Mitigating Risk in Construction | Work Done Right™ with Jigisha Desai

This week’s guest on the Work Done Right™ podcast is Jigisha Desai, who joins to share her insights on effective risk management in the construction industry. Jigisha emphasizes the importance of a risk continuum model, which involves partnering with all involved teams (including design, engineering, and bidding) to identify the right projects and how to manage the inherent risks. Rather than avoiding all risk, she also suggests offsetting and managing risk through strategic collaboration.  

Don’t miss this unique conversation that explores the “business” of construction with a financial executive who has spent over 3 decades in the industry.  

About Jigisha Desai

Jigisha is a Board Director, leader and advisor, passionate about helping organizations with strategy, financial management, capital raising, building scale and enterprise risk management.  
Jigisha spent nearly 30 years at Granite Construction, most recently serving as Chief Strategy Officer where she spearheaded the company’s cultural transformation including goal-setting, prioritizing key markets, evaluating core and non-core assets, defining essential capabilities, and right sizing the organizational structure. 
Her passion about education and advocacy for the advancement of women has led her to serve on several not-for-profit boards including Pacific Collegiate School, Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley, and Girls Inc.

Top 3 Episode Takeaways

  1. A risk continuum model can help construction companies effectively manage risk. Most financial executives within constructions have a natural tendency to avoid risk. However, risk is unavoidable. Instead of trying to avoid all risk, Jigisha has found that a better tactic is to effectively partner with the design, engineering and bidding teams to help them figure out the right projects and how to offset and manage the risk inherent in those projects. 
  2. When identifying the right projects, construction companies need to focus on their core competencies. While branching out into new areas isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to unnecessary risk and financial loss when risk isn’t managed properly. Understand when you have the right capabilities to do something in-house, and if not, use the right sub-contractors to mitigate your risk. 
  3. Thoroughly understanding and tracking project costs is a critical part of risk management. A cost manager or cost accountant is a key player in understanding the costs surrounding various project needs. This is especially helpful to account for macroeconomic conditions where it may be necessary to shrink the cost structure. 

Episode Highlight

“There’s always a debate that, hey, I can sub most of my work, and now I’m de risking that construction liability to my subs. I’ve transferred that to it. But if you don’t have a good subs, and if you don’t manage your subs well, that can be disastrous, because now you are the prime, and then you’re responsible for the ultimate delivery of the project.   


So if you don’t have that so I think the combination of some self-performing and subbing of that, especially if you don’t have all the core capabilities, a lot of time, construction companies get into, like, we can build anything.   


I love the enthusiasm, and I’m not an engineer, so I’m probably going to offend engineers, but the engineers always think that we can do everything, we can build everything. And I love that enthusiasm about that.   


But at the same time, not every construction company have all capabilities. Not everybody has a mechanical specialty or electrical specialty. And so knowing when you don’t have that in house, using the right sub to mitigate that risk is really important.” 

Episode Transcript

Wes Edmiston: 

Jigisha, thank you for joining us here today. I’m very much looking forward to this conversation. Every time we’ve talked in the past has been enjoyable and I’ve learned a ton, so I’m very eager and have been looking forward to this conversation.  

So thank you for joining us.  


Jigisha Desai:  

Me too. You had a very interesting career yourself and I’ve learned a lot from you as well, so I look forward to this.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Awesome. Thank you for that. Just to start it off, you spent a long time with Granite Construction, which is one of the largest and longest standing infrastructure companies in the country.  

You started your career with them back in 1993. Can you tell us a bit about your experience working there and kind of how you’ve progressed through your career?  


Jigisha Desai:  

Sure, I’m happy to do that. So I had a wonderful experience working at Granite.  

I started when the company was about 500 million in revenue, recently gone public. The company was previously owned by employees, 100% ESOP company, and then they went public in 1990. And at that time, it was about $550,000,000 when I joined.  

When I left end of 2021, the company had basically was doing about 3.73.5 billion to $3.7 billion. So I lived through its journey, a growth journey, experienced many of the growing pains that comes from being a privately owned employee, owned to publicly own, going through a lot of cycles, both economic as well as some of the internal challenges.  

I enjoyed many of the successes and learned a lot in the process. I was 26 years old, and when I left, I was twice as bad and spent more time at Granite than was alive. And it was an extremely rewarding career.  


