Janet Hayes – Hope is Fostering Curiosity and Sparking Imagination (Jane Goodall Hopecast #6)


Full Transcript

Jane Goodall 0:00
JANE SPLASH: I think the thing that I remember most about my childhood growing up here in the UK is, I was just so fascinated with animals. And I would spend hours sitting patiently near a bird nest, until the birds got so used to me that they would just come. I’d watch them sitting on their eggs. I’d watch the little chicks hatching. I’d watch the parent birds feeding those chicks, and then the joy of seeing them learning to fly. And those memories are so wonderful. And it really taught me all about, “how do you watch animals? How do you learn about them?” Well, yo’ve got to be patient. You’ve got to make sure that the animal is no longer frightened by you. And once you’ve achieved that situation, then the animals will go about their normal activities, and you can really start to learn the secrets of their lives. All of that I learned while I was here, at my family home, here in Bournemouth in the south of England.

CONSERVATION CHOIR INTRO: There are so many ways we can save our planet. What is there without a hope? I just want people to find empathy for all the species we share this planet with. I have so much hope! Can nature of bounce back? Earth is pretty special because– Jane Goodall made me believe in my own power– She devoted her life to this. Together we can! Together we will! What is your greatest reasons for hope? I’m Jane Goodall and this is the Hopecast.

INTRO: On today’s episode, I’m spending time with Janet Hayes, the new CEO of Crate and Barrel Holdings. The Jane Goodall Institute recently partnered with Crate and Kids on the beautiful and imaginative Jane Goodall Kids’ Collection. I loved learning about Janet’s roots, which in many ways remind me of my own. Janet is probably one of the most inquisitive and caring retail CEOs that I’ve met. Our conversation gives me immense hope for the future of our planet, which hinges on the conservation efforts of global corporations. I hope you enjoy this hopeful conversation with Janet Hayes.

INTERVIEW: Janet, it’s a real pleasure to finally meet you, even though it’s virtually. And I’m really grateful that you’re part of this Hopecast — and right at the beginning of our collaboration between Crate and Barrel and the Jane Goodall Institute. And I hope that we can have a good conversation and share our values and what we hope for for the future.

Janet Hayes 3:06
Thank you, Jane. It is my honor to be a part of the Hopecast. It’s one of my dreams to meet you, and I’ll take it virtually, any day. What a treasure. I want to tell you that I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. And you show up in so many ways in my life, I just finished reading your book The Reason for Hope. And, if I may, because it’s a big moment to say this, but I found so much inspiration in the happiness you had growing up. And that’s how I view my own childhood is, I really wanted for nothing in a way that I just was so happy with my surroundings. I come from a family of six children. And I, in fact, have two daughters. And in that six children, it was five girls and one boy. And I was born into a family that inspired confidence in the girls. And I grew up in a family that we always were encouraged to be our best. I think being surrounded by so many fabulous women that are my sisters today, who remained my best friends, and my best confidence. I think that gave me so much courage in my own life to just keep going.

Jane Goodall 4:23
I too had a wonderful loving family. From five years onwards, I was with my sister and Mum. My father was off fighting the Germans. And then there was my grandmother. It was her house we came to when war began. It’s where I’m talking to you from now. This is this is where I grew up. And so it was my grandmother and her three daughters, one of whom was my mother. And Mum, Judy — my sister — and me. So I grew up in a house of almost entirely women, with my uncle coming every other weekend. He was a senior consultant surgeon in London. From five years on, it was war time. We had very, very little money. No central heating. Food was rationed. clothes were rationed. You know, everything was rationed. And that was a good way to grow up, because I took nothing for granted. My childhood, like yours, was happy. And I had a mother, who, when everybody else laughed at me, [and]told me I’d never get to Africa, and live with wild animals and write books. And she just said, “If this is what you really want, you have to work awfully hard, you will have to take advantage of every opportunity, but then if you don’t give up, maybe you’ll find a way.”

Janet Hayes 5:42
You know, certainly, we did grew up in different circumstances. I can’t even imagine the pressures of growing up in a wartime, and I can’t imagine how that shaped your thinking and your, your future. But in ways that you’ve showed up in my life, I was preparing last night reading some notes for our talk. And my daughter came in and said, “Mom, do you know what a big deal it is?” And I said, “Of course I do.” And she said, “Do you know that I used to sneak in the library at school and pull out the book, Who is Jane Goodall?” And she said, “I must have read it 27 times.” So the generations that you have inspired is just, it’s just incredible what you have done.

