In this special hero episode we are flipping it around on Chris. In true EECO Asks Why fashion we are staying true to our love of families and Chris has his daughters lead the interview. They have a blast talking about his past and learned some new things about their dad along the way. Listeners know that Chris is a proud girl dad and it was fun to see him light up when sharing stories with Chloe and Ava.
From the Rock, to the Robertson's, to fun memories as a child riding four-wheelers this conversation gives a true behind the scene look at the life story of our host. We had a blast creating this episode and we hope you find some inspiration and that it brings a smile to your face (especially when Chloe and Ava land some surprise questions).
Thank you all for making EECO Asks Why part of your journey and remember to keep asking why!
Guest: Chris Grainger
Hosts: Chloe and Ava Grainger
Executive Producer: Adam Sheets
Podcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Industry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!
The Order of Man
Smart Passive Income
Investing for Beginners
Chloe: Welcome to EECO Asks Why.
Ava: Today we are interviewing our dad, Chris Grainger.
Oh, here we go. This ought to be interesting. So this is the episode that we've been building up to from our holidays with our heroes guys. So I've been telling everybody on each holiday with our hero episode that own, this day, a special interview is going to come out and now they're seeing what it is.
So I'm not sure what I got myself into, but we'll see. So a hero episode being interviewed by my two daughters, Chloe and Ava. I blame Miss Andi. I think this is her fault, but we’re going to go with this. So let's see what you got. So you guys you're the host, so you can fire away. And hopefully I won't turn to, red here.
So we're sitting in our house, in our living room for those on YouTube. So checking this out. What'd you guys got? What do you want to talk about today?
So I'm Chloe and, Ava's going to start the questions. She's going to kick us off today.
So welcome. Can you please tell me about your journey to the role you are in now?
The role that I'm in now, well, it's been interesting. So there I was..... you know, I like to start stories like that. So it's been interesting. So, and you know, I went to high school with Bluestone, you guys know that. Where'd I go to school at?
You went to ODU.
ODU, which is where do you even know where ODU is?
Virginia, No idea. Where you were born.
So I was not born at ODU is actually in Norfolk, which is right at a big Navy base. That's where I went to school at. So ODU was there. So we went to engineering school ODU, and actually then I did an internship at EECO, which, you know, EECO, right? So that's where I've been since college actually got to work at EECO for Mr. Jeff, because you guys remember Mr. Jeff, right? So Mr. Jeff got me into EECO. And then from there had a bunch of different roles ran South Hill where you were born and then went to Richmond, went to Raleigh, I was over in Georgia. So just a bunch of different, fun stuff doing the motor stuff. You guys remember when I used to do the motor stuff? That was pretty fun. I think he both had been to the Raleigh shop and then now a year, about two years ago, when we got out, the shops came over to where I'm at now, and then we start this wonderful podcast where I get to work for Mr. Adam and Miss Andi and we interview all these awesome people and y'all, and you guys love listening to the hero episodes when you get the chance to listen to them. So I know you like the women in engineering series, you guys remember a lot of those, right?
I remember Mavens of Manufacturing.
The Mavens of Manufacturing. Yep. I was on that one that she's going to be on our show, so, yeah. So that's kind of where we're at. So it just, the journey has been interesting for sure.
All right. So what else you got?
What do you see as some of the greatest challenges and industry has in the future?
The greatest challenges that industry has? It's an important question, right? I think one of the biggest challenges is getting people to actually come to it and want to work in it. Right? There's a lot of people you guys ever, you know what the word retirement means?
You have a job that then you retire because you're old or you don't want to work anymore?
Right. One of the two. Well, no, because you could just retire. You could just, you could be financially secure enough where you could just retire and go do your own thing.
That's happening in a lot of these manufacturing plants that we support. And the biggest concern I see is who's going to take those next jobs. Right. And we need more to be making more stuff in America. You know, we buy a lot of stuff from different countries, which is cool. But when we make, when you buy stuff locally, right? Like if we go to a farmer's market or something like that, you're buying. So that's the biggest thing. We've got to get people like, you know, your age to understand. Because you’re middle school, you're elementary school, as you get older, knowing that there's other things out there versus just a traditional college. You can do a vo-tech, you can learn a skill. I know you want to be like a cook one day, right? So you or a doctor? Well, that's a different, that's a different path there. So there's all sorts of things you can do. But I think we just need to be trying to make sure people know what opportunities exist.