Wes Edmiston:  

That’s great. Now, with that, Granite has now been around for over 100 years. Would you say that like you were saying, having this goal of being the employer of choice, the contractor of choice? Do you think that’s what has led to their ability to be around for so long and to grow so much?  

What other key elements of the business makes Granite successful?  


Jigisha Desai:  

Well, the cliches is made sound. It’s always the people. There is a saying in the construction world that the two strongest assets any contractor has is the people.  

And. Whether it’s a yellow iron or quarries or materials or proprietary systems or whatnot. But those are sort of the people always sort of bubbles up at the top. So I would say the people. So they sort of kind of kept the core of it, which is granted is defined as a vertically integrated contractor.  

What that means is that they have the material, construction materials, either owned or leased, that gives them sort of the bid day advantage and they have built a construction operations around those materials.  

Later on, as the company expanded its sort of geographic footprint. They also got into what we call these mega jobs. And those mega jobs were sort of more done on a joint venture basis with other contractors in the industry.  

So that sort of gave them that bid day advantage over Pure Construction Company. So having access to materials, that gave them that bid day advantage to basically bid work. And then once you are the successful bidder, then you have the access to the materials, access to the equipment to kind of get the ball going.  

And so that was sort of their, I would say, secret sauce because you didn’t have to wait for the access to materials or get into a competitive bidding because you had a sort of internal resources. They’ve gone through various economic cycles.  

I’ve seen the boom and the bust, the 90s. Later on in 2000. And so the economic boom was really positive, and we grew too fast, and then it would come down. And then we had to sort of shrink the company or shrink the cost structure.  

And when you go through these cycles, the management team had to make some tough decisions around locations, geography, people where you consolidate certain operations, you close certain offices. We even had a layoff back in 2001 sorry, 2009 and ten.  

And so those are the decisions that sort of you had to make them to make sure that the company survived through that. And then they also had some internal challenges. They got into some projects that were risky, not managed well, and you had cost overruns, and the company had to put extra capital to finish them.  

Those becoming distractions. And so working through that challenging backlog is also some of the internal challenges that they have to work through.  


Wes Edmiston:  

I notice every once in a while you keep throwing out a “we.” 

It’s one of those things that it is extremely difficult to get over past projects and companies that I’ve worked with, I still do it all the time, so I can definitely sympathize with you there.  


Jigisha Desai:  

And the way I rationalize it, because I’m still a shareholder in the company.  

So I kind of say, okay, I can get away with it because it’s so part of the strong DNA being there for so long that it’s hard for me to sort of stop saying we. And it’s them now.  


Wes Edmiston:  

But yeah. That just highlights well, that you had a sense of ownership of your job, of your company, which is absolutely what companies need.  

I imagine with being a vertically integrated company, they were able to de-risk a lot of projects as well. Right. You don’t have the potential where you do have more potential for delays due to equipment, due to materials.  

So like you’re saying, I probably strengthened greatly in the competitive bid process, but also even in execution. Would you agree?  


Jigisha Desai:  

Yeah, granite also had one of the things we talk about is that they self-perform a lot of work.  

The capability of estimating and then basically from a soup to nuts, from a business development to pursuing a type of work, putting an estimate together, putting the project team together, bidding, then finding out that you were the successful bidder and now you got to go and execute on that work.  

Most of the western operations still self-perform a lot of their work and when they do sub out certain type of work, they have sort of the core subcontractors that they work with. And so a lot of those things sort of help from building relationship, partnering with not just the client or the owner, but the subs and the suppliers and all of those sort of come together to make that formula, that formula for success.  

That’s where I think differentiates them over some of the others who might sort of parachute into the certain geography to bid work. Find themselves sort of not in the most sort of successful position to achieve those results that they want.  


Wes Edmiston:  

It probably also helps them to make more organic growth as well. There is a significant risk, and you touched on it before about companies coming up and kind of growing too fast, not being able to sustain that.  

Whenever you have these companies that come into new markets and just trying to win work, kudos to them for being ambitious. But you can absolutely set yourselves up to fail because you just don’t know the subs that will be underneath you or necessarily just the market in which you’re playing in.  



Jigisha Desai:  

Yeah, even Granite experienced some of that. I remember there were some projects that they pursued, say, in Mississippi or Louisiana that were post Katrina and some of those things. And there was a lot of work there.  

