The Frank Johnson Utility Diversity Scholarship will help to build the next generation of leaders. Meet the namesake of this exciting scholarship and hear about his journey from Meter Reader to President and CEO of CMS International Gas and Electric and well as SVP of Operations at Consumers Energy.
Bill Krieger: Hello, everyone, and welcome to “Me You Us,” a well being podcast. It’s another well?being Wednesday here at Consumers Energy. I’m your host, Bill Krieger.
Today, my guest is Frank Johnson. He is the former senior vice president of operations for Consumers Energy, as well as the former president and CEO of CMS International Gas and Electric. Frank, if you’d introduce yourself, we’ll get the conversation started.
Frank Johnson: As was said, my name is Frank Johnson, retired employee of Consumers Energy and CMS. I’ve worked for the company for 40 years before I retired, 40 years and a few months. I’m married, as hopefully, many of your listeners know. They heard way too much about my wife, kids, and grandkids before I retired.
Married to my wife, Belinda, for 55 years. We have two sons. One lives in Michigan. He’s an educator. My youngest son is a writer out in California. He’s in the film business. Two grandsons. One is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. He still lives in Nashville. My youngest son is a lacrosse player at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
We’re currently living in Comstock Township, Kalamazoo Area, where we enjoy seeing my grand dogs from time to time.
Bill: Grand dogs. That’s a new one to me.
Frank: My grandson had two dogs. He’s, of course, left for college and left the two dogs behind, who I have the pleasure of walking and feeding from time to time when my son and daughter?in?law are busy.
Bill: Sounds like you keep pretty busy though with a large family like that, including the grand dogs.
Frank: Yes. We stay pretty busy. We spend summer months, about five and a half, six months, in Michigan. About this time of year when it starts getting cold, we head to Arizona. A little unincorporated community called Anthem about half hour north of North Scottsdale.
Bill: The audience doesn’t know, so we’re trying to set this up. We were trying to do this before you went south for the winter. I’m glad we’re able to get together in person and it’s really great to see you again. You guys may not know, but I remember Frank Johnson from when I first started Consumers Energy.
Before we get too deep into the interview, I did want to say something. Is that, any time I ever saw you, no matter where it was at, you knew who I was. You knew about the people that work for you, even in this huge company. That meant so much not only to me, but to all of my coworkers.
We still talk about that today how Frank Johnson would remember your name and something about you every time he saw you.
Frank: I take a lot of pride in knowing the people in the company. It was one of the things that when I first started as a meter reader, and later in the gas lines department, there were officers that would come through and pass through and maybe not, but never acknowledged who we were.
I remembered that and it was always a lot of fun. We had about 60 headquarters that I was responsible for. Once or twice a week, I try and get to a headquarters, meet with the people in the organization, learn an awful lot from talking with people that do the real work. I always enjoyed that. Sometimes it was a little taxing.
My wife would point out that I was gaining weight because, as you know, in most of the buildings there’s always cookies or a cake or something in somebody’s department, they’re celebrating a birthday or an anniversary. I’ve since lost about 20 pounds since I retired. [laughs]
Bill: You can’t see Frank because we’re doing a podcast, but he looks great by the way, I did want to say that. You’re right. That’s one of the things about the service centers. There’s always something going on and it usually revolves around food.
I want to go back a little bit, though. You started at Consumers in 1970, and I don’t want this to get lost on anyone. You started as a meter reader at Consumers Energy?
Frank: Yes, I did. March 1970, I started as meter reader. My first supervisor was Everett Draker. Funny story, he emphasized that it was important to get an accurate read on the meters because we were the first step in the billing process. It was important that customers got accurate bills, and it was important to finish the book.
After I finished my orientation, it was a terrible snowstorm. I remembered what he said. I get back to the service center about 5:30 or so. Everyone was gone. Everett Draker was still there. He was so mad. He says, “I’ve been worried to death about you.” He says, “I didn’t know if you were in an accident or if you just quit.” I says, “Well, you said, ‘Finish the book.'”
Frank: He looked at me sideways and smiled. That was the end of that, but I always remember that trudging through that snow. My hands were freezing trying to mark those books. At that time, we had the paper sheets that you little mark the line. It’s like you vote. It was a good time.
