming a significant player in the Reclaimed Lumber space, and Nathan is taking this business even further.

Of note, Nathan employs frequently individuals working on changing their lives, with backgrounds that can be challenging. Yup, we talk about this, too.


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The Blue Collar Voices Show
Nathan Brown - Old World Timber - 017

Jason Maldonado – Relentless Safety – 016

Jason Maldanado has recently published a book about safety titled, “A Practical Guide to the Safety Profession: The Relentless Pursuit”

This book is based on experiences that Jason has had in his career in the safety profession. The actual writing of this book was inspired – almost demanded – by his father.

In this podcast episode, we talk about the experience of writing this book, how Jason got started in the safety profession, the impact his mentor Nick had on him, where Jason is going and what he is launching – and more.

You can also read posts on his website which come out weekly at:

You can buy Jasons book on Amazon at:



(links directly to the podcast episode)

Hardhat Undercovered

The Accidental Safety Pro

Safety With Purpose: Women In Safety

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The Blue Collar Voices Show
Jason Maldonado - Relentless Safety - 016

Chris Crawford – Owner and Operator of Spring A/C – 015

Chris Crawford is the owner and operator of Spring A/C in Houston, Texas.

Putting to use the skills learned over many decades, Chris operates Spring A/C with an intent to not only serve his customers, but his technicians as well.

In this podcast episode, Chris talks about his experiences from starting work in the family business at a young age, the impact that had on him interacting with his peers in school, to what he learned in the military about management and leadership.

Later, Chris built a division from scratch for an existing plumbing company, and he explains how that also helped him successfully launch his own company, Spring A/C.

Chris and I talk about technology, education, society, career options.

This is a story of hard work and dedication, and also smart strategy.

I hope you enjoy!

Where to find Chris
Phone: (713) 999-6411

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The Blue Collar Voices Show
Chris Crawford - Owner and Operator of Spring A/C - 015

Blue Collar Voices Road Trip – 014

Blue Collar Voices ROAD TRIP!

Road Trip you say? Where? Well, ALL over the USA, and even Canada.

Here is the deal. I am building up destination points all over the USA and Canada to visit. It might be just a drive-by where I meet, shake hands, take a picture or two, and then mosey along. Some destinations will be in-person podcasts, video, ride alongs, who knows?

I am open to adventure!

I’ll be traveling on the highways, documenting my journey, running a daily blog, sharing both the sights and sounds ALONG the trip, not only the destination points.


Phase One is to build up destination points. Here is where I need your help. If you ARE someone, or you KNOW someone, connect with me, or help me connect with them.

What I am looking for:

Blue Collar Pros that have excelled.

I’ll share some examples just to give you an idea.

Example 1) You run your own HVAC business, but you started as a tech, worked your way up to launching your own business. One truck or 100, it is all good.
Example 2) You run your own shop, crafting, perhaps even forging iron and steel.
Example 3) You run a diesel mechanic shop, working on whatever your specialty is. Could be Semi’s, could be Heavy Equipment, whatever.
Example 4) You’ve built your ranch. You could be located in the outback of Montana, or have a city crowding you.
Example 5) You drydock boats, clean them and paint them. Could be in Alaska, could be in Florida.
Example 6) You carve handcrafted wood pieces – perhaps with fine detail, maybe it is with a chainsaw.


NO! But it does have to present something interesting, and worthwhile to listeners and watchers.

You might be a guy that has been showing up, framing houses for 30 years, but all you do is just show up and frame. I respect your work ethic, but the story doesn’t have a lot of meat to it.

Check out the page where I will be adding locations. As far north as Alaska, Canada, Nova Scotia, Washington State, Florida, Maine…. ALL OVER!

I’ll be updating this, and if YOU would like to be a destination point – SHOUT AT ME!!

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Blue Collar Voices Road Trip - 014

Six Upcoming Guests – 013

Six upcoming guests on the Blue Collar Voices show.