And our Texas operation says, hey, this is close enough to Texas. We’re going to go and pursue it. Want some work? But you underestimate some of that local relationship, the strength of those local relationships, the contacts, even access to the labor personnel, because it’s different than what you might find, say, in Texas versus what you might find in Louisiana.  

And so some of those things, if you don’t have a local contractor relationship, it’s not always very easy to sort of ease in to do it. And this is why construction we say construction is a local business.  

There are a lot of national players, including Granite, but they have a lot of local operations. That’s what kind of makes them more successful.  


Wes Edmiston:  

That’s actually a really nice transition to. Really a big question that I wanted to ask you, which is when people talk about construction, they really talk about construction, right?  

They talk about building things. They talk about the equipment, all the cool stuff that we think of whenever we think of a project. But at the end of the day, these construction companies are companies.  

There’s construction, and there is a business. So, as you were saying, being a boots on the ground local business and understanding what that environment is, other than maybe better assessing what the market environment is or kind of even the cultural environment of a region whenever you’re going in to bid a job.  

Is there anything else, based on your experience, that companies can do to strengthen their business, to derisk their business? In order to assure viability to assure that they all potentially make a profit on a project?  


Jigisha Desai: 

There’s always a debate that, hey, I can sub most of my work, and now I’m de risking that construction liability to my subs. I’ve transferred that to it. But if you don’t have a good subs, and if you don’t manage your subs well, that can be disastrous, because now you are the prime, and then you’re responsible for the ultimate delivery of the project.  

So if you don’t have that so I think the combination of some self-performing and subbing of that, especially if you don’t have all the core capabilities, a lot of time, construction companies get into, like, we can build anything.  

I love the enthusiasm, and I’m not an engineer, so I’m probably going to offend engineers, but the engineers always think that we can do everything, we can build everything. And I love that enthusiasm about that.  

But at the same time, not every construction company have all capabilities. Not everybody has a mechanical specialty or electrical specialty. And so knowing when you don’t have that in house, using the right sub to mitigate that risk is really important.  

And just sort of building that full project team around, making sure that you have appropriately retained that risk. And then once you have the job and depending on the duration of the project, knowing your cost, I mean, you’ve got to know your cost.  

And now I sound like a geeky accountant here, but a lot of times people get so enamored in the process of building the work and they forget what it’s really taking to build the work. And so having a cost manager or cost accountant that sort of provides that details around, hey, how are we doing on a cost?  

Basically everything you do in a construction is cost to complete. And so how are we doing against that benchmark? Are we on track? What are some of the risks that are coming and knowing your cost and then making sure that you bill your owners in a timely fashion.  

The other thing is that contractors thinks that, hey, I got to keep doing what I’m doing. I need to make sure my owners are happy. And if it means that maybe I’m a little bit slow on billing, well, that caused a liquidity issue.  

And if the companies run out of cash, you’re not going to be able to build anything. So managing those two things I think is really key is you’re knowing your cost properly billing. In timely billing.  

And then I think Granite did this many years. We kind of took the model. They took the model sort of from a Caltrain because they used to do a lot of work for Caltrain in California. Partnering. Partnering is so essential, and partnering is a simple word, but you got to partner with your clients.  

You got to partner with your designers, your subs, your engineers, everybody, to make sure that it’s a very collaborative process, because what happens is people get into so much of this sort of the process of building.  

Sometimes you kind of forget some of these key things, and then you go, well, we’ll deal with it. And then it results into a dispute. And the disputes is what’s killing the construction company, especially the larger contractors right now, is that there are a lot of disputes outstanding, and a lot of them say, well, we’ll deal with it at the end of the end of the project, and then it becomes lawyers.  

Everybody’s involved in lawyers. And believe me, none of those sort of result in a positive. And contractors end up sort of getting $0.30 on the dollar or whatever the settlement may be, and it’s not a very good way to motivate the next project team to go build work.  

So to me is staying sort of ahead of that curve, having a partnering sort of relationship. So it’s not contentious having a periodic meeting, whether it’s monthly or quarterly, depending on what it is.  

Hey, this is the estimate. This is how we’re doing that estimate. And managing your cost and billing, because I can’t emphasize about liquidity. Those are sort of the to me from a business perspective, because you’re absolutely right.  