Jane Goodall 6:22
Well, it amazes me. I mean, I sit here, and I think I’m two people. One is the Jane that grew up here. You know, just such an ordinary person. And then the sort of icon up there, which I have to try and live up to. It’s ridiculous, really.

Does that feel hard?

Yeah. I don’t feel like that. I just — I’m me.

Janet Hayes 6:43
It seems effortless and it seems natural. And it seems like just a part of your human nature just to remind people to care, and connect, and see things differently.

Jane Goodall 6:56
Yes, well, you know, I suppose one of the things I’m most proud of is having started the Roots and Shoots program, because that’s changing lives around the world. I know it because they tell me,

Janet Hayes 7:08
I love the leadership program that you have in Roots and Shoots. And the one that I loved in particular as I was reading about is how to start a change in your own community. Right? I always believe that people want to do well, and they have intentions of doing well. But sometimes they just don’t know how. So just the simple idea of you saying, “Here’s how to start.” That’s what’s so inspiring about what you’re doing is you’re making it seem like you just start and you’ll get somewhere.

Jane Goodall 7:40
That’s right. And I think the reason I started Roots and Shoots, because I met so many young people who seemed to have lost hope. And I’m talking now about high school and university. And this was all over the world. Because ’91, I was traveling everywhere, raising awareness about what was going on in Africa, learning more and more about how we’re harming the world everywhere. And that’s when I was meeting these young people. You know, they said they felt hopeless, somewhat angry, most of them just didn’t seem to care. They were just apathetic. And they all said more or less the same –“We feel this way, because you’ve compromised our future, and there’s nothing we can do about it.” Well, we’ve not only compromised their future, we’ve stolen it, we’re still stealing it now. But there’s a window of time, and it’s not too late. And there certainly is something they can do about it. There’s something for everybody. So work out what you want to do, how to do it, and then roll up your sleeves, and get out there and take action. Do it. Plant a tree, collect plastic, talk to neighbors, raise money, you know, whatever it is. And then, once you take action, when you see that you and your group actually make a differenc, and then you realize that in 68 other countries, young people like you are also making a difference, then you can start thinking a little more positively about the future.

Janet Hayes 9:13
I feel so hopeful with this generation coming up. I feel maybe it’s because I have two daughters, two 15-year-old daughters, living in my house and and I hear them talk about the changes and I hear them force the changes even to happen in my own household about the products we use, the services we use, the leaving the water running, and they are not afraid to stand up for it. And it really does feel like a real change. A real voice is coming through.

Jane Goodall 9:44
I think it is. And you know, it’s partly because, well, when I was growing up, there was nobody talking about the environment or anything. But now this talk of climate change and so on is everywhere. And so the children get to learn about it. They have environmental education and school. So now that they know — what I always say — “If young people know the problem, and then we empower them to take action.” That’s when it starts to change. That’s when you get the sea change of young people actually taking action.

Yeah. Education, inspiration and leadership is the key to the change. Courage, curiosity, confidence and independence, you know, that’s what you inspire in people. And it must have been what you have modeled around you. It’s just the way that you march through life.

I didn’t know about courage. People think I was brave going into Gombe. But it was, you know, Mum came with me for the first four months, because the British authorities wouldn’t allow a young girl on her own. And so I, you know, it was my dream. I was up in the mountains early in the morning. And she stayed down in camp. So, the people in the nearby town, the nearest town, which is about five hours away by boat, they said, “Oh, these two ladies, they cannot go without a cook.” So they found a cook, Dominic. And Dominic had been employed by just about all of the British households. He was a superb cook. But he loved cooking sherry. down. So all these memsaabs, as they were still then, they said, “Well, Jane and her mother won’t have cooking sherry, they’ll have a wonderful cook.” And you know, he won’t have this temptation. It took two weeks and he found a really potent alcoholic beverage made from fermented bananas. So Mum was left with a slightly inebriated cook, baboons who are very opportunistic, you know, the males have these big canines, and they were trying to take food, we only had one ex-army tent, and there was no sewn-in groundsheet. So if you wanted out, which you did, you rolled up the sides and tied them with tape. So in came airs, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, snakes, which, you know, it was okay for me, but Mum! And on top of all that, a slightly inebriated cook. She was brave if you ask me.

