During 2020 we focused on supporting clients, partners, communities, and friends in the business and nonprofit worlds as everyone took operations online during the pandemic. We said yes to as many projects as we could and had to turn down many others.
Any “spare” time was spent supporting partners on annual retainers—we often voluntarily worked overtime on creating videos, digital ads, on-site video production spaces, hosting training, providing virtual tech support, and providing other video and digital content products and services.
We saw this time as our way of giving back to the community, supporting causes and initiatives during a year when everyone suddenly needed video and digital support.
Collectively, our 2020 giving was valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars in services.
The following is a timeline of dates as told by our team’s shared Google calendar–some of the moments working on projects with all of you throughout the pandemic year.
Jan 4th, 2020— Last day to empty out the office storage to move across town, County life to City life once again. Hello Texas’ 2nd congressional district! Fun fact time: From 1846 to 2005, this district elected all Democratic representatives. For 159 years! That is, until the 2003 re-districting debacle.
Jan 7th — Nelson Vanegas goes to Austin, Texas to meet up with Geoff Moskowitz, Fat Cat Productions, in preparation for a video work trip to Barcelona in February. At this time we had no idea COVID would already be breaking out in Spain.
Jan 9th — We closed on our temporary new home office. Yay! Our agent and friend, Jenny from our days in music/radio is a blessing. ❤ Check her out on IG here.
Jan 11th — MFAH Latino Advisory Committee. Unknowingly the last time we set foot inside the museum for a long time. Even though it’s the first year we became members (a birthday gift to myself 2+ months prior).
Jan 18th — Recording and editing a video of Houston in Action’s diverse canvassing team for the 2020 Census as they try to reach historically undercounted communities in Harris County. Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian, Homeless, and other groups.
Jan 24th — Working on projects with our friends at JAB (Just Add Beats) and Creative Vida as they up-skill and support Houston’s youth through music production and various skill development sessions, respectively.
Feb 3rd — Social media video ads management session with Kevin, Founder of Soma Athletic Wellness and alumnus of WCE, c/o ’13. (We graduated from the same class). We sit in Doshi House’s new outdoor space. Last time eating here for a while (unknowingly). Check out this video we made for SOMA.
Feb 7th — WCEAN content meeting + coffee with Annie at Cascabel. Had I known it would be our last, I would have taken in the moments more fully. Had a 2nd-3rd cup of coffee. Another pastry. One last hug. ❤
Feb 11th — Photoshoot at YES Prep Public Schools before everything went virtual. Our last look at “normal” schooling before the pandemic.
Feb 13th — Recording and editing an EOY video with the BakerRipley team 5 days before leaving the country for another video project. The last time we see each other in-person for months.
Feb 19th — 29th — We head to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Geoffrey w/ Fat Cat Productions, Sean Kinney and Catherine Sbeglia w/ RCR Wireless News and Nelson, Goodspero, get the job done with enough time to spare for Geoff & Sean to make some awesome local food videos too.
Almost unaware of the growing threat of COVID-19, we all continue roaming the crowded, narrow streets of Barcelona, unmasked, sharing food, drinks, and living spaces. We fly home 11 days before the U.S. blocks travel from Europe. Just in time.
Also today: live streaming WCE’s Induction Ceremony on Facebook — where entrepreneurship students meet their personal mentors, get their jackets, and are officially inducted into a program that will change their lives forever.
March 4th — Shooting b-roll at BakerRipley’s Heart of Gold celebration, where 800+ of Houston’s community, business, and philanthropic leaders + local, regional and national elected officials comes together each year to honor donors and the work we all do together for our communities, our families, and our neighbors.
March 5th — Filming the annual O&G Poker Tournament at the Corinthian in downtown Houston which raises $1.67 Million for YES Prep Public Schools.
Video for YES Prep Texas Hold Em’ Tournament 2020
March 9th —11th — Recording several First Ladies for Census Sunday — a Houston in Action and PoliChic partnership project capturing messages for congregations about the importance of ALL OF US being counted in the Census. For each person that is not counted in the Census, we lose $10,000 perperson over the census period. If you and your partner have 1-2+ kids, that’s $30K–40K+ in funding that your community can get, just for you filling out the Census.
March 24th — Harris County issues stay-at-home order, closing most businesses. Energy, transportation, construction and food service industries are allowed to continue working. Grateful to have Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo at the helm, despite the unfortunate attacks on her age, gender, experience, strategies, or judgment from others.
