Podcast Special Guest, Daniel Wolcott

Daniel Wolcott
Episode 38

In this episode, guest Daniel Wolcott joins host Japhet De Oliveira to talk about moments of courage, a grandfather's influence, the dangers of Christmas lights, and what it means to be responsible for mission.
Libsyn Podcast
"The work that our thousands and thousands of associates do every day is so transformative in the lives of the people we serve. Nobody ever forgets those moments."

Narrator: Welcome, friends, to another episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today and discover the moments that shape us, our families, and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, welcome friends to another fantastic episode, and I saw fantastic episode of The Story & Experience here. And the reason it's fantastic is because of the guest I'm going to be speaking to, you're going to be hearing in a moment. He's actually shaking his head. He's saying, "No, no, no." It is a yes. It is an affirmative yes. For anybody who's brand new, the way this podcast works is that we have 100 questions, first 10 I actually just lay out there. And then the guest, who's smiling right now, he gets to pick. Well, that was a clue. He gets to pick between 11 and 100, where he wants to go. 100, of course, is the most vulnerable, most difficult, most complex. And inside the middle a little bit of a lighter ones. So without any less delay, let's dive straight in. And I'll begin with asking our guest. What's your name? And does anybody ever mess it up?

Daniel Wolcott: So my name is Daniel Wolcott. And yeah, occasionally, my name does get messed up. Usually, it's they put an A in, instead of an O in my last name, so W-O-L-C-O-T-T is the proper spelling. And I'll get Walcott. And occasionally, somebody will say, "Oh, Wilcox." And it's like, "No, no, no. No X and no I."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's entirely different. I like that.

Daniel Wolcott: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Daniel, what do you do at the moment for work?

Daniel Wolcott: So I'm responsible for Adventist Health's mission in Kern County, California.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, that sounds good like their mission out. What do you mean by that, you're responsible for their mission?

Daniel Wolcott: So it's funny because people do ask me, my kids ask me, "What's your job? What do you do? I know you go to meetings." Right? So I'm the president, technically my title is president of Adventist Health care delivery in Kern County.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow.

Daniel Wolcott: So that makes me responsible for our three hospitals, 20 plus clinics, a bunch of ambulatory locations, and really because of our vision for 2030 to say, "We want to transition our company from just being about healthcare delivery, kind of taking sick people and getting them back on their feet, to we want to make a difference in the lives and create wellbeing across the population we serve." So in Kern County, that's 917,000 people, and so nearly a million people. And so our goal is to move those people toward wellbeing, and so I feel like that's my job. Right? If I don't get up every day and make a difference in saying, "How do we create an environment where the 917,000 people who live in Kern County have an opportunity to move toward wellbeing?" Then I'm not doing what I need to do, so it's a pretty tall order. And yet, you think about the difference you get to make in people's lives, that I get the privilege of being responsible for that, it's pretty cool.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. I like your view and your interpretation of the mission and application to it. It's good. And I've seen some of your presentations and ideas and things that you've done. So this is exciting to everybody who's listening. Daniel, tell us. How long have you been in this current role?

Daniel Wolcott: Well, as a matter of fact, so today is December two when we're recording this. And yesterday was my one year anniversary for living and being responsible here in Kern County.

Japhet De Oliveira: OK. Hey, that's fantastic. That's great. And then before that, what did you do?

Daniel Wolcott: So before that, I served for a little over five years for Adventist Health in Lodi, California, being responsible for the same kind of strategy in San Joaquin County and the hospital there in Lodi, and the one we were working on, affiliating with in Stockton.

Japhet De Oliveira: Beautiful, beautiful. All right. Let's get to some really practical things. In the morning when you get up, what's your drink of choice, first drink of choice? Is it water? Is it coffee? Is it tea? Is it one of those liquid green smoothies?

Daniel Wolcott: So it's definitely water. I usually try to get 32 ounces of water in before I do anything else in the morning.

Japhet De Oliveira: Before anything else.

Daniel Wolcott: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's impressive. That's impressive. Do you just take it like 32 ounces nonstop?

Daniel Wolcott: So I can, but that usually gives me a stomach ache, so I don't. What I usually do, I try to do four increments of about eight ounces apiece, so yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Daniel Wolcott: That's the way it works.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's really good. And now is this tap water? Is this ...