Janet Hayes 12:20
Okay, well, why don’t we say both of you were brave. Did your mom have the same curiosity that you have?

Jane Goodall 12:30
In a different way, yes. I mean, she always wanted to be learning. Yeah.

Janet Hayes 12:36
I’ve been thinking a lot about the curiosity versus intuition. And I think, for me, I almost think my career in a lot of my life has been about trusting my gut. And I’ve been reflecting lately, “Have I been curious enough?” You know, in my life. “Have I have I just made my own decision and trusted my gut? Or have I been curious enough?” and I wanted to hear your thoughts on that: curiosity versus gut feeling.

Jane Goodall 13:06
I don’t know. I’ve never sort of thought that — I mean, my curiosity apparently began when I was one-and-a-half. And the gut feeling, if I think of that as a sort of “a-ha moment,” watching the chimpanzees, having empathy with them, which later I was told was wrong, but it wasn’t wrong. But, when you have empathy, then you watch something, and you don’t quite understand it, but because you have this empathy, you get this a-ha feeling, “I think I know. I think I know why they’re doing that.” Then you put on a scientific hat, step back and say, all right, well, let me prove it.

Janet Hayes 13:47
I think a lot of it has to do with time, and taking the time to observe and listen versus always feeling rushed to accomplish something or get to the next thing or answer something for somebody. And it’s a really big reflection for me on on time and curiosity, and how it can shape things.

Jane Goodall 14:11
Well, right now, I’ve got so much work that I hardly have time.

Janet Hayes 14:16

Jane Goodall 14:17
People say, “What would you like most?” I say, you know, “Each week, I’d like a whole extra two days, just to try and catch up, and then have time to think.” And, you know, I love writing but there’s very little time to write.

Do you sleep, Jane Goodall?

No, I, I can’t sleep very well.

Is it because your mind is always racing?

Yeah, my mind is continually telling me, “Oh, I should have done that, and I should have done that.” And the hardest thing for me has been to give lectures. If you’re in a big auditorium with five-, ten-thousand people, there’s a lot of buzz, and there’s a lot of feedback and there’s clapping or laughing. You know, but in a lecture, just looking at that little green camera’s dot on the top of a laptop with no feedback whatsoever, that’s been hard. But on the other hand, I told myself, you know, “If you can’t do this, then you might as well give up because you’ve got to try and get virtual, Jane, to hit the same impact as if you were there in the flesh.”

Can I tell you I can relate? Because “Virtual Janet” became the new CEO of this company during the pandemic. So I’ve been having the same talks with myself about how to connect with people in the company, and how do they see me, And how do I listen to them, and how do they know I’m listening to them. And I’ve been saying the same thing, “I’ve done harder things in my life, but this is, this is a different kind of muscle we’re building here.”

So Janet, we’ve discussed how exciting this collaboration is, and how important it is for young children to become curious about the natural world. So how does this all come about?

Janet Hayes 16:14
Well, we believe that the home should be a place where you can really express creativity and curiosity. And in thinking about how to do that, and, and thinking about a partner that could be a leader and an inspiration, and, most importantly, somebody that could be authentic and a collaboration with us, Jane Goodall was a natural choice for us. I can’t even imagine the excitement that ran through the building, when we actually got the “Yes.” It was a big dream of ours. And, you know, if you learn anything from Jane Goodall, you have to learn that you, you have to have big dreams. And she was one of our dreams. And so to be able to partner with someone that can help our kids have a creative home to grow up in and show their self-expression and environments and spark that creativity and curiosity and encourage that individuality in their own home, and, especially during a time of these, these last few months of this pandemic, I think inspiration and creativity and curiosity has never been more needed. And how fortuitous for, for all of us that this program was able to roll out during this difficult time. We just couldn’t be more thrilled with the collaboration.

Jane Goodall 17:31
As my grandmother used to say, “That’s how the world wags.” And I suppose the wagging — you wag when you’re happy.