It’s not just the construction company. That needs to be profitable. There are their stakeholders that want to make sure that we’re around. So the sureties who support you through bonding, you have banks who support you with the working capital facilities or equipment facility.  

If you’re 100% employee owned versus a publicly traded company, you have shareholders. And these shareholders want to make sure that their retirement or their investment is giving them the return that was sort of promised to them.  

So you want to make sure that the business side of it is handled by the business people and the construction is handled by the construction people. And again, to me, it’s a symbiotic relationship. You need both of them to have a successful formula from a project execution perspective.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Those are great points. It’s one of those things I’ve always found it interesting and even I worked for a contractor organization, various organizations for close to ten years and I worked for owners organization for a little over five.  

And I will say as an owner, I fully expect you in order to bill me. Right. We have a contract in place. You shouldn’t be timid about it. It’s what we’re doing here. Right? We know what this relationship is going to look like, but people are so timid to talk about what’s been agreed upon.  

Right. Just follow the contract, do the things that we said we’re going to do, and that’s A-OK otherwise. Because as an owner, I will say one of the worst things you can have is a contractor go belly up on your project.  

Because then what do you do? Right? We have a vested interest in making sure that you stay around so that we can get what we want too. It’s absolutely a partnership to me. It is one of those things that I would say the construction companies.  

At least in the heavy civil arena that I was involved with, they don’t necessarily do a very good job. They were getting better. But it is something that I think there is a lot of room for. Improvement on that we keep talking about risk and we’ve brought up a couple of times kind of financial cycles and some of these other these crises that have happened over the years.  

You helped with Granite to navigate through some really uncertain times. Is there any strategic decision that you could think of that helps you guys to navigate through these situations better? And how can companies best prepare to weather those challenging times?  

Because these are cycles, right? These things do come up again and we absolutely should be prepared for them, right?  


Jigisha Desai:  

Yeah. 2008, 2009, that basically was the real estate bus, particularly in the west, that was sort of had this mushroomed and then it crashed.  

At that time, Granite had invested in real estate, sort of land development type of ventures and it was a very small part of their business, but it was requiring capital. And when that bubble busted, that investment portfolio basically was downgraded.  

And now you have developers who are not stepping up to pony for their portion of cash. Calls granted is the company with a strong balance sheet. So now you’re on the hook for these things. And so those were decisions that we had to make.  

Basically take a huge impairment back in 2010 and we wrote up a lot of our real estate. Exited that real estate. And so I would say that a lot of contractors sometimes get when the times are good, they sort of get distracted a little bit from their core, core strategy.  

And they’re like, well, we’ll do this. And the reason we got into granted, got into real estate development was we had inherited some properties that through of home builders. And then we thought, hey, if you partner with a developer, that could lead to more construction work.  

So it was always sort of under the umbrella of gaining more work. But then you start to get more sort of overconfident and then you take some of that eye off the ball and then you focus on things. In my job, I was a treasurer, then I was a CFO.  

I always played the role of a risk manager, chief risk manager officer. And so anytime the company was engaging in procurement of projects that had a large design build exposure or large some kind of joint venture relationship, whatever, I was involved in those sort of decision making process and making sure that the finance team was providing the credit quality analysis.  

Hey, these are some of the risks that we should be aware of. It some of it can be transferred through an insurance policy policy. Some of it can be mitigated through certain construction practices. Some of it we’re going to have to retain it.  

So let’s make sure that we’re getting adequately returned for that. And some of it is like we may not know. So maybe we need to set up a contingency. Like a pool of money that can be used for some of the things that may come up later on as we go into the project and that can sort of offset some of these unknowns we have.  

So it was a very much a partnering relationship with the operations and my team and I work very closely with operations to sort of identify and help them that and that was actually one of the things that was very successful.  

It was a little bit of a learning experience, but that really helped as the company was engaging into these larger projects.  


Wes Edmiston: 

I love all of that. We touch back on through that. A couple of other ideas of what you were talking about before.  

You had said earlier, kind of like you’re getting into the nerdy accountant stuff. That’s great. I’m right up there with you. All things finance and strategy and planning and risk management. I love it.  

So thank you for going into the detail on that by just kind of reading through some of what it was that you were just saying and thinking about it touching back on, really. Right. Sizing a company being strategic about your acquisitions.  