April 2, 2020 — Starting to sit in on college classes and corporate meetings via Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams is becoming the norm. We get to work making sure visuals, audio, streaming, social media, and other video + digital resources are supporting clients’ operations since most projects and businesses have needed to go online. We spend most of the pandemic with clients and partners on annual retainers. We turn down in-person video production requests that involve filming with people or that aren’t outdoors.
April 8th — Starting to habitually order groceries online — never looking back. We eventually switched to mostly delivery.
Making a lot of videos remotely, recording b-roll and voiceovers around the house, changing clothes, nail polish and locations to appear as if we recorded different people, and other creative video tricks. 🙂
Video for VolunteerHouston.org made in partnership with Houston in Action to help recruit virtual volunteers.
May 1st — Texas Governor Abbott begins pre-maturely re-opening Texas after pressure from the business community. Retail, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, libraries, and malls can reopen at 25% capacity. Masks are encouraged but not mandated. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo continues showing exemplary leadership and making logical decisions for humanity.
Video Editing takes the front seat this year. Here’s a community favorite from one of our last times recording with people and partners in person in 2020:
May 8th — Recording the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship Director’s graduation ceremony speech. UH and other schools decide graduation will be virtual for the Class of 2020. We record, work with 10+ video content collaborators including students and keynote, to rush edit a 1 1/2 hour long docu-ceremony for 36 Entrepreneurship students, 6 days before their big day. The longest project we’ve ever done, expedited in the shortest amount of time.
Video for WCE’s Virtual Graduation Ceremony, WCE Class of 2020
May 14th — Multi-live streaming, arguably the BEST graduation ceremony of 2020. Privately streamed to Zoom for students and mentors, publicly streamed to Facebook for families, friends, alumni, and supporters. Nelson Vanegas at the Livestream Production helm in the studio.
May 23rd — Nelson on camera to help livestream the 1st Rooftop Drive-In Concert in Houston with Wonky Power at Axelrad. Cars park across the street, tune their FM radios in (and livestream video) to listen to live music, while watching band(s) play from a parking lot a safe distance away.
June 10th — Officially started working with La Fogata Colombian Restaurant. Video, photos, social media — it’s time to invest more time online. The owner, AC, went to school with Nelson in Alief…they were in theater class together. Regardless of the challenges faced by local restaurants this year, AC has been giving where and whenever possible. To the nonprofit initiatives, to frontline workers, to his staff, customers, family, friends, fellow restaurant owners, to the Colombian community, and anyone else that crosses his path.
From city and state orders to shut down and then re-opening with safety regulations in place, to fighting COVID scares, and figuring out digital — running a small business during this time takes true leadership and faith. Much respect. Please go support one of the yummiest legacy family-owned Colombian restaurants in Houston, La Fogata (they do takeout and catering too, and yes — they’re on UberEats if you must use a 3rd party). 😉
June 22 — We begin talks in our home, with friends, colleagues, mentors, and clients to take actionable steps in changing systemic racism and supporting economic opportunities for underrepresented communities: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), including Hispanic/Latinx, AAPI (Asian American, Pacific Islanders), LGBTQ, people with disabilities, Women and other communities. Almost 1 month after Minneapolis, Minnesota police murdered Houston native, George Floyd, during an arrest after a clerk alleged he gave him a counterfeit $20.
August 14th — Publishing a student recruitment social media video made from footage recorded pre-pandemic + some stock video from Houston for the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship. *Editing completely done on Canva.
This gets us thinking more about the future of video and Goodspero’s role in video and digital services. For the first time, we begin growth talks and actively begin looking for partners, mentors, and financial support.
We apply for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program to grow our company while creating more jobs, and a Ureeka program to facilitate growth and investment in tech for our business, and several other growth and funding opportunities. Making it to the final round with Goldman Sachs we end up turning down the opportunity after recommendations from mentors not to commit to multiple programs at once. We choose Ureeka for the closer connections and understanding of our industry in tech, social, digital and social impact. Way more goal and mIssion-aligned.
Sept 6th — Recording interviews online instead of in person is now the norm.
Students say a few words to scholarship donors. We spend 30 minutes framing and adjusting audio and video and then about 1 hour recording each group x7 groups total.
Sept 13th —15th — Recording Jewish services with Fat Cat Productions (Nelson’s childhood friend from Alief), to be streamed online. In-person religious gatherings remain canceled.
