Category Archives: High-Value Relationships

Space Shuttle Landing

by Jim Cathcart


mage above: Space shuttle Endeavour and the STS-126 crew land at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. after completing a mission to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

About an hour ago I was sitting at my desk when I felt something crash into our house. Paula called out, “Jim are you OK?” I looked outside to discover our neighbors standing in the street excitedly looking skyward. Paula joined me and we rushed out to see what it was.
My neighbor Ron announced, “It was a sonic boom. The Space Shuttle just re-entered the atmosphere and it’s headed for a landing in the desert.”
I ran to get our binoculars and the four of us stood in awe as the Shuttle and its chase plane flew over our home. It was still glowing red from the heat of re-entry.
Quite a sight to see.

Many years ago I had a penthouse office in a 13-story building in Tulsa, Oklahoma and one day I looked out the window as a huge 747 flew by at my eye-level with the Space Shuttle attached to its top. What a sight! It was less than two miles away from me and was being ferried by piggy-back to the maintenance facilities in Tulsa. Wow! Who could imagine putting a huge Shuttle on the back of an already huge airplane?

Well, that’s really the question isn’t it?
Who could imagine?

The entire concept of space flight, or just flight for that matter, started in someone’s imagination.
Everything we experience from zip lock bags to magnetic resonance imaging began in someone’s imagination. Then an important thing happened…someone decided to make the idea into a reality.
That’s when things started to change. When the idea gained the power of a person’s commitment to make it happen.

I’m awed by the amount of intellectual work and physical work required to create and operate the Space Shuttle. Not sure I can even concieve of how much energy and thought that required. But I sure do appreciate it. The discoveries that have sprung from our exploration of space are profound and legion. Most people don’t realize the value we are getting from these missions, but believe me they will be paying off for generations to come.

Every day you and I have ideas for making things better. We say, “Why don’t they just do xxxxx?” Often we see solutions that others do not. I say it is time for us to stop just having thoughts and start communicating them where they can make a difference.
So, the next time you see a solution, stop to ask yourself, “Who is involved with things like this? How could I communicate this idea to them? (Without worrying about being paid for it or getting credit.)”
Through the unselfish sharing of valuable insights you just may open some doors for yourself and others to make this world a much better place.

We have no shortage of ideas. We simply don’t communicate them well enough.
Let me know when I can help you help others make a difference.


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Webinar with Jim Cathcart Nov. 18th

Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World – Webinar with Jim Cathcart

Do you or your team need some Intelligent Motivation? Simple motivation is merely generating enthusiasm. It is occasionally useful and effective but hardly lasting or of strategic value. Intelligent Motivation, on the other hand, is determining what is important, identifying what action is needed and doing what is necessary to generate and sustain that action.

Jim Cathcart, Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World

Jim Cathcart, Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World


If you need “Intelligent Motivation” then you need to be on our upcoming webinar, hosted by David Bush, CEO and Founder of as he is joined by Motivation Expert, Jim Cathcart. He is the founder and President of Cathcart Institute, Inc. and one of the most widely recognized professional speakers in the world.

During this 1 hour webinar Jim will speak on how:
– Motivation needs to be intelligently done
– Motivation is about acting on motives
– To determine what matters to you
– To identify ways to get yourself to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done

If a person is not “motivated” to do good work then they probably won’t do it. And if a person has no self-driven motive for excellent performance then they will have to be continually motivated by others. If this sounds like you or your team, you need to be on this webinar!

Jim is known worldwide for his ability to engage, inspire and motivate an audience. He has worked as a corporate executive, training director, entrepreneur, psychological researcher, meeting planner and association executive. He has managed people, products and payrolls for over 32 years. He has also researched and field tested his methods through 3 decades of speaking and training before 2,600 audiences in virtualy every discipline.