From there, of course, the strike happened in 1970. I was trying to finish school, and the strike happened. I lost the year of school as a result of the strike and lack of income, but transferred to the gas lines department.
I had a very good time in a gas department, learned a lot about the business, and at least on the gas side, worked maintenance and new construction. Was there for a couple of years, and finally finished my degree.
Gene McGrath suggested that I transfer to another department to demonstrate I could do something other than run a backhoe and dig a ditch. I transferred to the customer accounts department. Some of the listeners that have been around a while probably know the names I’m mentioning, but Shaughnessy was my supervisor in the gas department.
If you’ve worked for Consumers, the old timers had these little sayings that would remind you of what to do. He would say, “Your job is to collect delinquent bills or turn off services that are delinquent. I remind you not to put anything in that little pouch that you can’t bring back here.” We had little pouches that had the collection slips and reminders and you put the money in that you collected.
I was there about a year and got an opportunity to go to the current plant as a personnel assistant. Francis Shepherd had come down from Saginaw and suggested that I go up there. There was an opening at the current plant. It was an interesting time because it was the first time human resources, or personnel back in those days, had physically been in the power plants.
Howard Mannion and I ?? Howard was the personnel director ?? and I were responsible for current one and two, current three and four, and the gas transmission group out of Flint. Every once in a while, I had to make a run down to Flint.
Learned an awful lot. Bob Hoffman was a plant superintendent at that time, and had his philosophy ?? no one worked in his plant that didn’t know how it operated. I had to go on shift with the operators, which I found very difficult because there was a rotating shift, and I never slept for the whole month I was on there.
You’re working days, you’re working afternoons, you worked midnights, you get four days off, and you do it again. After that, when I collected myself, I went on schedule with the maintenance crew, which was 10 days on, 4 days off, but because something in the power plants is usually broke or leaking, you’re rarely got 4 days off.
Frank: The maintenance guys, some of them didn’t like that 10 and 4 schedule. They would often say, “10 and 4 suks.” They would spell it S?U?K because we didn’t allow that other language in the power plants.
Learned an awful lot about the plant, how it operates, and it served me well later in my career. From there, I did a year in Jackson. Jack Reynolds called for me to come down, and I worked on the 1980 negotiating team. I was a scribe, so I had to keep notes, and that was interesting.
Bill: I was going to say, you must have learned a lot during that, because negotiations back then were a little bit different than the way we do it today.
Frank: Yes, quite a bit different.
Frank: In preparation for that, I got an opportunity to work with a fellow by the name of Dale Nichols who was in wage and salary and compensation. We did a job reevaluation just to have an opportunity for the union leadership to meet me and interact with me.
That was an interesting process, seeing how jobs are evaluated and the points system. I don’t know if it’s still done that way, but it was very interesting. Dale Nichols was a pro. We finished the negotiations on a Sunday of September of ’80, I think.
Jack Reynolds called me to his office on Monday. Says, “Congratulations, you did a great job. Monday I want you to report to the Macomb Service Center, 15 mile in Kelly, and that’ll be your new assignment.” I’m saying, “We haven’t unpacked all the boxes from the move [laughs] from Bay City. It’s been less than a year. It’s about 11 months.”
He says, “You’ll do fine.” My wife ?? I have been blessed ?? she frowned a little bit, but she didn’t resist. The movers’ inventoried the boxes that had not been opened and relabeled them, and off we went to Mount Clemens or Macomb Township.
Bill: Almost like being a military family, that’s a lot of moving.
Frank: We moved 10 times. [laughs] Of course my kids were younger then, and moving didn’t pose a big problem, although my older son never liked moving very much. My younger son thought every move was a great adventure. The only thing he wanted to know was is he’s still going to have his own room?
Bill: He has his priorities. [laughs]
Frank: We were there for two school years. I measure my moves by [laughs] how many grades the kids got through. Once we left Bay City or Macomb, I was back in the service center. I was promoted to district manager in Battle Creek, working for Gene McGrath, who was by then the region manager for Southwest Region.
That was the longest stay we had of all the moves. We were in Battle Creek seven years, company reorganized and eliminated the six…Well, by then it was seven regions. They shrunk down to four regions.
Gene McGrath was elevated to vice president. I became a district manager too, which incorporated the old Battle Creek District and the then headquarters south west Kalamazoo area into one large…the whole region was one large district.