Daniel Wolcott: We have I don't know how many staged, my wife invested in some sort of filter system that has 16 different little tubes that they're in. And so it's very well filtered water.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. I like it. I like it. It must taste good. That's great. I'm happy for you.

Daniel Wolcott: It does taste very good, and I do drink it room temperature usually because it actually goes through a lot faster than cold water. If you drink cold water, I can't do 32 ounces in an hour or whatever that I have.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's why I have a teaspoon only. That's impressive. OK, all right. Hey, Daniel, tell us: Where were you born?

Daniel Wolcott: So I was born at the Adventist Health hospital in St. Helena, California.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, my goodness. And you work for Adventist Health.

Daniel Wolcott: I do.

Japhet De Oliveira: And you were born, wow. OK.

Daniel Wolcott: I was.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. A legacy to the hospital.

Daniel Wolcott: I've got deep, deep roots.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Daniel Wolcott: I'm a legacy employee. How about that?

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. Hey, when you were born there, what did you imagine you were going to be when you grew up as a kid?

Daniel Wolcott: So I was the product of multi-generational people who were committed to serving the Seventh Day Adventist Church in denominational service. So my great-grandfather was actually the president of the Far Eastern Division, which was China, prior to the revolution in ... When was that, 1950 or something like that?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yep.

Daniel Wolcott: So I mean, wind the clock back, and I never met him. He died before I was born. So that's like, I don't know, I think I've got four generations of denominational employees prior to me in the Seventh Day Adventist movement.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful, Daniel. Love that.

Daniel Wolcott: So that's what I thought I was going to do. Right? I mean, I didn't know anything other than that.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. So with all this generational track record here, tell us about your personality. Were they? Were they? Now you in particular, are you considered an introvert, an extrovert? And would you agree if somebody called you out in that area?

Daniel Wolcott: Yeah. So if you actually take the categorization, surveys that tell you what you are, I'm a marginal introvert. But people in business usually think that I'm an extrovert because as a leader, you end up having to be a lot more extroverted. But my place, my peaceful place, is by myself, regenerating, reading a book, listening to a podcast, something like that.

Japhet De Oliveira: I don't know if you remember this, but the first time I met you face to face was actually at your hospital in Lodi. And we had finished a meeting, and then you literally went in front of the communication manager and filed straight away with lots of energy and excitement, something just off the script that you just did. And I thought, "Doesn't look like an introvert."

Daniel Wolcott: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: It was good. It was good. All right, tell me about habits. Are you an early riser or a late night owl?

Daniel Wolcott: I'm definitely an early riser. I learned in college that I could study in two hours in the morning what would take me four hours at night to learn.

Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting, interesting.

Daniel Wolcott: So I was like, "Screw that. I'm not going to spend four hours on something I can do in two hours," because I didn't want to study that much. So I was not dedicated to studying. I was dedicated to doing other things.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. And when you say early riser, what kind of time are you talking about?

Daniel Wolcott: So it's not abnormal for me to be up in the 4:00 hour.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's a pretty fantastic hour. I love it as well.

Daniel Wolcott: Most of the time though, it's between 5:00 and 6:00.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. All right, that's good. So this morning when you woke up, what was the first thought that went through your mind?

Daniel Wolcott: I overslept because it was 6:20 when I realized what time it was. So I was like, "I overslept." I had a 7:30 meeting, so I was ready to roll.

Japhet De Oliveira: OK. That's a little bit of stress for that. That's good. All right. Hey, last question, then I'm going to hand it over to you to pick the questions you want to go, the numbers you want to go to. This is a leadership question. Are you a backseat driver?

Daniel Wolcott: That's an interesting question. I often will tell people that if I show up in a meeting with people and nobody's leading, I will lead because I can. I'm constitutionally incapable of letting stuff just run off the rails. And so I don't know whether that makes me a backseat driver. I think as long as I feel like we're achieving the objectives, then I'm fine sitting back and letting other people go. But if I feel like somebody's running off the road, it's not going to be long before I start backseat driving.

Japhet De Oliveira: And moving the steering wheel over.

Daniel Wolcott: Yeah. I'll be leaning up over the seat trying to grab the steering wheel.

Japhet De Oliveira: I hear you, I hear you. No, that's fair. That's fair. That's good. All right. So the floor is open now between numbers 11 and 100. Daniel, where would you like to go?

Daniel Wolcott: Well, what is it? I was thinking a second ago. How do I pick numbers? Because I had no strategy until I sat down here. So why don't we go with prime numbers?