Title: Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World with Jim Cathcart
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.3.9 (Panther®) or newer

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

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Beyond “People Skills” to Relationship Intelligence ™

by Jim Cathcart

There must be 100,000 trainers, speakers and authors out there teaching people how to be more successful in dealing with others. And maybe I’m being small minded in choosing such a low number.
All I know is, when I started teaching “interpersonal communication” in the mid 1970s there were very few of us doing so. The Dale Carnegie Course still seemed new to many people despite having existed for a generation. Clients were still surprized when we suggested that they actually teach people how to: listen, communicate two-ways, understand personality differences, and manage tension levels in their communication.
In fact, in 1976 when I joined the National Speakers Association there were only a couple of hundred members. Today they have over 3,600 members. The American Society for Training & Development, ASTD, was also fairly new when I joined them in 1974. They, too, are now an international organization with tens of thousands of members.

So, in light of the fact that there is a multitude of resources to help you learn “People Skills”, let’s take it to the next level. Relationship Intelligence ™.

Premise: Your life is a series of Relationships
Our lives are lived through interactions with others.

Conclusion: If you change the mix, quality or quantity of your relationships then you will, in fact, change your life experience.

So, being more Intelligent about which relationships you develop and which you do not will have a profound effect on the quality of your life.

Complete the following sentence: “It is not what you know that counts, it is…”

Most people would answer: “It is Who you know.”

So, try this one: “It is not who you know that counts, it is…”

My recent audiences have replied, “It is who knows You!”

OK, so far we have been in familiar territory. No news yet.
Complete this sentence please: “It is not who knows you that counts, it is…”

When I ask this in my speeches and seminars nobody responds. They just look puzzled.
“You mean it isn’t who knows you? Then what does really count?”

Here is my reply: “It is who is Glad that they know you that counts the most.”
You see, until others are actually glad that they know you, you don’t have much of a relationship with them. But when you cause others to be proud of the fact that you are their friend, business contact, colleague, neighbor, healthcare provider, sales rep, service technician, or advisor…then you have built a true relationship asset.

I recently did a Tandem Sky Dive from 13,000 feet with a master jumper named Victor. I can guarantee you that, for the duration of our jump, Victor’s welfare mattered as much to me as my own. Some relationships are situation specific while others endure for the long term.

Relationships are Assets…or liabilities.

By knowing some people you open new doors of potential, by knowing others you close those doors. Ask Barack Obama how he feels about having a long-term friendship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What may once have been an asset, has in recent months become a profound liability. It matters who we connect with and who we avoid.
Take a look at all of the relationships in your life today and then reflect on which ones are assets and which are not. If you spend more time with the assets and diminish your contacts with the liabilities, then you will have consciously and intentionally enhanced your life.

Those are two very important words: Consciously and Intentionally.
I believe that we need to be more conscious of what is working and not working. As Peter Drucker often said, “Things that are measured tend to improve.” When we stop and reflect on things we notice more about them, and noticing more is the essence of intelligence.
We also need to become more intentional about what we do.
Professionals in every field are more likely than others in that field to make each action intentional. The most obvious of these would be sports and theater. In competitive sports every movement counts. Tennis professionals will tell you that, while awaiting a serve, not only does the placement of your feet matter, but so does where you look. Michael Phelps, the world champion swimmer, often describes how every movement and every thought needs to be intentional in competition. Actors strive to control their eye movement, vocal tones, body language and breathing when on stage. The same things count in business dealings and interpersonal situations. Politicians learn to be intensely aware of how they say things and what the implications of their actions may be.

No, I’m not saying that we need to be “always On”, but rather, I’m observing that the more often we are conscious of what we are doing and intentional in how we do it, the more often we will succeed at our task. To try to be “on” in everything we do would be very stressful and often unnecessary.

But there are levels of control that always must be in play. There are no circumstances where it is OK to do something that is illegal or immoral. So, the more we pay attention the better off we will be.

Who is glad that they know you?

The more names you can list under that heading the more assets you will have. Relationship Assets that is.
What is a “relationship asset?” It is a direct connection with someone else who also considers it important to sustain that connection with you.
Take some time to reflect on that. Make a list of all the connections you can think of in your life and then notice the ones where they feel they are getting good value from the connection.