And one of the things I think could kind of summarize that because absolutely right. We need to, as the old saying goes, make haste while the sun shines. We need to take advantage of the good times. But think about how you right size your company and how you do this most effectively is really staying true to your core competencies and assuring that you are staying true to the values of the company.  

Right. If you start taking every bid that you could or putting out every bid and trying to win all of the work that you can, you’re very quickly going to overextend yourself. So just making sure that you are again staying true to what is it that we do and that we do well.  

And I think on an individual basis we can think about this in the same way. But yeah, at a corporate level, that’s a fantastic kind of philosophy to live by.  


Jigisha Desai:  

That is not an easy task for the management team because you have the operations teams will come in and they’ll say, we got to bid this job.  

I need this for my team. This is really good, but it comes with some of these risk and then at some point you have to say, no, we’re not bidding this because. This is not the risk that we as a management want to take on behalf of the company.  

So it’s very much of an art and not science.  


Wes Edmiston: 

One thing that we keep touching on is, for publicly traded companies, you have a responsibility to the shareholders and to your board, and now you sit the board for, I know, at least one publicly traded company.  

Are you on are you on multiple?  


Jigisha Desai:  

I serve on the board of two public companies.  


Wes Edmiston:  

So you sit on the board for two publicly traded companies. How do you balance that in your role as a board member? How do you convey some of this wisdom that you’ve acquired over your 30 years of experience with Granite?  


Jigisha Desai: 

Yeah, so the two public companies that I’m on the board with, one is in a heavy civil, and one is in the financial institution. So two separate, very different, separate models, but they’re both with a very slim margins for error and slim gross margins.  

So profit margins are very slim. And so managing cost and managing your structure is really important. I tell a lot of stories sometimes in the boardroom, and I will say it sounds a little bit, I don’t know, not arrogant, but almost kind of like, well, there isn’t anything that I haven’t lived through in 30 years.  

So it’s like somebody comes in, say, hey, we want to do this. My first reaction is, well, let me tell you, we kind of did something like this, and here are some of the pros and the cons associated with that.  

But I think for me, it’s always been this. This understanding. It’s just like a construction project. We wouldn’t be in a construction business if we kind of stayed away from the risk. Right? So construction is a risky business, and, you know, that that’s what your core business is.  

Managing the risk is where some of people like myself kind into it and saying, okay, I see what you want to do, and let’s just sort of talk through what are the risk, and here are some of the things that you might want to be aware of it, and this is how you want to manage it.  

So we used to have this risk continuum model at granite that was sort of put in place and how we analyze risk. And it was you assess it, analyze it, you transfer it, you assume it, you avoid it, and you price it.  

I mean, those are sort of the sort of the decision tree type of things that you go through it, and it’s the same thing here. The heavy civil company will go through similar things that experience what granite is.  

And I haven’t been on the board long enough, so it’s still new in my journey, but I feel like that’s the expertise that I bring and that experience, that institutional knowledge, and it’s good to have that perspective in the boardroom.  


Wes Edmiston:  

I’m sure that they appreciate the empathy. It’s great that you bring up that kind of matrix around how you assess risk. It’s very, from what I’ve seen, especially, we’ll say, in the heavy civil space and the commercial space and a lot of not as much in the industrial world, but that people will.  

Avoid risk. Like you were saying earlier, hey, let’s just bring on a bunch of subs. Let’s push the risk down to everybody else and kind of wipe our hands of it. Well, that’s really avoiding risk. And trying to, quote, unquote, eliminate risk isn’t really this kind of blanket, broad brushstroke approach that’s not really suitable for all scenarios, really.  

Like you were saying, managing risk is the right choice and making the decision. It’s not always a hammer and a nail, right? So I love that you bring that up and kind of spell that out. How it is that you all would assess that, because that’s really a logical approach, right?  

That’s an experienced approach, right?  


Jigisha Desai:  

As a finance executive, it’s a natural tendency to want to avoid risk because most finance people are risk adverse. And it’s like, oh no, we can’t do that. But then what happens is that you are not able to collaborate.  

And the operations team may then say, you know what? I’m going to get no from her anyway, so I’m just going to go and do what I need to do and figure it out. And so that was sort of the shifting I did almost 15 years ago when I became a treasurer.  

And I said, I want to sort of be that business partner. I want to help. And it was building relationship with our operations team. And my inside would say, no, Jigisha, say no, this is crazy. And then you go, Wait a second.  