Japhet De Oliveira: OK.

Daniel Wolcott: So what's that? 11's a prime number, right?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yep. Divisible by itself. All right, tell us about the most adventurous food, meal that you've ever eaten.

Daniel Wolcott: All right. Well, so the first thing that came to my mind, I'm not sure it's the most adventurous, but it's a really ... It was cool. So I was trying to recruit a neurosurgeon who lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. And so I flew to Omaha, Nebraska and he drove from Lincoln to Omaha. And he selected the place, and so he selected this little hole in the wall, downstairs restaurant in downtown Omaha. And of course, I went from the airport to the restaurant, and so I had no ... I don't know where, I couldn't get back there today. But the reason, or the story that he told us is that often when he ate there, he would see the oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, and it was a favorite hangout of Warren Buffett.

Daniel Wolcott: I mean, the food was fantastic, some of the best food I've ever eaten in my life. And it was a simple pasta dish with ... I'm not good at all the pastas, but it was those wide noodles, really wide, kind of long noodles. It's not papadum, that's an Indian flatbread thing. But it was some sort of ... Can't say the name of those noodles. But man, the food was good. And we didn't recruit him in that cycle, but he did end up coming about a year and a half later. I actually went to a different job. So we were successful.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's great. That's fantastic. It is interesting, isn't it? It's not just the food, but it's the environment and the space all combined together.

Daniel Wolcott: Yeah, totally. It was a cool little ... It was like this hole in the wall place. It was downstairs. And if you would've said, "That's a famous restaurant with amazing food," you would've been like, "No way." But it was pretty cool.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. All right, after 11 then, where'd you want to go next?

Daniel Wolcott: Let's go to 13.

Japhet De Oliveira: 13, all right. Here is it. Walk us through the ideal end of your day.

Daniel Wolcott: End of the day.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. What would be the ideal end of your day look like?

Daniel Wolcott: I love it when my family's around and we're just kind of relaxing, talking about the day. So it's just if I can be sitting on the couch. And my youngest turns 17 in another week or so. And actually, yeah, a week from yesterday, actually. And so having ... And I have five kids, one's not biologically ours, but we've raised. And so when you have five, 17 and older, you have a little experience with raising kids. That's one reason I have very little hair.

Japhet De Oliveira: More than me.

Daniel Wolcott: And so but when you can sit around and you can really absorb the humanity that we all share, and the joy of whatever it is we've been through that day. And of course, most of them are gone now, so this doesn't happen very often. But when I can sit there and just ... And of course, Thanksgiving holiday probably was the reason this is kind of right here for me is that it happened not very long ago. And so it's just to absorb that sense of who we are and what's important to us. And it's really us that's important to us at the end of the day. It's our family and the fact we love each other.

Japhet De Oliveira: We're going to have our mission summit at the end of January. You've just described, and the theme is home, you've just described home. That's really good. I like the way you put that together. The end of the day, it's home and how it looks. That's beautiful. Thank you, all right. After 13, where next?

Daniel Wolcott: Let's do ... What is it? 29. That's not the next prime number.

Japhet De Oliveira: No.

Daniel Wolcott: But it is a prime number.

Japhet De Oliveira: One person that I worked with on this podcast, he actually had a random calculator that just would generate the number. And every time it was just like-

Daniel Wolcott: That's a good idea.

Japhet De Oliveira: 26.4. I'm going 26, and so it was great. I was like, "Why are you picking up your phone?" I was like, "OK. All right." 29. Share three things that make you instantly happy.

Daniel Wolcott: Happy, instantly happy.

Japhet De Oliveira: Three things.

Daniel Wolcott: A hug from my wife, that's definitely. I mean, we've been married, I don't know. What is it now? 20, getting close to 30 years. And probably there's nothing better than that moment when I know all's well between the two of us because when you've raised as many kids as we've had, there's been one or two disagreements during that almost 30 years.

And so when she just wants a hug, and man, that makes me happy. Probably seeing my kids name pop up on my phone. One of them reaching out to me, that makes you proud because they're 20 somethings and late teens, and they don't have to call their old man. Right? They don't have to call their dad and tell them what's going on with their day, and ask for money, or whatever they ask for. Right? They could just leave me alone, and so that makes me happy.