I was a district manager too for about a year working for Bill Hargrave. Bill Hargrave subsequently retired after a short time, about a year and a half. Rand Lincoln offered me the position of region general manager for the Southern Region, which was a great experience. It was interesting in terms of the challenges.
Again, we moved,
Frank: Southern Region basically went from the west all the way to Lake Michigan east, dipped down under the Detroit Edison territory, but into Monroe County, Erie County, over to Lake Erie.
Bill: Interestingly enough, so I hired in 1994 as an electric lines dispatcher for Southern Region.
Frank: I remember. [laughs]
Bill: These names that you’re talking about, and these places, this brings back a lot of memories. It’s pretty incredible. I didn’t mean to interrupt you. When you started talking about Southern Region for two years, and when you talked about rotating shift, I lived it for two years. I know exactly what you’re talking about.
When they say rotating, they meant it. It was a week of days, a week of afternoons, a week of midnights, a couple of days off, and then you started all over again. There’s two years where I’m a little fuzzy on what happened. I know I had a great job, great benefits, and made a lot of money, but I don’t remember those two years and it was that rotating shift work.
Frank: There were folks that loved it. I could not adjust very well. I’d like to think it wasn’t me that kept eliminating all of those organizations but after…
Bill: [laughs] It followed you around, didn’t it? [laughs]
Frank: Followed me around. Yeah. You run out of a lot of cities.
Bill: You were in Southern Region and then what happened?
Frank: Southern Region, and then the company eliminated the regions, went to a gas and electric business units. I ended up working for Dave Joos as the executive manager for electric operations support. Had a number of responsibilities ?? field labor relations, budgeting, fleet facilities. It was kind of a dog’s breakfast of activities.
Varied enough where it gave me another opportunity to learn more about the business. It expanded my knowledge of how things operated. In the meantime, during that time as operation support, Mike Morris tapped me to be the lead negotiator for contract negotiations that was coming up.
That was a lot harder than I thought from my early experience being the scribe.
Bill: It’s a little different writing stuff down than it was doing the actual negotiation, right? [laughs]
Frank: Having to do the initial negotiations. Fortunately, there were a couple of guys that were experienced, Greg Sando and Tim McCloskey that worked in labor relations. They get much more credit than I did as being the chief negotiator.
They were helpful in making sure I didn’t say the wrong thing or agree too quickly to something that would not work. We got through that. It was a difficult time for us and things didn’t always go as smoothly as we had hoped, but we got through it.
Shortly after that, like the Godfather or something, we were expanding our investments internationally, and Mike Morris asked, if I would be interested in going to Argentina, then as the general manager of a little utility we had bought up north in Entre Rios. I said, “Well, before I say yes, I have to talk to my wife.”
I had taken a map of Argentina. I call my wife to ask her if she wanted to have lunch with me. Her first response was, “Where are we moving to now?”
Bill: [laughs] She knew how it worked, right?
Frank: The only time you call me for lunch is if we’re moving.
Frank: I had lunch with her. I told her the offer. She says, “But we don’t speak Spanish.” I say, “It’ll be fine. They said that we’d get a tutor. It’ll be fine.” She says, “Well, where is this place?” I got the map out. I’m all prepared to show. I couldn’t remember where it was. [laughs]
Bill: Oh, no. That’s never good. [laughs]
Frank: She says, “Well, so you want me to move, and pack up, and move to Argentina, in a country where we don’t speak the language, and you don’t know where we’re going?”
Frank: I say, “Yeah, but it’ll be fine.” Fortunately, as I said earlier, I have been blessed with a very understanding and accommodating wife. She had a career of her own. She was a lab technologist. In fact, was the lead technologist at Sparrow Hospital at that time.
We agreed. We packed everything on the truck and airplane. They shipped it to Argentina. By then, my two boys, the older one was out of school. He got his first teaching job. The younger one was just finishing up at Columbia, so we were alone and empty?nesters. The move was a little easier for us.
We found that it was a great experience. All of those things that I had learned along the way was very helpful being that far away with only two other expats and a staff of folks that spoke primarily Spanish, although their English was pretty good.
I was handicapped. Didn’t learn Spanish as quickly as my wife because my staff all learned to practice their English. [laughs]
Bill: It worked out.