Did you ever know someone who was really good at “people skills” and yet their success in life was quite limited? How about this, did you ever know someone who often behaved like a jerk but still managed to gain the respect and support of other people who mattered to their success? Sometimes the jerks become highly successful despite their sometimes abrasive behavior.
Note that I did not say “because of it” but rather I said “despite” it.
Bad dealings with others always has a negative effect and the better we become at interpersonal relations the more enjoyable our lives will be. But success isn’t determined by nice dealings, it is determined by right actions at the right times with the right people.

Here are four questions that are at the core of my Relationship Intelligence message:
1. What do you want?
(love, friendship, fun, money, support, opportunity, a contract, etc.)
All relationships are defined by what the participants want from the relationship.
2. Who do you know?
When you know the right people you are in a position to produce the outcomes you desire.
3. What do they want?
The better you understand their goals, desires and dreams the more you can see ways to help them get it.
4. How can you help them get what they want?
Customer loyalty should be what we seek to give rather than what we seek to get. As my friend and mentor Zig Ziglar is famous for saying, “You can get anything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Take some time to reflect on today’s message. Print it out and carry it with you. Look over it again each morning and think about what it means to you. Do this for at least one month. Then drop me a note and let me know how you have changed things in your life.
Watch for more news on my upcoming book: Who is glad that they know you?
Building High-Value Relationships through increasing your “Relationship Intelligence ™.”

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The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court

by Jim Cathcart

Last night I had the privilege of attending “A Conversation” with Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas. The event was held at Pepperdine University and was what the School of Law calls “The Second Annual William French Smith Memorial Lecture.”

Justice Thomas, Dean Starr, Associate Dean Shelley Saxer and Charles Eskridge III in Conversation (side view)

Justice Thomas, Dean Starr, Associate Dean Shelley Saxer and Charles Eskridge III in Conversation (side view)

The Dean of the School of Law is Kenneth W. Starr, a delightful and brilliant man whom I’ve come to know in the past few years since he accepted the appointment here. He has been a guest at my Sherwood Parlor Salon Discussion and Paula and I enjoy spending time with Ken and Alice Starr.
Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law

Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law

Yesterday’s event was inspiring on many levels. Justice Thomas spoke candidly about how he makes decisions, who he admires, what his daily life is like, where he grew up, how he has dealt with prejudice and injustice in his own life, his own Christian Faith and more. He truly open the robes and showed us who he was.
The surprizing thing is we discovered that he is not only brilliant, he’s also funny!
His humor and playfulness made it clear to all that he was happy to be there, in a great mood and having a good time.

He told us that one way in which he indoctrinates his new law clerks is to have them watch movies with him. Some of his favorites for this purpose are: Fountainhead, 300, Gods & Generals, and Saving Private Ryan. He singled out one special quote from Saving Private Ryan. After all the lives had been lost in effecting Ryan’s rescue, one of his rescuers said to him, “Earn it.” In other words, conduct your life in such a way that all this sacrifice is justified. Earn the salvation you’ve received.

He also said to us, “My law clerks are here to help me live up to my Oath. That is their job description.” I love that! The job is not the collection of tasks, it is the reason the tasks matter.
More people need to adopt that attitude, in my opinion. Job descriptions needn’t be mere lists of tasks, but rather should be statements of purpose. “Here is why your work is worthy of being paid for and here are the areas of your responsibility.” That gives people a better understanding of their real job, not just their duties.

After the conversation the Justice came over to the side of the room where Paula and I had the privilege of sitting on the front row and he greeted us individually. When he shook my hand he noticed my Speaker Hall of Fame ring and commented on it. He was truly connecting with people not merely greeting them in a token manner. An impressive fellow for sure.

Justice Thomas said that he studies the history and circumstances that existed when the Constitution and its related documents were written. He does this so that he captures, as much as possible, the original intent, instead of imposing his own opinion into the interpretation.
That, I believe, is why we need to teach American History and the foundation of our nation to all generations in perpetuity. The only way to preserve America is to teach each new generation not just what it is, but also why it exists and how unique that is in the history of the world.