So that's a big challenge that I see for industry and trying to, you know, there's a lady, Ashleigh Walters and she takes her sons to manufacturing plants. She took them to a place that makes a baseball bats and so she's doing stuff like that to kind of show her sons what they can do what opportunities exist. So it's, you know, it's just being intentional about doing stuff like that. So that'd be my answer.
That's a pretty big answer.
Alright. What's your next question?
I actually had the next one. What advice would you give those wanting to pursue a career in industry?
So advice? I don't know. I have a lot of advice. I have a lot of dad-isms, but I'll, I guess I'll leave those for another podcast.
Don't all. Just a few.
Okay. All right. Just a few,
And not dad-isms.
Not dad-isms. Okay. So I guess is an advice I'd have for young people is don't put yourself in a box, right? Explore things because there's a big world out there. You know, we just live in a small part of North Carolina. Okay. There's a big world out there that, you know, that may interest you. So there's all sorts of ways to just really start exploring things, asking questions. I'm really big on networking. Do you know what that. What do you think networking is? So what does it mean?
You're working with nets.
No, not working with nets. That's a good question though. I can see how you went there. Networking means getting to know people. Okay. So, you know, we go to church or you go to school, you meet all these different people. Right? All these people know people and all those people know people.
So what's your trying to do like a community. Exactly. What you're trying to do if I'm your age and I'm trying to start working or start thinking about what I want to do in my life, I want to start called networking with the, exactly, like he said, a community of people, because you never know what you'll learn from other people.
I mean, when we started podcasting. I started networking with different podcasters because I wanted to learn from them or how they do stuff. Right. When I started doing financial stuff, I'm starting networking there as well because we really want to understand, you know, what other people can offer. So I think that's a big thing it's just networking.
Right. So we talked about the importance of networking, right. And what's important there and trying new things. Don't paint yourself in a box because here's the thing. At your age you have a whole lot of experiences that could be in front of you and that you can learn from there. Right? So what do you, what's something you enjoy doing right now?
Playing with little kids.
Playing with little kids. Well, that could lead you down a path of teaching, right? Maybe one day. How about you, Ava? What do you enjoy?
Basketball and volleyball right now.
So you could potentially work down the basketball path or volleyball paths. And maybe if it doesn't work as a player, you could work as a coach and maybe a teacher or something like that. Maybe even work for a manufacturer who makes basketballs right. There's all sorts of things you could do there. So, I think it starts. And somebody wants to say, you know, if you follow what you're passionate about, you're not really working because you love it. So you just need to find what's important to you, both of you and then start pursuing that.
But don't feel like that's just the only path yet to be on because that may take you over here. Right? You asked me 20 years ago. If we had a podcast, I'd be like what did we talk about? Right. I mean, here we are with. So Ava, what's your next question?
What would be a highlight?
A highlight? Well, I've had some pretty cool things happens. We actually did some big motors back in the motor shop days. And some of those were so big. You could stand inside of them and put your arms out like this, and you couldn't touch the top. It was pretty cool. And they would actually take the way they would take it. And I get clean these things you ever seen, like a pressure gun to like pressure wash stuff, like, you know, when you do the deck or something like that, they would take this and guess what was coming out of it? Water, no sand. And it was sand blasted, come out of it. And that would actually, that's how you got a lot of this stuff out though. The what's called the coils out of it. So we did some pretty cool projects like that. They were pretty fun.
So, random daughter question, but....
love it. Love it.
What's your favorite color? And what made that your favorite color?
My favorite color. I like green, you know, it's just always been a favorite. Like my eyes are green, you know, so I don't know. Maybe it's just, because I looked in the mirror, and green was kind of cool looking so plus money's green. So there's that too. So I'd say what's your favorite color?
Blue or black.
Blue or black. How about you? What's your favorite color?
It's pretty sunset orange and yellow with a mix of pink.
That's a very, I got you. Just a sunset color. Okay.
I have a question. I just so happened to have a humongous trophy on me. No reason. Perhaps you had a hobby and a sport you'd like to play.
Well, I played a lot of baseball growing up.
Oh, no, I couldn't tell.
