CU Water Cooler

"Tell Me Nothing" - A Podcast About The Non-finance Passions of Finance Pros

Jimmy MarksComment

(or: Why Ira Glass doesn't make enough money)

Travel with me, will you? We're going back a few years ago when my good buddy Brent Dixon (yes, thatBrent Dixon) started a blog called "Things That Have Nothing To Do With Credit Unions (but Have Everything To Do With Credit Unions)". I was marveled by each entry – Brent, aside from being one of the smartest and most fascinating people I know, is also an impeccable curator of content. One day, Brent asked if I'd like to be a "co-curator" on the project. It was like if George Clooney asked you to be his golfing buddy – who says no to an opportunity like that?

Well, cut to now. The site is out of commission for the moment, a byproduct of the fact that Brent and I are both awfully busy. But there was one last piece of business I left undone.

In 2011, I reached out to a few credit union/finance friends and asked them about their non-CU/non-finance passions. To my surprise, two of the most respected/loved people in the industry were my first two – and only – interviews.

The first was Tim McAlpine. The second was Ron Shevlin.


Tim and Ron talked about their affection for BMX bike riding and the Grateful Dead, respectively. It was fascinating (at least, it was to me). Because, really, what happens in a vacuum? The things we believe, the reasons we have for believing them, they're all shaped by our experience. And that experience is so much more than our work – it's our play, our art, our religion, our politics, our everything.

The conversations were fun to have and fun to listen to, and I recently asked myself a question I think more people should ask of themselves, both in finance and in life:

"What's stopping you?"

Now, I'm no Ira Glass. Based on my experience, whatever amount of money Ira Glass makes every year isn't enough. I was trying to be thoughtful, ask the right questions, find an answer, let a story be told – all the things I hear when I listen to a good interview. But, as I hope to share at this year's CU Water Cooler Symposium, I know for a fact that the audience's reaction is the only real measure of success in that regard.

So, with the permission of the head honchos here at the CU Water Cooler blog, I'm giving you the MP3s of these conversations. Be warned – the audio isn't perfect. The content more than makes up for that (hopefully).

Here's Tim's interview on BMX riding:

Here's Ron's interview on the Grateful Dead:


Jimmy Marks is the Creative Media Director with DigitalMailer. He's a guy that creates websites, web pages, email campaigns, graphics, video, audio, copywriting – anything. You name it, he's into it.