Thank God for people with the character and humility of Justice Thomas.
To obtain a copy of his book “My Grandfather’s Son”, click here. I bought one yesterday and find it easy reading (with lawyers that is a major consideration) and a great insight into the making of a remarkable leader.

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Colonial Williamsburg, VA

by Jim Cathcart

Patrick Henry addressing the public about the unfair tax on tea

Patrick Henry addressing the public about the unfair tax on tea

Consider these questions as you think about the formation of a new nation.

What were the issues our Founding Fathers had to deal with?
How long was it after our Declaration of Independence from England that we won the war and achieved a general peace?
What were the internal struggles going on between Americans re: the separation from England where all their ancestors and many of them personally had grown up?
In the early stages of the struggle, what was the source of tension that caused us to finally shout “We’ve had enough!” and declare our independence?
How long did communication take to reach the colonies from England, France and even from the other colonies? What was the effect of that long delay?

Last week Paula and I toured Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, VA. We walked the Yorktown battlefield, circumnavigated the peninsula around Jamestown, and stood spellbound as various Patriots delivered public addresses on the streets of Williamsburg. It was inspiring and enlightening. It took us back to the roots of our culture and showed us (upon reflection) the parallels with countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, and even China where new leadership is faced with the same fundamental decisions of how to structure a government and society wherein personal freedom is encouraged.

The beauty of Williamsburg is that it is frozen in time. The people who live and work there are dressed and rehearsed in the mindset, history and behaviors of the 1770s. They know their history, their character’s philosophy, religion, demeanor, circumstances and vocal patterns. When you ask one of them a question about something that occured later in history, they look at you puzzled as to what you are talking about? When the president of the College of William & Mary entertained questions after a sermon in historic Wren Chapel, he inquired as to where I was from. I answered California. He had no frame of reference to understand what or where California was (for him it was still 1774) so he turned to a man from Virginia and asked where his home was.

A team of oxen roam the street during P. Henry's speech

A team of oxen roam the street during P. Henry's speech

One particularly impressive speech was delivered by Colonel George Washington. Not yet General nor President. He was encouraging a boycott of all English goods; civil disobedience if you will. He said (I paraphrase), “Are we not free to purchase or not purchase that which we wish? I am not suggesting that you break any laws, just that you refuse to continue commerce with those who are seeking so eagerly to tax us at every turn. I do not condone the destruction of another’s property as the vandals in Massachusetts did with the shipment of tea. I simply believe that the best way to stop these intrusions is to cease commerce with England.”

A younger George Washington addressing the citizens

A younger George Washington addressing the citizens

The colonists were being taxed on what England considered luxuries: paper (The Stamp Act), tea, etc. They had no representation in England that wasn’t totally biased toward the Crown so there was no way to effectively debate what the Crown imposed. They were mostly proud to be “Englishmen” but the treatment was unfair and led ultimately to such abuses of power that the colonists cried, “Enough!” and declared independence from England, thus commencing a long and costly war that claimed lives and fortunes for many years.
Here is a quote from the Yorktown Battlefield’s website as to when it finally was won.
Colonial National Historical Park – Yorktown Battlefield

On October 19, 1781, a British army under General Charles Lord Cornwallis was forced to surrender to General Washington’s combined American and French army. Upon hearing of their defeat, British Prime Minister Frederick Lord North is reputed to have said, “Oh God, it’s all over.” And it was. The victory secured independence for the United States and significantly changed the course of world history.
Size of the armies: 8,800 Americans, 7,800 French and 6,000 British
Our reliance on the support of France during this campaign is often forgotten. There were our competitive advantage. They provided the naval blockade and thousands of foot soldiers that made this victory possible.

The Marquis de Lafayette reporting on our victories

The Marquis de Lafayette reporting on our victories

In those days the way news travelled was on horseback and by ship. Sometimes it was weeks or months before people learned the “news.” Simple communication to coordinate affairs was not so simple. People had to make decisions based upon what they knew and what they assumed to be likely. Our colonists were ruled by a Governor appointed by the Crown and who answered only to the King. There were “Burgesses” to represent us but when they displeased the Governor, he’d simply dismiss them and send them home.