I also enjoy doing stuff with my hands. So when we moved here to Bakersfield, we bought a place that has room for a garden. And when I look out the window and I see my winter vegetables growing out there, that makes me happy.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's great. That's great. I did not know you had a green thumb, that's great.

Daniel Wolcott: Let's not overstate the capacity of what happens in my garden.

Japhet De Oliveira:,Is it just one vegetable?

Daniel Wolcott: Actually, I'm pretty successful. But I don't want to claim any master gardener status.

Japhet De Oliveira: OK. All right. Hey, that's good. That's good. All right. After 29, where'd you want to go, up or down?

Daniel Wolcott: Let's go up. Always got to go up. Is 53, is that a prime number? I don't think that's a prime number. Maybe it is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes, yes. Can you tell us about at least one important person in your life?

Daniel Wolcott: Oh, man. So I often say that outside my parents, the most influential person in my life was my grandfather. And my maternal grandfather, he made me feel like I was worthy and valuable all the time. I don't ever remember going away from an interaction with him feeling like, oh, he doesn't think that I have value, that I'm going to be successful. He just instilled in me, Daniel, you're a valuable person. You're going to live up to being something that I can be proud of. Maybe there's some pressure there, but it always felt like it was the right kind of pressure. And he bought me a pair of shoes when I was in high school, pair of work boots, Red Wing work boots.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah. They're really good.

Daniel Wolcott: Yeah. And when I moved away from Lodi just 12 months ago, I found those work boots. And I had kept them for years and years. I probably hadn't worn then in 10 years. Right? And I was like, "Why am I keeping these work boots forever?" I bought them, it had to be probably the '80s when I bought them, when I got those boots. Right? And I still have them. And I realized the reason I have them was because of the impact that he made in my life. And so I did get rid of the boots because I was like, "I don't need this physical thing," but I took a really good picture of those work boots before I got rid of them. And I think that now carries a little symbolism for me of the value that he put in my life, a sense of who you are, and that he was confident in me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you think, and this is not one of the questions here, so this is 53A, do you think it's because he loved you, the love came through the call that he was doing in your life, pulling you in your life? It made a difference to you, the demand, but it didn't feel like a demand.

Daniel Wolcott: It was unconditional love. It was just clear immersion that my grandpa loved me. And now as adult and as a person of faith, I think that's the way I think God wants us to feel in his presence. Right?

Japhet De Oliveira: I like that.

Daniel Wolcott: We actually are in the presence of the God who actually is, not the God we make up sometimes, so that comes after us with a stick, or is anxious to check out whether we've done something wrong. Right?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Daniel Wolcott: I think the God who really is, he's just like ... If we feel that way, like I do with my grandfather, immersed in the fact that I knew he loved me, that's truly what God's like.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful. I like that. That's great. That was a great 53A. Super. All right, where'd you want to go after 53A?

Daniel Wolcott: I don't know my prime numbers past that, so I'm just going to have to guess.

Japhet De Oliveira: 59, 61. I just Googled all of them, so I have them already.

Daniel Wolcott: Let's go 61.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. 61 it is. Tell us about a time in your life that required incredible courage.

Daniel Wolcott: Courage. So here we go, there was one that I was like, "I can't share that."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's the one we want to hear.

Daniel Wolcott: That would require me getting permission from my wife to tell it.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fair enough.

Daniel Wolcott: I'm not doing that.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, no.

Daniel Wolcott: So I was standing in a hospital room with my wife, and our five year old son was in the little crib, bassinet thing, small bed around the corner. And the doctor had just said, "We don't know what's wrong." We were on day probably five of a hospital stay. And he was on two different pain medications, one narcotic and one non-narcotic pain medication, rotating doses every two to three hours, so that he could be maximized on his pain. And he was still in between those times just breaking through, balled up in a ball on that bed, crying out in pain. And they couldn't figure out what was wrong with him.

And so you can't treat what you don't know is wrong. And they said, "We don't know what may happen in the next 24 to 48 hours." And so I'm sitting there holding my wife going, "What happens if we lose this kid? How do I face the future if our five year old doesn't make it?" And we prayed, and I came away from that going, "God's going to pull us through." No matter what happens, he's going to pull us through. Right? But I did have a sense that it was going to turn out well. But also, I was at peace no matter what. I was like, "I'm going to be OK. Our family's going to be OK, independent of what happens here." And I think looking back, that courage to keep going in that moment could very well be the most courageous moment that I've had to exhibit.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's a different thing when it's people you know, people you love. Right?