Frank: It worked out fine. About a year in, I got promoted to president and CEO of CMS International Electric and Gas. Mike Morris had moved on. By then, I was working for Vic Freindly. We spent two years up north in Entre Rios, two years in Buenos Aires. Returned stateside.
By then, we had holdings in Venezuela. We owned three utilities in Brazil. Had just bought a utility in Bursa, Turkey. Never closed on it. Politics and an earthquake changed that.
Bill: That can happen, right?
Frank: Yeah. We came in close second in a bid for utility in Tangiers?Tétouan. Which was fine because Tétouan was very poor. As a distribution company, it’s hard to recover your costs and your investment.
Once you do that, the people are still poor. Then it’s hard to recover your investment. You can’t just raise the utility rates for people who are already struggling. It was probably a blessing that we didn’t win that bid.
Then I think Wall Street started to fall out of favor with utility investments, foreign investments. We started to get out of the international business. I, by then, had dual duties at CMS, and then working for John Russell in distribution.
I was initially senior vice president of electric transmission and distribution. Later, after we had sold off the international stuff, was promoted to senior vice president of energy operations, which was gas, electric transmission, gas storage, a bunch of stuff. It was fun working for John. There I stayed until I retired in 2010, about 12 years ago now. It’s been a while.
Bill: It’s funny, I actually retired from the military in May of 2010. There’s days I wake up and can’t believe that that was 12 years ago. I want to reflect on this a little bit.
Anybody coming into the company as a meter reader, or as someone answering the phones, or someone doing those entry?level jobs, don’t let it be lost on you. If you do things the right way, you can make your own career here at Consumers Energy.
Frank’s is not the only story of some of people who have started out doing those jobs and ended up as vice president and senior vice president. It’s a great place for that to happen.
Frank: You’re absolutely right. I tell folks and used to tell them a lot when I was working, that I’ve had a wonderful career. I’ve had an opportunity to do a lot of different things without changing companies.
The other thing is there are no unimportant jobs in this company. If the company has that position, it’s because it’s needed. As I said earlier, Everett Draker reminded me of the importance of the meter?reading job. That is the first step in the billing process. It’s important to do that well and be accurate at it.
When I was in the gas department, I was reminded it’s important that if you’re doing maintenance, and there’s a leak, you fix it. You fix it correctly. You don’t want to have to return. You don’t want people’s homes blowing up.
If you’re on new construction, you do that well. It’s important to have the proper depth in terms of services and mains. The service man used to remind me in the distribution, that the meter stand needs to be straight. You don’t want crooked meters hanging on homes.
Bill: That’s true.
Frank: To this day, I will pass by a commercial establishment and there’s a big old meter on the side, and I tell my sons and grandsons, “I set that meter.”
Frank: There’s a certain amount of pride. It’s different when you’re doing that work than when you’re in an office because, at the end of the day, you can see what you accomplished. It isn’t always that easy when you’re in an office position. Sometimes you go home and you’re not quite sure what was accomplished that day.
Learned an awful lot. The jobs at the power plant with Bob Hoffman says it’s important that everyone in this plant understand how it operates. When we bought the utility that serve Margarita Island, we bought the whole utility, which included a couple of small generating units.
It was so helpful knowing how the generation part of that system work. You understood that. Having worked for Dave Joos as the executive manager, and I had budgeting to be able to understand the budget reports and putting together budgets.
Because as Mike Morris reminded me when I took the job there, that now I was a profit center. I was not a cost center as I was as a region general manager. There was a big difference. He was right.
You are making a contribution to the company’s bottom line. You think different about the operation. That was helpful working with and for John Russell as I got a couple of promotions working with him.
I learned those things early in terms of doing your job because my parents were sticklers about doing your chores properly. Whatever it was, it’s a different time. My mother had eight brothers and three sisters. She was determined not to have any lazy men coming into the world.
Frank: My brothers and I learned to cook. We learned to mop. We learned to iron. You had to do it right, or you had to do it over. I learned very quickly that doing things twice was not fun.
Often, my dad would wait and tell my friends knocking on the door, wanting to know if I wanted to go out and play some football or basketball, and he would remind me that I had chores that were half?done, and I needed to finish those before I could go out. [laughs]
Bill: Some important lessons learned there. [laughs]
Frank: They were. Those little things, you were just angry with your parents. You thought they were mean and cruel, but as you become an adult, you recognize that those are important lessons, learning to do things right the first time, being good at what you’re doing the first time.