We had religious factions: Church of England (the official church), Romans (catholics), Lutherans, Calvinists, Baptists, Quakers, and more. Unofficial churches were simply tolerated, not accepted.
There were large contingents from other European countries and cultures. Domestically we had farmers and merchants, shipbuilders, tradesmen, and our society was largely self sufficient. If you didn’t make it, you usually didn’t have it unless you could occasionally travel into town to trade for it. Slavery was common and, though obviously wrong, so widely practiced that it was considered normal to own slaves.

Luxury travel in Williamsburg

Luxury travel in Williamsburg

When you experience, even as a tourist, the lifestyle, attitudes, daily practices and discussions in Williamsburg, you begin to understand how complex and difficult it is to create a nation.
The right balance between liberty and government. The mix of laws and freedoms. The choice of practices that run the building of public roads, establishment of services, utilities, creation of an army and determination of how it will be governed. These and more vital decisions face the new leaders.

It is important to know that without a faith in a higher power people descend into pragmatism and lose their sense of purpose and conviction. When we abandon our belief in democracy as the best way for people to govern themselves then we begin internal conflicts that lead to manipulation and deceit. When we loosen our grip on civility and standards of behavior then we become barbaric and inconsiderate. The next step is selfishness and rudeness, then agression.
But with the encouragement of faith, democracy and civility we create a culture wherein caring and sharing are encouraged. People look forward to their dealings with others and begin to consider the needs of others in even their most personal plans.

Thomas Jefferson and me working on the wording of a declaration

Thomas Jefferson and me working on the wording of a declaration

Today as we enter the last phase of our national elections it is useful to remember how tremendously complex our leadership responsibilities are. We have vital issues that must be resolved with wisdom, utilizing our accumulated knowledge of 200+ years of discussion and experimentation, and adapting to new realities never envisioned by our founders.
But as we consider this, it is refreshing to know that even in the early colonial days there were the same underlying issues to resolve. Even then, and after the war of independence, we still had those who claimed the war was unnecessary, England should be rejoined and all our efforts had been wasted. There were still rumblings of this divide to be seen generations later.

So, as you listen to the political speeches over the next several weeks, remember that this is a modern example of an ancient process. The unsavory tactics and character assasination that are so frequently used have always been part of the process. That doesn’t make them good but it eases our sense of cultural decay in witnessing them. Our society is not declining into barbarism but rather it is going through the eternal growing pains of becoming what it can be.

Freedom will always include elements that we didn’t personally choose or condone. But it, more importantly, contains the power to choose what we will do, with whom we will do it, where we will go and what we will apply our energies to. That freedom allows us to become the individuals we were genetically and divinely designed to be.
May God bless you and God Bless America.

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Customer Loyalty e-book by Jim Cathcart

copyright 2008 Jim Cathcart

Announcing a new e-book just released by Cathcart Institute, Inc. in the Relationship Selling Series.
This is the 8th book by Jim Cathcart in this collection.
The theme of the new book is that Customer Loyalty is something we should be seeking to GIVE rather than to get. By giving loyalty to all of our customers we can guarantee 100% loyalty FROM us and vastly increase the odds of getting loyalty in return.
Here is the cover of the new book. It can be ordered by sending an email to or calling 800 222 4883.

Below is the description of the entire series. Click on the image to enlarge it.

For further information on this book or the series contact:
Jim Cathcart at

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How much learning is in your day?

How much learning is in your day?
by Jim Cathcart

“If you will spend one extra hour each day in learning in your chosen field then you will be a National Expert in that field in 5 years or less.” Earl Nightingale

How much of your day is devoted to intentional learning? Note that I specified intentional learning.
Every day we each become obsolete in some ways. Something we were just certain was true has ceased to be true as of now. We used to think that gasoline in America was relatively cheap. We used to believe that the best way to teach was to present information in a classroom. We used to think that nobody could run a mile in under four minutes. We thought that 60 was old and that people should retire at 65. We thought selling was done best through persuasion rather than collaboration. We once thought that children “should be seen and not heard.” Our ancestors even believed that the Earth was the center of the Universe and the Sun revolved around us. We used to believe that we could get by without learning how to use a computer and that the Internet was just for geeks. It goes on and on.