Daniel Wolcott: Oh, man. Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Patients that you've seen and get to know.

Daniel Wolcott: Obviously, I've been around thousands and thousands and thousands of admissions into the hospital. Right?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Daniel Wolcott: Because of my career, but yeah, when it's yourself or your child, it's a whole different thing. And frankly, I'm so thankful for the very few experiences I've had of being a patient in the hospital, or my family members being a patient in the hospital because, man, it does. It really highlights the work that our thousands and thousands of associates do every day is so transformative in the lives of the people we serve.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah.

Daniel Wolcott: Oh, man, it's transformative. Nobody every forgets those moments when a nurse is compassionate and really listens, or a doctor helps you solve a problem, or gives you a sense of hope, or some sense of next steps, so that you can know what to expect. And so wow, and that's another thing that drives me in my career is, it's like, "How do I create an environment where the people can be whole people? And they can come to work and be with people through those moments of courage." That story with my son has a bunch of elements to it that tell about the transcendent presence of healthcare workers in the lives of patients and their families that really drives a lot of my sense of how you lead a healthcare organization to create space so people can do that for other people.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. That is really good. Creating hope and capturing that way is beautiful. Good, good. All right. Where do you want to go, Daniel, after that one?

Daniel Wolcott: All right. Let's go up in the 70s? Is there a prime number in the-

Japhet De Oliveira: 71, 73, 79.

Daniel Wolcott: 73.

Japhet De Oliveira: 73, all right. Share something that you've had to unlearn in your life.

Daniel Wolcott: Oh, wow. OK, so I'm going to be probably pretty vulnerable here. I grew up very healthy with a family that was exceedingly healthy. And no one in my family, direct family tree upward, ancestors, struggled materially with obesity. And so as a young adult, based on things that I learned about health, obesity was a choice. And so my wife helped me to see that I was blind and judgmental to people who are obese. And she said, "Danny, you could never have anybody on your leadership team that was obese because you can't respect or love those people." And I was like, "No, no."

And then I kind of looked in the mirror and was like, "She's probably more right than I'd like to admit." And so I started praying that God would make me see people who are obese the way they really are. And many times, it's not a choice. It's a product of their environment, of the genes that they've had, of the tragedies in their life, the adversity they've experienced. And it certainly isn't a choice. And so how I view those people the way God views them? And I started praying for that, and over a few years, God totally changed my capacity to see obesity as a thing of judgment, and now it's just a thing, it just is. It's a human, and it probably means that person struggles. Right?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah.

Daniel Wolcott: Because especially women, I mean, our society does not treat women who are overweight well. And so that means you just learn ... My heart hurts now. Instead of having a sense of judgment, it just is like I can feel tiny bit of what maybe they might be feeling. And I think that gives you a whole different sense of compassion.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful. That's beautiful because I think that speaks ... That's a great, I mean, that's a real example, but it's beautiful because I think it speaks into all sorts of spheres that all of us have, judgements that we have about other people that we think don't exist.

Daniel Wolcott: Right.

Japhet De Oliveira: And it's something, it takes a lot to actually stop and to ask yourself. Do you really have that pre belief that actually changes the way you treat people?

Daniel Wolcott: And I think an extension of the learning from that is I've really absorbed or tried to absorb over the last several years is every person, despite their outward togetherness, or their outward brokenness, we're all broken people. And what we bring to the table is so much more than the externals. And so we bring this kind of brokenness simultaneously with this bucket of strengths that are amazing. And independent of the outside, or the life experience, every single person has a bucket of strengths and a complete brokenness. And so how do we then combine that with compassion that allows the best of all of humanity to come out? And those three things together, kind of a Venn diagram of those three things, in the center is this brilliant package of a person who can contribute to the people around them, and to society, and to an organization in a really beautiful way.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. I love that. Well, we have time, my friend, for just two more. So which two more prime numbers do you want to go for if you're still staying with prime numbers?

Daniel Wolcott: Let's go in the 80s now.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. So you got 83 or 89.

Daniel Wolcott: Let's go 89.

Japhet De Oliveira: 89. All right then. This is an intriguing one. What is the most impactful no you've said recently?

Daniel Wolcott: Impactful no I said recently.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Daniel Wolcott: I don't think I keep track of no answers very well. I'm going through [inaudible 00:28:41]. I'm trying to think about this. My wife says I don't say no often enough. Man, I'm having trouble.