Janet Hayes 17:41
It’s true. I mean, in the, the pieces inside of the collection, each have so much meaning, you know, and each have so much thoughtfulness put into them. You know, each beautifully illustrates, you know, items that celebrate different wildlife wonders, and with the goal of fostering that creativity and adventure and kids. It’s just incredible. I mean, my favorite is the play home, which is the inspiration of your tent —

Jane Goodall 18:09

Janet Hayes 18:09
— in Gombe. I’d like to have it made for adults and put that in my own home. You know, I believe in doing business in an authentic and transparent way. And we thought Jane Goodall Institute would be an amazing partnership for us because of a shared belief in building a brighter future and self-expression and giving back. And, you know, it was our aim to give kids at creative home to grow up in and especially during this pandemic time. How lucky! How lucky for us that this collection came out during a time when kids needed this destruction and this, this beautiful collection to inspire their creativity and imagination, in what could be a really difficult time, but the self-expression through the environments that that were created in this collection just spark the creativity and the curiosity and really encourage individuality. And all that you did and brought to this collection — I mean, I can’t imagine how many kids and parents and families we’ve made happy with this collection, Jane.

Jane Goodall 19:19
Yes, well, it’s a wonderful idea, making children curious. Hopefully, they see they love a pillow and it has a chimpanzee on it or a giraffe or an elephant or whatever it is, and then that sparks a curiosity — “I want to find out more about this creature.” But you know, we won’t work with companies that don’t care about the environment in their production. So hopefully, this collaboration will do a lot of good.

Janet Hayes 19:47
It will do a lot of good and you’ve inspired us quite a bit to take even stronger steps into making the right choices and doing the right thing. And, you know, we’ve made a stronger step in our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint as a company. And we’ve made a stronger step into using organic fibers as a company. And we needed your leadership, and we needed your inspiration. And to bring it through this lens of inspiring curiosity and creativity, I just couldn’t ask for more.

Jane Goodall 20:17
Yeah, well, that’s, that’s always been my philosophy, that if you work with a company that’s doing things right, maybe by working with them, it can benefit everybody. It can encourage them and help their reputation. And it can help us because we get some money from it. And of course, to keep all our programs going in Africa, and Roots and Shoots and everything, it does take money. And, during the pandemic, we were afraid that we’d lose out a lot. But, you know, we didn’t.

Janet Hayes 20:50
Is that right?

Jane Goodall 20:51

Janet Hayes 20:53
That’s incredible. Do you think it was people being at home and reading books and talking and that time that was forced upon the kind of the home, of being together, encouraged that conversation?

Jane Goodall 21:06
I’m not sure. You know, right. From the beginning of the pandemic, I was saying, “Well, we brought this on ourselves by our disrespect of animals, creating conditions like the wildlife markets, and the factory farms that make it relatively easy for a bug to jump from an animal to a person.” In this case, COVID-19 was the result. Maybe that made people think. I don’t know. But anyway…

Janet Hayes 21:31
Yeah, yeah. I know there’s been richer and deeper conversations in my own house, you know, without somebody having to run out the door and go somewhere, they were forced to stay at the table and talk a little longer.

Jane Goodall 21:45
I think, in this pandemic, a lot of parents have told me, you know, “For the very first time, I could really have conversations with my teenage children.” And the teenagers said to me, “For the first time, we got to know our parents.”

Janet Hayes 22:03
Oh, isn’t that great? I’ve read feedback from the parents, how they’ve climbed into their tents, with their children and have read books and answered questions and drawn and colored and just creating that wonderful inspiration and imagination of being out in Africa in the tent and just conversations that happened inside of that little play home. I mean, imagine that. That was created just from that moment.

Jane Goodall 22:31
Yep. It’s, it clearly does a lot of good when parents spend more time with their children. Mind you, it depends on the parents, doesn’t it?

Janet Hayes 22:40
Well, that’s for sure.

Jane Goodall 22:41
There’s some parents who would not be beneficial to their children at all.

Janet Hayes 22:48
We all have those days, I’ll say.

Jane Goodall 23:00
Well, Janet, it seems to me that more corporations and businesses are really beginning to think about the environment. So you’ve moved into helping the environment in Crate and Barrel. What does it take to move a corporation into a slightly new and more sustainable track?