Most adults were trained to live in and deal with the Industrial Era. We believed that organizations were machines and behaved accordingly. Then we discovered that an organization is an organism of living beings and it behaves more like a plant or a person than like a machine. That changed the way we sell, manage, organize and plan. In the Industrial Era, we were taught that Physics was the right discipline to apply to business, then we discovered that Biology was a much better guide. In Biology you begin with the assumption of an ecosystem and the interdependency of all the participants within it. In fact we live in an Organic Era. We now understand that the Earth and everything within it is alive.

So, enough theory, let’s get down to behaviors. Who is in charge of your continuing education?
That’s right, you are. As a child, others were in charge of your learning. They chose the curriculum, presented the lessons, scheduled the tests and gave you grades. But today you are in charge. You have the freedom and the responsibility to select what, when and how you will learn. In fact, you even determine your grades by how well you apply what you learn.

In a typical day you are surrounded by information. In fact you are bombarded by it. There is the radio, television, highway signage, internet sources, podcasts, websites, emails, text messages, alerts, and then there is “snail mail”, the old reliable paper based data. You also have books, ebooks, DVDs, CDs and a zillion other forms of data competing for your attention. But what do you learn?

You learn what you attend to. If you scan five newspapers but don’t pause to reflect on anything you’ve read, you won’t learn much. Likewise a full day of TV viewing won’t necessarily enlighten you at all. Only when you focus on a message and then think about it do you truly begin to learn.

“Without reflection there is no true learning.” Kevin Buck

The vast majority of people do not learn intentionally most of the time. They accumulate knowledge but that’s about it. It’s kind of like being able to quote Scripture but having no idea what it means.
That is why it is so easy to get ahead in this world. Really. It is relatively easy, when you are intentional about it. All you have to do is devote a portion of each day to focused and conscious learning. By adding learning to your breakfast time, your drive time, your workout time, your dialogue with others and your relaxing time you will vastly increase your chances of success.

Here are some simple ways to begin introducing learning into the niches of your day.
1. Start your day in silent reflection on your goals. What matters most to you? How is your current behavior guiding you toward it? What do you need to know and do to reach your Desired Outcomes?
2. Be selective in your listening. Choose radio stations, podcasts, music and other media that will advance you rather than only entertaining you. Seek new knowledge and insights.
3. Listen beyond the obvious. If listening to music, notice more, notice the beat, the instruments, the meanings of the lyrics, the vocal techniques, and the metaphors. If listening to a commentator notice his or her point of view, question their sources, ask why this matters. Challenge yourself to be a more active listener.
4. Load your iPod or digital player with books on tape and podcasts in addition to entertainment. Entertainment is valuable and has its place but there must be room for inspiration and education as well.
5. Choose a subject to master. Decide now that you will learn a new topic or skill. Set a time goal and build the learning into your drive time and workouts. In a matter of weeks you can learn a new language or master a subject. Study history, philosophy, interpersonal skills, business strategy, financial mastery, or whatever you can benefit from.
6. Make the learning organic. Build it into your existing routines so that you don’t have to change your lifestyle in order to improve your life. Make it easy for yourself. “Ride the horse in the direction it is going, and then guide it gently to where you want it to go.”
7. Cultivate interesting discussions with friends and colleagues. I started hosting a series of Parlor Discussions to involve my friends in meaningful dialogue. We talk about whatever topics we wish but we really dig deeply into them. I’ve invited guests to join our discussions as we explore; psychology, philosophy, business, relationships, interpersonal issues, music, humor and more. Find ways to use this concept in your own world.
8. Seek out learners. Get around people who are constantly growing and improving. Connect with people who are ahead of you and still growing. Learners love spending time with other learners.

For more on this drop me a line, I’m happy to help you grow. And please let me know what you have done to include more learning in your life.

copyright 2008 Jim Cathcart

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