Professional Golfer Jim Furyk and President, Constellation’s National Retail Energy Business, Mark Huston, joined Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi to discuss EVs, infrasturcture, the PGA tour and the rivalry of Brooke Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.
BRIAN SOZZI: Tell us about the donation you are making to Jim and his wife's foundation.
MARK HUSTON: Sure. So we're giving 500,000 to the foundation, which I think is a pick-up from prior years of what the team's been trying to do. And we're aligned with who we're giving it to, which focuses on STEM. It focuses on sustainability and the environment. And it focuses for the underserved community.
BRIAN SOZZI: Jim, talk to us a little bit. When did you start your foundation? And what are some of your goals?
JIM FURYK: Well, Tabitha and I have always been interested in philanthropic through our community. But we started the foundation in 2010. And with that, our big fundraiser each and every year was a golf tournament/concert/fund. And we did that for 10 years. And as I approached the age of 50, we wondered could we have a Champion store event in our hometown of Jacksonville.
And really, the goal was to help our community, to raise awareness, and of course to raise some money to help some wonderful charities in Northeast Florida. And so this constellation, this event has given us the opportunity now to grow. And that $500,000 donation, that guarantee that we would continue to make the same amount of money early on is just giving us the ability now to grow, to grow our business, to grow the foundation. And ultimately, we're going to be able to help more folks and raise more money in Northeast Florida.
So we're thankful. I've had a long, long partnership with Constellation. And it's great to continue that. We're thankful for the help.
BRIAN SOZZI: Jim, can I just say, I can't believe you're on the Champions Tour.
JIM FURYK: [CHUCKLES] Well, you are very kind, I will say that. Some days I really feel like I'm on the Champions Tour. But I'm enjoying it. I'm enjoying it. No one loves to turn 50. But it's a wonderful tour. I get to see some of my old friends. And it's extremely competitive. I mean, it feels like 12 to 18 under par wins a three-day event every week.
So I'm enjoying it. And I think this event has really-- it really helped me solidify this is where I belong. And we're so proud now to host the Constellation Furyk Frenzy.
BRIAN SOZZI: Mark, how do you choose what person or what foundations or what other companies that you do, in fact, donate?
MARK HUSTON: We have a whole team. We have employees and customers all around the country. So we know what our mission is, which I described before, which is children's education, the environment, and underserved community.
So we're headquartered in Baltimore. So we try to affect that community in a big way. We have a lot of volunteer hours from our team there.
Our next big area is the Houston area. And we do the same there with about 500 employees, really getting them engaged and giving back to the community. And then we have some smaller markets like Chicago, Boston, New York. And then with this location, we're really drawn to Jacksonville and the Jacksonville area due to Jim and Tabitha and our long-term relationship with them.
BRIAN SOZZI: Jim, has it been hard raising money during the pandemic?
JIM FURYK: I think our timing was probably maybe fortunate. Originally, we were wondering, could we have this event in 2020. We realized that was kind of jumping the gun. We were way ahead of ourselves.
We aligned with Constellation and the partnership. And I think folks felt-- all of us, we were indoors too much, right? We didn't have live events. We didn't have social gatherings. And now, I think folks are thirsty for that, right, for live sporting events, for concerts. And those things are starting to open up.
So I think our timing of doing this in October, there's a lot of positives. And we've had a lot of interest. Sales are good. And even corporate interest from partners to be involved for corporate hospitality.
So I think in one sense, in the middle of last summer, yes, we were quite nervous in some respects. But we also, again, have a great partner in Constellation. And things seem to be-- fingers crossed, hopefully we all get back to normal for many reasons.
BRIAN SOZZI: Well, Mark, as if the pandemic wasn't tough enough, really, over the past year, there's been so much focus on whether to oil companies or other energy companies on how could they get greener. Have you felt this pressure inside of your company?
MARK HUSTON: Oh, sure. This is not a new item for us. Customers all around the country and the world are really looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. So we've been working with them, trying to understand what's available to offer them. And we've seen a big uptick in offsite solar, offsite wind, renewable energy.
And we also have our largest nuclear, carbon-free fleet within the Exelon Constellation family. So we've offered the attributes of that nuclear to those customers.