I played baseball from when I was probably four years old till I was in my early twenties. Yeah.
This says that this is the,
You don't have to say the year.
Bluestone Senior High School Baseball Best Defense.
That was the best defensive trophy I got in high school, so yep. Play a lot of baseball. Didn't really have football or anything like that, or soccer where we grew up in Clarksville at Papa and Gigi's, but yeah, I played a lot of baseball, so that was a lot of fun. Got a lot of trophies. Now you guys got the trophies in your rooms,
Yeah, they're pretty cool. Okay. Ava has hers in her room in size order.
What is a hobby that you have? Why did you choose that hobby?
Hobby? I have lots of hobbies, right?
I've got an idea.
What do you think my hobbies are?
I would think it's like a mix of basketball and baseball because you know, you played baseball for a while. And you were very good at it. We can tell you that like 13 million trophies and I'm sure it's basketball too, because you're really good. You are my basketball coach two years and you're just really good at basketball and baseball. So I think that's your hobbies.
You might be wondering why I just screamed money. I screamed it because you have like a website kind of thing. It's called SMG. Right? Right.
Well, I try to help people make good decisions with their money and try to, you know, help them achieve their goals. So like, you guys have goals of what, having a car one day, maybe having a phone one day, going to college or learning a trade, all that stuff costs what?
It's what you're going to have, so I'll try to help people because you have to plan that stuff. Right. Because there's what do we not like when it comes to money? Debt. Yeah, there you go. Girls. So you're learning that very early. So we don't like debt. I try to help people figure out ways to get out of debt, make better decisions and things like that.
Debt can get you into very bad and like trouble with you money. That's how you can lose it. Yeah.
You've learned well. You don't want loans, right. Loans are bad, there's all sorts of badness that can happen with money. So that's one, you guys know, I like exercising, running, things like that. That's fun. A lot of fun to take y'all running. I like camping. When we get to go camping, kayaking, we do a lot of that together.
So stuff like that, plus just hanging out with y'all. Some of my favorite hobbies is just kind of being at home with the family and with Bekah and Lily and everybody's here. It's just to me, that's the fun stuff. And then we do a lot with the church, right. Serving in all different areas there, but that's the big thing. And then trying to raise some awesome girls that want to do some great things in the world
I've got a off-script question. So a little birdie told me that you passed out in front of your teacher once.
Why would you be bringing that up?
And then another little birdie, told me that somehow you got a milkshake and a new pair of cleats on a baseball field. How did that happen?
Yeah, well, I passed out in front of my teacher when I was in third grade because my brother had chicken pox. I didn't. And so I went to school. Apparently I had chickenpox too, but I didn't realize it. And somehow it affected me where I just got really lightheaded and I just went up to the teacher's desk and I said, I'm not feeling so..... and that's all I got out.
So I hit the deck woke up and Gigi was there taking care of me, but this, the sneakers, this cleats and the milkshake. So I was playing baseball and with Papa and we were practicing for a games. Back then you, we just didn't always wear a helmet. So always wear your helmet. Remember that? So I wasn't wearing a helmet, and we were playing a really good pitcher that night. So papa was throwing them kind of hard to try to get my timing down. And apparently one of them got loose when he let it go. And next thing I know, I look up and I'm in the dugout because it had knocked me out at home plate.
So I got home and I took a nap and when I woke up Papa, I felt so bad. There was a brand new set of cleats sitting at the foot of my bed and a brand new milkshake from the local Dairy Queen. So the whole joke was always, if you need cleats or a milkshake, just get knocked out by baseball and you get it. So there you go.
I'm going to have to get papa on speed dial.
That's right. You just gotta be careful that goose egg. He's pretty funny and sweet. That's right. So what's your next question? This is very interesting.
So I think I'm going to ask this question. So who has been a great mentor for you and your career and why?
So the first one, I just mentioned Papa. So, which is my day, right? So he's been a good mentor. Bouncing stuff off him, he's always been there. He's kind of been the dad, the role model dad that I wanted to be for you guys and Lily because he's just always, you know, that steadfast, that strong leader of the house. I always saw that growing up. So that's why I try to be here with you guys papa would be probably number one. Number two would be Mr. Jeff, you know, you guys hear me talk about him a lot because just because when you, when things are going good or when things are going really bad, he's always been there.