So tell me what you want to do. Let’s figure out oh, okay. Have you thought about this? This how are you going to manage this risk? Okay, let me see if I can go to the insurance market and buy this policy to transfer this risk.  

Hey, this is something we’re going to have to manage because you’re going to assume this risk. So how are you going to price this? We didn’t have all the answers up front. But we had enough to get started.  

So they had that framework in place. And I will tell you, that was a game changer.  


Wes Edmiston:  

One thing I want to touch on to make sure that we have time to talk about, which I wonder how it is that you even have time to do all this.  

You’re serving on multiple boards, but also you have the advocacy work that you’re doing with advancing women’s rights. So, first off, kudos to you for giving back to the community and serving in that way.  

Again, I don’t know where you find the time, but can you tell me about a bit of the mission of these organizations, what it is that you’ve been doing and also how you got involved, how this has impacted you and what it’s doing that you’re seeing for the community?  


Jigisha Desai: 

Yeah, I would say the core sort of the common factor across all this is education. And I was raised with sort of that strong emphasis on education. My parents were immigrants in this country, and they came here so we would have those opportunities that we may have not gotten it.  

I was born in India. I grew up here. Education was always the core, and I think education also helps to sort of break down those barriers because that sort of leads to entrepreneurialship or doing something from building a career.  

And so Brand, it was very good about encouraging their management to be involved in the local charities. And so that’s how I got involved in the Pahara Valley Trust. It’s a health trust that education provides education for the.  

Immigrants, primarily Hispanics Latinas, who are more prone to diabetes issues related to their genetics. And so then this is more providing education around that. I also got involved with a charter school and it was a little bit of a self interest because it was one of the best charter school s in the country.  

That was a college preparatory from seven through twelve. It was in my town. And one of the ways you can get your children in through is serving as a board member, and because it’s a lottery, open lottery system.  

And so I had two kids and I wanted to make sure they had access to it. And I got involved through that and I ended up serving five years with that organization. Minimum at that time was two years of requirement, but they needed a financial acumen person.  

So again, it was education oriented. I learned a lot about how schools, public schools are funded, how programs are set, and so it was really focused on that. And then girls. Inc is something that I’m really passionate because it really is providing service to underprivileged who may not have all the access to mentoring and tutoring and how to get ready from writing a college essay to a resume to applying for interviews, dressing.  

How do you dress up to go for an interview? How do you prep for that? So those things, to me, I feel like I had somebody who provided some of that mentoring when I was growing up. And I was lucky that I had.  

And it wasn’t just women. I had male mentors in my life who just gave me that support and I feel like it’s time to give back. You ask me how I do it, I feel like I’m not doing enough yet. And that is for 23 setting up some of that my time allocated to that because I want to do more.  

I like to do it even maybe a little bit more on a national basis. And there’s some agencies that I’m sort of looking at it, but I just think it’s time for payback. Wes that’s how the next generation of leaders are going to be developed is that they learn from the others.  

And I feel like I owe to them and I am going to make time to do it. And so I’m not doing enough yet in my mind, but I intend to probably spend more time around that. 


Wes Edmiston:   

That is beautiful work that you guys are doing.  

Again, kudos to you for giving back to the community. Great work. I highly recommend everybody that hears this episode look up Girls Inc. and get involved really in any way in your local community.  


Rapid Fire Questions 


Wes Edmiston:  

Jigisha, what’s your favorite quote?  


Jigisha Desai: 

This used to be I used to have written in my office and when I saw this, I’m like, of course: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter doesn’t mind.” 

And it’s Dr. Seuss.  


Wes Edmiston: 

It’s a very wise doctor indeed. That’s a great quote. I love it. What is one word that best describes.  


Jigisha Desai:  

I’d say resilient. I mean, there’s a lot of different and I asked my family, and they all came up with all kinds of but I would say it comes back to resilient or resourceful.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Two great qualities in order to possess. What’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?  


Jigisha Desai:  

Africa. We did Kenya and Tanzania. We’ve been to Egypt, and so I would say Africa. I mean, there was Africa, the continent, but two different, very different trips.  

But those were incredible experiences.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Sounds beautiful. Cats or dogs?  


Jigisha Desai:  



Wes Edmiston: 

If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would that be?  


Jigisha Desai: 

Ronald Reagan.