I never sought those promotions I got. The job that I coveted in my career, I never had. That was the regional customer service manager. I thought that was the ideal job. If I could just get to that job, my life would be complete. Never was I able to have that job.
Of course, I had [indecipherable 29:18] regional general manager. That job reported to me, but you can’t stick your hand in there and do somebody else’s job. [laughs]
Bill: Right. Right. I want to go back to something else you said too. You talked about you would go to all the services ?? back in the day when we had 60 of them ?? because you wanted to be closest to where the work was being done. It sounds to me like part of that is you did those jobs, and so you were closest to the work throughout your career.
I know that as a leader, sometimes it’s difficult to step away from those, right? You kind of watch it happen instead of making it happen. It’s the best of both worlds because you were able to oversee all that happening, but you got to go right down the trenches and talk with the people doing it.
Frank: It was wonderful. In fact, what I would often do…We didn’t have planned meetings. I’d get there early, go to the crew room, and before the guys went out, have coffee with the employees. We didn’t often talk about work.
After a while, you have to have done it a few times. The first few times, you get poked. You guys are a bunch of idiots, and you don’t know what’s going on. After a while, if they don’t chase you away, you can talk about different things.
We have employees with so many different talents. There is a fellow up north. He played guitar. He was a blues guy. I love blues. We would exchange blues CDs.
There was a fellow in the Jackson Service Center that took vacation doing spring break and a big Tigers fan. Tom Selleck, who was a big Tigers fan…He knew Tom Selleck from being at the spring training. Tom Selleck used to show up there.
Just all of these little things that you never get to know about employees and their other interests. Those things fascinated me. I always had a good time.
I’d leave and go around the service center and talk with the other employees about what they were doing. Call centers were fascinating, watching those ladies calmly talk to customers who sometimes were not happy. They’re skilled at calming them down and resolving their problems.
That was on my schedule. Connie Gibson, my executive assistant, would schedule me, depending on what was going on that week. Some of the trips, I made a point of being up north in the wintertime because I thought that it would be offensive to only show up up north in the summer when the weather was good.
I tried and get up there during the wintertime, Traverse City, [indecipherable 32:26] , so that employees knew that I came because I wanted to be there.
Bill: Right, and just not on vacation…
Frank: Yeah. I would come up there on a Friday so I’d have a long weekend and a good weather.
Bill: I think your work ethic and your care for people…Like you said, you got to know people to the point where you knew this guy liked blues music, and you knew that this guy liked the Detroit Tigers.
I think you really left a mark on Consumers Energy and those of us that are here. Even when all of us who worked with you are gone, I think that your name still will be here as one of those people that cared.
I don’t want to go before we talk a little bit about the Frank Johnson Utility Diversity Scholarship that’s out there. I want to talk about how did that come about? What does that mean for people who want to get into the utility industry?
Frank: Well, that was quite a surprise to me when I got the call and asked if it was OK. Of course, I worked in Macomb. It’s going to be at Macomb Community College. It’s initiated by the Minority Advisory Panel. I was fortunate enough to be one of the initial members of the first Minority Advisory Panel.
That was an exciting time for us in the company. Our view was that it gave us an opportunity to be a small part of the conscience of the company in terms of diversity and the issues that challenge some of our employees in the company.
We didn’t have quite as many minorities as we have now, particularly in management leadership positions. In fact, there were no minorities on the board of directors at that time. I don’t think it was any bias on the company’s part. It’s just one of those things when you get your head down working, you just don’t think about.
Being able to provide that input to the company, I’m happy to look at Consumers now and say, “Man, it’s not the same company that Frank Johnson hired into in 1970 or retired from in 2010.” It just continues to grow.
The company had its first president and CEO, Patti. Of course, I had been shipped away, retired by then. I see those things. One of the CFO is a minority. The company has done well. I digress. I’m sorry.
The scholarship was formed, and I think that it is a continuation of the good work of the Minority Advisory Panel. It’ll give minorities in the company an opportunity to continue to grow. It will give us an opportunity to continue to expand minority opportunities in the company. It will hopefully expose some more minorities to the job opportunities in the utility industry.
Sometimes, I don’t think folks don’t all really appreciate all the opportunities that are available in a utility company or in the state. I think it will help us with that.