They are, in no particular order:

Chris Crawford – owner of Spring Branch A/C in Houston, Texas.
Marc LeConte – Owner / General Manager at High Quality Home Maintenance.
Trent Hendricks – A rancher that appreciates the earth.
Jake Galloway – Owner at Wyoming Custom Cabinets.
Ryan Roeder – Owner at Reclaimed and Restained Woodworking
Jason A. Maldonado CSP, SMS – Author / Hands-On Safety Professional.

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The Blue Collar Voices Show
Six Upcoming Guests - 013

Three Recommended Podcasts – 012

Hey Guys, today, I have three podcasts to recommend for you, that I think are informative, entertaining, and are just “well worth” the listen. And of course, check the show notes for links to these podcasts. These are also Blue Collar podcasts, and I definitely enjoy them – I’m betting that you will as well.

The first one is: “The Roofer Show” with Dave Sullivan.

Of the three I am listing today, Dave’s show is the one I subscribed to first, and quite some time ago. I don’t listen to every single episode, but the ones that are relevant to me, or just seem interesting, are always great. Dave has lots of great guests, who bring specific and worthy knowledge. His focus is to improve your business, but more specifically your roofing business. HOWEVER, so much of the information he provides is greater than roofing, greater than contracting, greater than Blue Collar. It is about not always the specifics to Roofing, but so much of the time transcends into business in general. I learn, EVERY SINGLE TIME I listen!

The Second podcast I recommend is “The Tim Faller Show“. I only recently found this podcast, but it is certainly entertaining. The focus is mostly remodeling and touches on how contractors operate. A few of the notable episodes I really enjoyed are:

Episode 61 – Tim talks to David Gerstel who has been in the construction business for over 50 years. They talk a little about the changes in the industry, a little reminiscing, the labor shortage, technology – a really fun episode.
Episode 44 – I was pretty stoked about this episode. Guest Kevin O’Connor from “This Old House” came on and they talked a lot about the show. Those characters on “This Old House”? STILL KICKING IT!!! This episode went by way too quickly. If you like “This Old House”, you will like this episode.
Episode 54 – This episode on “The Time Faller Show” talked about the labor shortage, and keeping Long-Term employees. Certainly an awesome episode.

I’ll be listening to more of the old episodes as I have time. Lately, though, I have been listening to my third Blue Collar podcast recommendation.

SO, my third podcast recommendation is absolutely fantastic. The name is, “Blue-Collar Leadership“, by Mack Story. I found this podcast simply by happenstance, as I was searching podcasts with the search time “Blue Collar”. I subscribed to this podcast and did not listen for months and months. One day back a couple of weeks, I was driving down the road, and debating what podcast to listen to next. (I listen to a LOT of podcasts). So, I selected the most recent at the time (Episode 137, 8-9-19, “Make it happen: Leaders get results, managers plan to get results”.

I was absolutely blown away by the quality, aspect and the content.

Side note: Mack Story claims to speak two languages. English and Country. He is absolutely correct on both counts. The man is COUNTRY!! 🙂

SO, I decided to start from the beginning. I absolutely guarantee that this podcast is worth your time. The perspective on leadership, but more narrowed down to Blue Collar leadership is spot on. There is all kinds of other goodness in every episode as well. Mack talks about his story and journey and has moved from just a worker bee to a speaker, trainer, educator, motivator.

Mack talks about how to influence people, how to get ahead at work, how to improve yourself – all the while showing respect, dedication and support for the Blue Collar ethos.

His tag line which is pretty cool is, “Make it happen or someone else will. It might as well be YOU!”

He has also written a bunch of books on various sub-categories, and also is sharing some really cool guests.

I’m absolutely certain you will enjoy and relish this podcast. After all, although most of his podcasts are very short, in just a few weeks I’m now on episode 122.

I could go on and on, but you will need to discover all of this yourself.

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Three Recommended Podcasts - 012