The PowerUp fund awards 500+ LatinX small businesses across Texas, California, and New York with a $5,000 grant, virtual coaching, and resources. Goodspero becomes a PowerUp grantee and we commit to a 6+ month program with a cohort of 15 other entrepreneurs to grow our business with the support of a BIPOC social impact network of mentors, coaches, and entrepreneurs with experience and funding from Google Philanthropy, Ureeka, Hispanics in Philanthropy, and a coaching curriculum from Kevin O’Leary, entrepreneur and one of the host’s of Shark Tank.
“Underrepresented entrepreneurs, women, people of color are time and time again barred from the type of access so many take for granted, whether it be financial, educational or otherwise. We have to do better. Ureeka is doing incredible work to make tools and connections that are usually reserved for the big fish, actually accessible and all in one place. I’m thrilled to be working with them and to be able to provide small businesses access to my all-star team and resources.” — Kevin O’Leary
October 4th — Virtual Training for Social Media Monitoring with Common Cause after signing up for volunteer support efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation related to and leading up to the 2020 Elections. They teach volunteers how to monitor Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Next Door, and TikTok to help assist voters posting questions about voting and elections online and to flag misinformation and disinformation.
“Public transit connects people to opportunity and advances equity when it exists in certain places and operates a quality service. Achieving equity in and through transit refers to the fair and just distribution of benefits and burdens of transit services and infrastructure across communities. Equity in Transit: 2020 examines how to improve Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, TX (METRO) transit services, particularly for people who ride the local bus.
Over 4.5 million people live in the METRO service area and 69% are people of color (e.g., Black, Indigenous, people of color)…”
Source: LINK Houston – Equity in Transit Report
Video: LINK Houston’s Equity in Transit Report 2020
Oct 13th — Video Editing and Publishing English and Spanish voter mobilization videos for HiA
Oct 22nd — Starting to set-up on-site video production rooms with acoustic treatment and camera+audio+lighting setup for video meetings, presentations, interviews, video streaming and other in-house business video needs + Virtual Video Production training that we were doing in-person (pre-COVID). Demand is high — high-quality custom acoustic materials are taking months to be delivered from the manufacturer.
Oct 23rd — Drive-through voting on our Co-Founder, Jessica’s, birthday! (Drive-through voting will soon become politicized and illegal in Texas.) Also began creating and sharing social media content + coordinating, producing, and streaming daily Facebook Live interviews between BIPOC + AAPI community leaders and Houston in Action #HTownVotes artist grantees to mobilize underrepresented voters in Harris County. Little sleep from now until the day after Election Day.
Oct 26th — Investing more into XQ CPA services (referred by a WCE alumna CEO I graduated with in c/o ‘13, Thanks Katia!). This year Charlene and her team at XQ helped us with an S-Corp conversion, bookkeeping, tax planning & prep, financial statements + projections for growth programs and grant applications, payroll, options for online merchant services, and financial software that gives us an overview of our business’ financial state at any given time, with adjustable variables that allow us to make informed decisions.
Nov 6th — Beginning of our plant-based meal prep journey with Danielle, (@the_vegan_dan). Life-changing service. Eating healthier, supporting local vs UberEats, saving money, saving time (no more thinking about what to make, no more grocery shopping, no prepping food, no cooking, way less dishwashing), and never going hungry because there’s “no time” to take a lunch break while working from home.
Nov 18th — PowerUp Coaching Kickoff with Antonia, our business coach for the next 6 months. Looking forward to plowing through Kevin O’Leary’s Bootcamp. Strategy, Customer Aquisition, Finance, and Management.
Nov 27th — USPS delivers a check from Ureeka + Google +HIP to invest in technology for our business! Yay!!
Dec 17th — Turned in our last video editing project of the year, a holiday message with our friends at BakerRipley. Dolores on the script, Juan on visual content, Guillermo on branding, Michelle on project management, Steph on vision, Claudia on contracts, Brandon on camera, Nelson in the editing room, Jessica on production assist & comms. 4-day turnaround. Bravo team!
Dec 25th — A blessed day of gratitude and thanks spent at home. Notable: We didn’t do any “work” today.
Dec 29th — Payroll time. S-Corp life. Thanks, Avery, XQ CPA!
Dec 30th — Finalizing our last (requested) proposal of the year: Video Production, Livestream Video Producing, Video Editing, Video Production Trainings, and more.
Also talking TikTok, Clubhouse, Canva, and the future of video, social media, and content creation for social impact, economic impact, and other areas of impact. Environmental. Humanitarian. Racial Justice. Equity. Education. And more. Internationally. Google all the things.
Dec 31st — Celebrating with a YouTube countdown, our dog, and the neighborhood fireworks show. Ready for 2021 and the projects to come.