BRIAN SOZZI: How would an infrastructure plan from the administration impact your business?
MARK HUSTON: Well, the new administration has a large focus on clean energy, much more so than the prior administration. So I think for society in general and for energy companies that are really focused on carbon-free offerings to our customers, I think it will really help accelerate the big need to focus on that area in the future.
BRIAN SOZZI: Hang with me, Jim. I promise I have some golf questions. But one more for Mark here.
JIM FURYK: No, no, I'm enjoying this.
BRIAN SOZZI: Mark, how would a-- we're seeing so much focus right now on electric vehicles, whether it's in the US or overseas. Can the electrical grid handle, really, just thousands, if not millions more electric vehicles on the road in the US?
MARK HUSTON: Absolutely. The electric grid and the utilities are working really hard around the country, which is kind of outside of our area of expertise, to promote electric vehicles, to reinforce their local distribution systems to try and bring as many fast charge stations to customers. So in 2030, when we're all driving electric vehicles, the grid is still as reliable. So high confidence in that area.
BRIAN SOZZI: All right, Jim. The old guard, there has been an uprising in golf. Phil Mickelson is among that old guard rising up. You're still playing very well. How do you explain to the layperson such as myself how this old guard is really continuing to make it happen?
JIM FURYK: Well, you're talking about one of the most incredible players we've seen in the last 40 years in golf in Phil Mickelson. So players of that caliber never cease to amaze you. But a lot of it, I think, depends, in our sport as in any sport.
Tom Brady's doing it in football. I think if the want is there, if the willpower is there, if you're still willing to put the time and the work into being successful, it's still very possible. And Phil's done a good job of keeping his speed up, his distance up. And also, as he mentioned, he said it himself. He always believed that was possible. But even he was surprised that it actually happened. But it didn't happen without that hard work and all the effort that he put into it.
BRIAN SOZZI: As a longtime golf fan and certainly a fan of yours, Jim, through the years, I have been captivated by this rivalry between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. What do you think about it?
JIM FURYK: Well, there's definitely a banter. There's definitely a banter. I know a lot's been mentioned. They're probably both going to make our US Ryder Cup team. I'm up in Wisconsin right now, real close to Whistling Straits. I don't think it's going to have any effect on our team. I think those folks, they'll be fine in the team room.
You know what? At the moment, I guess any press is good press. And right now, everyone's talking about the world of golf. They're talking about Bryson. They're talking about Mr. Brooks. So it's fine. It'll pass over. And I'm sure our US team will be no problem for it.
BRIAN SOZZI: You're right. If the Ryder Cup was today, Bryson and Brooks would qualify for it. What advice would you give to Captain Steve Stricker on managing those two?
JIM FURYK: I think they'll be fine. We've got a lot of help. We've got a lot of folks in the team room. I get along with both players very, very well. Bryson and I have the same management company. Brooks, I enjoy playing some practice rounds and being around Brooks.
So it's my advice to the captain Stricker is really going to fall back on my captaincy from 2018. And I know the fans out in Wisconsin are going to be amazing. Steve's got to think about how he wants to set up the golf course once we see what team he has. And then we have to deal a lot with pairings and how we're going to put those guys out and how we're going to manage the team.
So I'll deal with the things that I felt that we did well in 2018. I'll also deal with some of the things that I think I could have done a lot better in 2018 and pass that information onto Steve.
BRIAN SOZZI: Can you believe Bryson is hitting it as far as he is? It's really almost comical. It's something out of a video game.
JIM FURYK: No, I don't. When you can fly the ball 350 yards, it's a game that I do not know, I don't understand and never will. So for me, 270's about max in the air. And I'm pretty proud of that. But to give up 60, 70, 80 yards in the air is quite amazing.
But again, he's worked hard at it. He's changed his body. He has done a lot of speed training. And honestly, to swing that hard, to create that much speed, and then put the ball in the center of the club face, that is a feat in itself.
BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah. I'm hurting just thinking about it. Well, we will leave it there. Mark Huston, Jim Furyk, good to see you both. Good luck on the links. Good luck on the tournament. Of course, good luck with the foundation.