I encourage, not because my name is on the scholarship but because the company will match every dollar from $25 to $1,000. The company will match that for retirees and employees one to one. That will provide opportunities for young folks that otherwise wouldn’t be there. I am excited about it.
Quite honestly, I was a little embarrassed. I’m an old guy and I’ve been gone a long time, and I don’t know why anyone would want to name a scholarship after someone who no one remembers anymore, [laughs] but it was still an honor.
I got an opportunity this summer to go to the Minority Advisory Panel’s summer gathering, the Peach Cobbler. I guess they hadn’t had in a couple of years. That was started before the Minority Advisory Panel.
Bill: It’s a long history in that, correct?
Frank: Yes, I got to be a part of that. There were probably 8 or 10 of us in the company EAMP scattered all over the state. We didn’t get to see each other very much. George Turner and Dave Johnson suggested they get together in the summer for a golf outing.
I don’t play golf, but I wanted to be a part of so I got to take pictures. I got fired from that job because I kept cutting the head off the people.
Bill: Oh, no.
Frank: I continued to participate, and about the third or so, there was this big debate over who could make the best peach cobbler. George Turner was very proud of his peach cobbler and Bill Petrous and Herb Matthews. The next year, they all brought a small peach cobbler, and the taste contest. Everyone still believes they won.
Frank: They were all wonderful. A little different process. Thus became the Peach Cobbler Classic, we called it, but there were only about 8 or 10 of us at the time. That has also grown. Now, there’s a golf outing and a bowling. Half a day of bowling and then a little dinner banquet afterwards.
Wrapping on the scholarship, it is a good thing. It is something that I hope if you find it in your hearts to contribute not to Frank Johnson Scholarship, but to young people. Invest in the young people in Macomb County ?? quite honestly, there are kids from Oakland and Wayne County that attend Macomb Community College ?? please do so.
The company will match those dollars from $25 to $1,000, and we will provide future careers and opportunities for minorities in Southeast Michigan.
Bill: All right. Thanks for filling us in on the scholarship that’s available out there. If you work for Consumers Energy, you can go out to the Minority Advisory Panel or Map website and there’s a button that you can click there that will take you to the donation site. Remember that the company will dollar match anywhere from $25 to $1,000 donation to that scholarship fund.
If you’re listening to this podcast and you’re not a member of the Consumers Energy family, you can certainly go out to macomb.edu, which is Macomb Community College’s website, and click on the Give Today dropdown, and that will get you over to the Frank Johnson’s Scholarship as well.
I would encourage anyone listening to this to please go check it out. If you’re so inclined, please give a donation. I think, Frank, as you said, this is really an investment in our young people and they so desperately need it today.
Thank you for coming on the podcast and sharing your story with us. It’s an amazing story.
I do want to say one thing also for people listening out there. I don’t know if you’ve heard it, but Frank said he doesn’t to play golf and he still was a senior vice president. For those of you who are like me, who are probably not golfers, there is hope out there as well.
All kidding aside, Frank, as we wind down the podcast, I just wanted to give you a few minutes to leave our audience with a message. What would you like them to take away from our conversation today?
Frank: I said earlier that I was very fortunate in my career at Consumers, but I did work hard and I had good mentors. I mentioned a couple of names, Gene McGrath, Bob Hoffman, Rand Lincoln helped me along the way.
If you’re working for the company and you have a good mentor or you have someone that’s interested in you, don’t be offended by their constructive criticism. We don’t come knowing everything. Try and understand that if there are people who have taken an interest in you, they’re trying to help.
My 40 years at Consumers were all growing years. I was still learning and growing up till September of 2010 when I finally retired and they retrieved my ID badge and passes.
More than anything, let me say just thank you to Consumers Power that I have hired into, Consumers Energy, CMS Energy that I retired from. All the same company, different logos, but still the same company.
Cares about its employees, cares about its customers. Even during the bad times, our employees continue to serve the customers of the state of Michigan. That I take a great deal of pride in.
Bill: Thank you for that message, and I can’t say it enough. Long after I am gone from this company ?? I’m not looking at retiring anytime soon ?? Frank Johnson, your name will still be remembered here. Don’t ever forget the mark that you left on all of us.
Frank: Thank you.
Transcription by CastingWords