Janet Hayes 23:26
Yeah, great question. And, “What does it take to move to a faster track,” I think, is maybe even how I would pose the question. You know, there’s some good beginnings happening at Crate and Barrel. We are not where we need to be quite yet. But we’re making progress. And we’ve made stronger commitments with your help, Jane, of inspiration and leadership. And, you know, the most important thing is that we not only are aware of what’s happening in the world, but we’re aware of our what our customers are saying to us and demanding from us. You know, 96% of our customers expect us to demonstrate ethical, sustainable practices. And I’m not going to let them down. You know, we will deliver a culture and a product lifecycle that these choices become like oxygen for us, that this is going to be a natural way of doing business and living. And the responsibility we have to the earth and to the customers’ homes and to their children will be what we will consider first when we’re making these choices. And what does it take? It takes leadership. And it just takes a decision and it takes inspiration. It’s not as hard as it seems. It is hard work. But it’s not a hard choice. It’s a choice that I am proud to make and a choice that we will make every day.

Jane Goodall 24:52
How important, in these decisions, are your shareholders? How much do you have to take them into account? and what can you do about it if they don’t like it?

Janet Hayes 25:03
Well, the great news is that our shareholders are also demanding it. Our shareholders are the ones that are probably the loudest at the table right now saying, “Let’s go, Crate and Barrel Holdings, let’s let’s, let’s get moving in the right direction.” So I have no resistance from anyone. It’s just going to be delivering and developing a culture that, again, lets it come into it like oxygen, like we’re gonna need this to breathe. And I, you know, I moved here to Illinois, from California, where maybe there’s already a little bit of that in my life growing up in an environment that was very progressive in the thinking. And so I arrived here saying, “Let’s go, let’s get this, let’s get this moving. Let’s get this done.” I’m inspired to take a leadership position here in making sustainable choices and delivering what our customer and our shareholders are asking.

Jane Goodall 26:03
Well, thank you, because this is what I’m always telling my Roots and Shoots young people, consumer pressure really does work. You know, when people say, “Well, does it really?” I say, “Well, look, if you feel that this company is making unethical decisions, and behaving in an unethical way, in the way it produces its product, then don’t buy the product.” “Oh, but it might cost a little bit more to do it, right,” they say. Yes, if something costs a little bit more, then you value it more, and you waste less.

Janet Hayes 26:41
That’s right. And that’s why I’m so encouraged by this generation that’s coming up in the sense that they do value all of these things., I value it myself. So this is a lovely place to be. So the consumer pressure for me is not pressure, it’s, it’s actually harmony. And so we just have to put all of their knowledge into our product lifecycle and into our supply chain. We’re doing business with wonderful people around the world, wonderful things are happening in these communities that that begin our product in our supply chain. And to be able to tell those stories and see the impact we can have, not only here in the United States, but around the world is so inspirational. And we’re gonna begin a program here at our corporate headquarters for Roots and Shoots, and see where it can grow and affect the community here as well.

Jane Goodall 27:32
That’s great. And, you know, we’re getting more groups of Roots and Shoots among adults. So we’ve we’ve had Roots and Shoots successfully in a number of prisons, and it’s really changed the attitude of prisoners.

Janet Hayes 27:47

Jane Goodall 27:48
Then, in China, we have this wonderful program, where the retired people have become involved in Roots and Shoots. And they, one and all, said, “We felt that we were at the end of our life, we weren’t needed anymore, and,” you know, “it was the end. But now, we’ve got a new life opening in front of us because we’re making a difference and we’re helping.”

Janet Hayes 28:12
Yeah, that is incredibly inspirational.

Jane Goodall 28:15
Do you know why it’s called Roots and Shoots? Most people don’t.

Janet Hayes 28:18
I don’t.

Jane Goodall 28:20
Because I love trees, because trees now, you know, we’re trying to meet that trillion-tree challenge to grow enough trees to remove all this CO2. But when I began the thing in ’91, and these 12 high school students, and Roots and Shoots, the name kept coming ’round and ’round and ’round in my head. Well, I love trees, and I always did and — right, I can look out the window, and see the beech tree I used to climb as a child. It’s much bigger now. But I couldn’t climb it, you know, the lower branch is way out of my reach.