So I've always felt like he's somebody who I can take advice, you know, go to and he would give me like real advice, not sugarcoating. Oh, it's going to be okay. Like truth. Right. So I think those two mentors jump out and that's the biggest thing I would say for you, ladies is when you start looking for mentors, hopefully I check that box, but as you start looking for other mentors, make sure that they actually are trying to give you solid advice for your life. Right? So any mentors you got right now.
Right now I get to have you and Bekah, and of course I have my grandparents Gigi, Papa, and grandma and grandpa.
My math teacher.
Your math teacher? Okay. What's her name?
She's been a mentor. She's trying to help you. Somebody you feel like you can trust and helping you with stuff. What's the next question?
If you would go hunting who would you go with and what would you hunt for?
I would say you guys, if you wanted, Chloe definitely wants to go. You have those camouflage overalls so we're good to go. And what would I hunt for? Is that what you asked? Probably a Turkey or deer something, we would eat something like that. That'd be fun. Yeah. What's your question, Chloe?
What is your favorite adult beverage? I want to say that the whole time.
Adult beverage, huh? I like an old fashioned from time to time. So they're pretty good. Next question.
If you would have ice cream, what is your favorite ice cream place? It can be anywhere and doesn't need to be in North America because well it's probably going to be in north America, but it can be some way of like.... favorite ice cream place and favorite ice cream at that place or whatever your favorite ice cream is.
Okay. Favorite ice cream place is easy.
Nope. Squigglies come on. Squigglies in Carolina beach, and then you have to just, I like to just get squiggled. That's the stuff they make and then whatever for it can go in, it can be fruit, chocolate probably some fruit and chocolate.
Got to have it. It's got to have M&Ms. That's right. So that would be probably the best place and the best ice cream. How about favorite candy since you brought it up?
M&M's with peanuts. Got to have peanuts.
What about yours?
Probably the same thing.
What about you Ava? Favorite candy?
I would say anything along the lines of butterscotch and milk chocolate.
Okay. That's pretty random. Next?
What made you want to do this podcast?
Ooh, good question. I didn't think you were going to go throw that one out.
You know, it was a kind of a weird part of my life because we had just shut the shops. Now, if you guys remember, when we got out of the shop business, daddy was a little sad, right? That was kind of like my family, all of a sudden they were gone and I had to figure out what to do next. And that was kind of a sad time. I started listening to podcasts and I just had this idea just God gave me this idea to say, Hey, try this. So I put the stuff together and pitched it to Mr. Adam. Actually, he was one of the first people I talked to him about it. He had just come to work for EECO. He hadn't been working here long and got in front of my boss and Mr. Jeff. And I remember like yesterday, we were like, do you think he could do this? And I said, well, I don't know, but I'd like to try. You know, and I had a pretty good plan and being an engineering background, I had a process, right. We kind of mapped out a process and Mr. Adam helped me and then we just took off and we did it right before COVID happened.
So we bought all the equipment, did two or three recordings, and then COVID hit, but we were lucky because we were able to bring the studio and make it into my home studio. Just take it from there. So then we've added miss Andi to the team and it's just been kind of cool.
At EECO we are one big family and we love learning about our heroes families, please share with us what you can about your family.
Our family. So we have my beautiful bride, ReBekah, and then you two knuckleheads. And then. And she joined us in August two days after your birthday. So that's the family and then Papa and Gigi and grandma and grandpa and all the rest of the family, but that's the core for sure and we have Ms. Faith. That's right. Who we'll meet again one day. So.
She's right there.
Are there any podcasts that you like?
Oh, yes. I like a lot of podcasts, so I don't listen to that many like industrial type podcast because you know we push out two episodes a week and there's stuff like that but Unashamed, I love that podcast. That's a great podcast. I listened to. There's a podcast called Undaunted Life that love. There's a podcast I like called The Order of Man. It's really good. The Briefing, listen to that every day. So yes, Smart, Passive Income, great podcast. Ooh. Investing for Beginners is it cool podcast. I've actually been on that podcast. So it's a pretty cool one.
Mavens of manufacturing isn't that a podcast?
Well, Mavens of Manufacturing is a good show. It's more of a show. She does a lot of stuff on YouTube, but so they were to be like the main podcast I listened to, but really big on, on those in particular, because they are just, there are a lot of fun and they drop a lot. So, yep. They're my favorite podcasts.