Japhet De Oliveira: This is good. This is good. I like this struggle. This is good.

Daniel Wolcott: Well, probably simple thing over Thanksgiving is just we're not going to hang external Christmas lights on the house because I was like ... I went up there. So our house actually has a pretty easy to get up on the roof, so I measured all of how many feet, linear feet I'd need of lights.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice, nice.

Daniel Wolcott: But I was scared to be up there bending down on that pitch, putting on the lights. And so I then went on to the Home Depot or Lowe's app to order it, and so I could go and pick it up. I was like, "OK. I'll order these, go pick them up." And my son and my daughter, they're young and limber, they can help put those up, so I don't have to be scared on the roof.

Japhet De Oliveira: Griswold moment, yeah.

Daniel Wolcott: They were all sold out at Home Depot and Lowe's, so I couldn't buy them. And so I went on to Amazon to see if I could get them two day shipped or something, and they'd still get there while the kids were home. And then when they couldn't get there in time, then I was like, "OK. We're not putting Christmas lights on the house because I'm not going to do that by myself," stringing 190 feet of lights or whatever I was going to try to buy to do them on the house. So I don't know that's most impactful. But I went away from that going, "OK, I'm definitely a middle aged male now because I'm scared to hang Christmas lights by myself on my own house," so there you go.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, and you're alive.

Daniel Wolcott: I'm alive.

Japhet De Oliveira: This is great.

Daniel Wolcott: I'm well. And we did have 50 feet of lights, and so I actually hung them on the back of my house over the pool area because my daughter and her husband live in the guest house, and so they get to enjoy the lights on the back of the house. We just hung this little bit of lights.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. I'm going to bring one bulb, one bulb, floor level. All right. Last question, my friend.

Daniel Wolcott: All right. What's the last prime number in the 90s?

Japhet De Oliveira: 97.

Daniel Wolcott: Let's go with 97.

Japhet De Oliveira: 97, all right, 97 it is then. Tell us about a time when you did the right thing.

Daniel Wolcott: When I did the right thing.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Daniel Wolcott: Well, so this is the first thing that came to my mind.

Japhet De Oliveira: I like it.

Daniel Wolcott: I was a young kid. I took a year out of school, out of college, to work as a task force youth pastor at the church where my dad pastored, which was on the Navajo Indian reservation. And there was a little hospital in that place that Adventist Health actually ran back in the day. It's been closed for many years now. But they were recruiting a young nurse to be the chief nursing officer. Back then it wasn't called chief nursing officer, but that's the role that it would be today. And I had heard she was coming. And she's single, and I was like, "She'll never take a job here." And so I'm like, "I'm going to check her out while she's here."

And so I was driving up the little road, one road in this town, between the places where people stayed in the hospital. And she happened to be walking down the road with the interim person who was doing the interview with her. And I hung my head out the window and just stared at her the whole time, just totally rubbernecked, watched her. And then I pulled around a little road up above, so then I watched her walk all the way down the hill. Now she had been told that there were no single guys there except for Native Americans, and so she saw this white male rubbernecking at her, and she was like, "What a jerk. Poor wife of this guy that's looking at me."

And so then we got to know each other, and a few months later, we got married because she did take the job and she did come. And it ended up being this beginning of our life together, and it's a magical story. So the yes I said was to hang my head out the window and stare at this beautiful girl.

Japhet De Oliveira: I like where you went with that. That was really good. That was really good. Hey, that's beautiful. That's beautiful. And congratulations to both of you. I mean, there's so many people, you struggle and are not able to keep their marriages always together. And sometimes it's out of their control, but congratulations to both of you for doing so long and so well. That's good. That's good.

Daniel Wolcott: It takes work and it takes a lot of grace on her part.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I understand. For myself as well, I understand. It's good. Hey, Daniel, I want to thank you for your time and for your honesty, and for sharing some of the stories and experiences that shaped your life into the great leader that you are today. And I want to just say to all of our listeners, I want to encourage you to do the same. Listen to stories. Share your stories because when you do so, you actually get to change the world and make it a better place. God bless everybody. Daniel, God bless you.

Daniel Wolcott: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: We will connect another week.

Daniel Wolcott: Looking forward to it.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story & Experience Podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at AdventistHealth.org/Story. The Story & Experience Podcast was brought to you by Adventist Health through the Office of Culture.