Janet Hayes 28:55

Jane Goodall 28:56
But when it began to grow — about 150 years ago, I suppose — it was just this little tiny seed, and I could have picked it up then, it would have seemed so weak, so insignificant. But I like to call it a “magic.” It’s a life force so powerful, that when those first little roots appear, they can work down through rocks to reach the water, and eventually knock the rocks aside. That little shoot, when it first appears, can work through cracks in a brick wall, and eventually knock it down. So we see the rocks and the walls as all the problems, environmental and social, that we have inflicted on the planet. So it’s hope, hundreds and thousands of Roots and Shoots — young people around the world — can overcome and make this a better world for everybody.

Janet Hayes 29:48
That is incredible, very inspirational.

Jane Goodall 29:51
So Janet, Roots and Shoots is something, which, you know, my vision for it is a critical mass of young people who understand as they grow up that they need money to live, but living for money isn’t the answer. You have to live for a passion. So what’s your vision for the future of Crate and Barrel?

Janet Hayes 30:16
Our vision is to build homes with purpose, and fill them with purpose and leave the world a better place. And we have a responsibility to continue to ignite curiosity and continue to build creativity toward progress. And I won’t let it stop while I’m here. And again, the goal is, “let these choices that are the right choices become like oxygen for us as a company, and therefore reach our customer.” And we have a big platform here. We can reach over 13 million people directly, but we can influence a lot more. And I’m committed to keep the education and the inspiration and the right choices, and use our platform for the better.

Jane Goodall 31:13
Super. That’s a very great vision for the future. And I’m sure it’ll come through, and especially as long as you’re in the leadership role. So stay there!

Janet Hayes 31:24
Same to you. You stay there, too.

Jane Goodall 31:27
Well, Janet, you know, we’re doing this series of Hopecasts. And so I’d like to thank you for being one of the first to join me, hopefully to bring hope to everybody who hears it and inspire them to want to make this a better world. So thank you very much.

Janet Hayes 31:47
Well, I would like to thank you for having me, and let that be the littlest of the thank you’s. Not that it hasn’t meant the world to me, but I want to thank you for being you. And being such an incredible, tireless inspiration to the world, to humanity, to women, to girls, to children. I mean, you are just a force of nature.

Child Interviewer 32:15
FROM THE ARCHIVES: And if you could, would you like to be our age now?

Jane Goodall 32:36
Not really. I don’t think so.

Child Interviewer 32:39
Why not?

Jane Goodall 32:41
Well, growing up it’s, I don’t know, I think I had enough growing up. I think what I’m doing now is something I’m meant to be doing. And I couldn’t do it if I was your age. So what I like doing is being with you at your age, and talking about what you think about your future is and what you can do to make a difference.

CREDITS: Feel hopeful and inspired to act with a Jane Goodall Hopecast by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and anywhere podcasts are found. I’m your host, Jane Goodall. The Jane Goodall hope cost is produced by the Jane Goodall Institute. Our production partner is FRQNCY Media. Michelle Khouri is our executive producer, Enna Garkusha is our producer, and Matthew Ernest-Filler is our editor and sound designer. Our music is composed and performed by Ruth Mendelssohn with additional violin tracks from Angie Shear, sound design and music composition for the Conservation Chorus is by Matthew Ernest-Filler.

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About Author

Scientist. Activist. Storyteller. Icon. Jane Goodall blazed the trail and changed the world. Now, she's studying new subjects – humans! This brand-new podcast will take listeners on a one-of-a-kind journey as they learn from Dr. Goodall's extraordinary life, hear from changemaking guests from every arena, and become awed by a growing movement sparked by Jane and fueled by hope. Join us as we get curious, grow compassion, and take action to build a better world for all. As we face some of the greatest challenges to humankind and the natural world, we have a unique opportunity: the power of technology to connect and share ideas. Now is the time to galvanize people around Jane’s message of hope in action and bring big thinkers together to change hearts and minds alike. The Jane Goodall Hopecast is produced by the Jane Goodall Institute by Dan DuPont, Shawn Sweeney, and Ashley Sullivan. Our production partner is FRQNCY Media. Michelle Khouri is our executive producer, Enna Garkusha is our producer, and Matthew Ernest Filler is our editor and sound designer. Our music is composed and performed by Ruth Mendelson with additional violin tracks from Angie Shyr. Sound design and music composition for the Conservation Chorus is by Matthew Ernest Filler.