I could see you interviewing somebody on that podcast.
My dream one day is to be, either have wonder Robertson's on my podcast or be on their podcast on Unashamed. If you want to know what one of daddy's dreams are that's the dream. Just, that would be really cool.
I want to interview them. That'd be cool. Maybe you should put in a plug for me and maybe they'll let me interview them, you know?
If you want somebody in Duck Dynasty to be on your podcast or you be on theirs, if somebody, one of the Robertsons would be on your podcast, who, which one of them would you want? Would you like, would you want a couple of them or just one of them, but I need a specific name.
A specific name. I would love to talk to Phil or Jase or Al. So I'm not really picky.
You can actually have all three.
All three would be a touchdown baby. That would be a touchdown. That's right. All three of them. Yup.
Only one would be a field goal.
If they invited you to be in their podcast. Would you like bring a really close friend to join you? That likes Duck Dynasty. Would you bring a close friend that likes Duck Dynasty to the interview?
Probably, maybe take you.
I may want to take ReBekah. Well, here's the thing.
I'm a growing child. I may never see them.
Oh, you never know. So, I mean, we could have fun now. The main thing is just have some fun with it, but I wouldn't say it had to be anybody, but I think, okay, Chloe's lobbying pretty hard for this one. So I'm just going to say, Chloe, we'll take Chloe and you know what Chloe's on my left side. You'll be on my right and then Lily will be on my shoulders. There you go. She's going to be right there with us. So there'll be a family event. The Grainger's going to meet the Robertsons. There you go. So what's your next question?
So if you had a favorite restaurant, what would it be?
I like Don Julios. It's a Mexican restaurant here in Wake Forest, so that's kind of, I like going Mexican. How about you?
I like the Mac house.
The Mac house.
Mac and cheese.
So dad, I remember. "My favorite restaurant is mi casa." You pranked me. Mi casa just means house.
Because you want to go to special restaurants and I said, we could go to mi casa and you said what do you eat there, and I said it can be anything that you want.
We ended up going to Don Julio's thankfully!
She asked, can you watch movies? And we said, yeah.
At mi casa, they have everything. So there you go.
What's the next question we're drifting. What's the next question?
What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
26:22 Chris: Oh, M&Ms, peanut M&Ms
I have a question. This actually made me think of a question sets. We were just talking about restaurants. What would you say that food would be? I know it's probably sushi but I might be wrong.
Do you think it's sushi?
You're probably right. Yeah. Sushi is awesome. So actually for the favorite restaurant thing, it'd probably be like Bento Box or something down in Wilmington, that sushi place, but like favorite restaurant here probably Mexican place Don Julio's.
What is your favorite pet?
In this house?
This house probably Maddox our giants schnauzer. Yeah, he's pretty cool.
So if you have a favorite vacation place, what would that place be?
Probably Hawaii, Maui. That place was amazing. That was awesome. I want to take you guys there one day.
So what's your favorite music? I know it was probably country
I liked a lot of Southern rock growing up and things like that, but I'm starting to listen. Like Third Day, I've been on a Third Day kick lately, even though they don't tour anymore, just, you know, Christian type music. Yup.
So I know you like Free Bird music. Lets you have a favorite song on Free Bird.
Well, Free Bird is a song. So you talked about Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band. Yeah. So I would say the favorite song of all time has to be Simple Man. So there's that one? What's your second question?
This might be a hard questions since you love reading a bunch of types of books. What would your favorite book be?
My favorite book?
Could it be like different types of books? Like The Chosen interactive study thing?
I think just my favorite book period, the Bible and that's it. And then the rest of the stuff definitely helps. I mean I'm a big reader, you got like military stuff, you know, things that just teaches you different skills. I'm always reading. I think Amazon brings a book here every week. It feels like so, but yeah, can't go wrong with the Bible. You got to start there.
What would your favorite movie be?
I don't know. That's a good question. I'm thinking like Ghostbusters because that makes me think of being a kid when I was growing up. That was always a favorite movie as a kid. Just to go something silly like that. What's your favorite movie?
I'm not going to say it because there's a bunch of them that I just said Marvel movies.
Okay. How about you?
Can it be shows?
I don't have one then. Oh, what's your favorite show?
Andy Griffith Show
In your childhood what would be your favorite memory?
A favorite memory from my childhood. Dang Ava you're bringing some deep questions. You have a future as a podcast host. You are just slinging it. So favorite memory from a childhood would probably be, you know, I had a birthday party. When I think I turned seven, well, I mean, just the cool part was Papa had just built this Playhouse in the backyard. And then we had a little four Wheeler, like a little Honda, 70 4-Wheeler. And I had a bunch of my buddies come over and we played like Cowboys and Indians and rode to four wheeler and played baseball. And I just, I remember that party very fondly. So that was pretty cool.
So I have questions, but they are alike and they're different in a way. So I'm going to go with my first one. I know you probably liked your childhood birthdays. What would your favorite childhood birthday.
My favorite childhood birthday?
What would it be?
All of them. All of them. Except my 10th one. I broke down crying because I turned double digits. I remember that. So I told Gigi, I was like, I've turned double digits. There's no going back. And it was like this just dramatic event of turning 10. So it was, I remember that one.
I'm sure we all say, I'm sorry, you turned 10, but what is your favorite cake out of all of these, birthdays you had in your childhood?
Gigi is a pretty good cook.
The one I remember the most there was. Do you guys know The Rock? Yeah, right. So he used to be a wrestler before he turned into an actor, I was a big Rock fan. So we had this picture of the Rock, but his eyebrows, like he used to do his eyebrow thing and pick it up that his eyebrow was like really jacked up. So I don't remember that birthday cake was kind of funny. I remember the flavor, but it was funny.
So, when you went to get Christmas trees. And you also have the four wheelers. How was that?
That was cool. And back then, when you live in a country like that, you could just drive out, take a ride out in the woods and find you a tree. So we, I remember we did that a couple of times. I just thought that was super cool as a kid, to be able to go find your tree, cut it, and bring it back. And things like that.
I be a little tougher to answer since it it's happened a lot, but what was your best date?
My best date. Probably my very first one with Bekah. That was my best one. We went to Applebee's, it was the most awkward meal of my life and her life, but then we decided to go to a park and we ended up talking for four hours after that. And then that's when I knew. So that was probably my best date. Yep. Fancy like Applebee's, yeah something like that. All right.
So we're going to wrap this up with me, asking you guys a couple of questions. When you start thinking about science and math, right? Does it get you excited? What gets you excited about it?
Puzzles. Why trying to figure out how it all works together. How about science for you Ava? Do you enjoy science class or math class? Okay. Just the discovery part. So that's the big thing is this thing called STEM that's.
Science, technology, engineering, math.
There you go. So those types of classes are really important because as you grow up and get older, you'll need to know some of those things. No matter if you could try to be a cook or if you want to be a business person, or if you want to work in manufacturing. You need to know all these different types of math and science and technology, things like that. Right? Chloe, you got the last question of the dad interview. What is it?
What is your personal why? Speak your passions. Please tell me everything!
My personal why? Serve others because if you serve others and you take care of other people and you don't be inwardly focused. You've got to deny yourself and just really concentrate on making an impact in other people's lives. That's what's going to take you places and that's when you never know what God's going to bless you with. So you can't be, it can't be about you. It's got to be about serving others, you know, loving on others.
And try to help people. So that's my personal life. That's what I tried to do with you guys every day is serve you. Take care of you, teach you, because I want you to be good humans that help people. Right. I think that's, for me, it all comes down to servant leadership.
So this has been fun. Did y'all have fun? Did you learn something about your dad today?
34:46 Chloe: That you like fainting.
Oh, one last story before we go. Can you tell us about the time your brother blew up the tv?
34:55 Chris: We'll save that one for another time. So this has been fun though. So I've really got to know you, I know you guys, I really enjoy talking through this with you guys. I think you were the best host for this episode.
So for this episode of EECO Asks Why I know there was a little different, a little off the cuff. We were all over the place, Chloe and Ava did a great job. So, you know, thank you for taking the time you guys are all my heroes. So it's kind of cool to be the host and get to talk to all these different heroes out there. So yeah, if you like this stuff, please do us a favor. Give us that five-star rating. Give us a review. That really makes a big difference. And you got to remember, keep asking why.