WHERE IT ALL BEGAN FOR BARKING SQUIRREL MEDIA, LLC
This is where it all began for Barking Squirrel Media. Yes, it was shot with inexpensive cameras and no, it is far from our high cinematic standards However, this is why we decided to dedicate ourselves to telling stories of significance, stories of organizations that make a positive impact in real people’s lives. Our early experience with this organization, Cincinnati Urban Promise, birthed something in our hearts. Cincinnati Urban Promise taught us that we want to use film production to engage hearts, change minds, and inspire action in the world.
Here is another very early story Barking Squirrel produced in the twilight years of our company. We have posted it here, not because it represents our current cinematic approach, but because the story behind VAP is still amazing and one that we tell frequently. I recall my first meeting with the VAP team. I said, I’m not so much interested in what you do, but more in how you make a difference in the world, in people’s lives. They looked at each other and grinned. Jerod and Mari Wenrick, the owners of VAP, started this company so that they could generate enough money to help those that no one will help. They hire people who need a second or third chance in life. As they say, “we hire for character and train for competency.” And the gratitude their employees have for them is unmatched. At first, i was a bit skeptical, so I asked if I could walk around the factory floor and talked to workers freely. They said sure and the safety officer walked me around the floor. It appeared that everyone had been given a marketing brief because they all said the same thing. VAP changed their lives. Finally, I ran into a man whose appearance might frighten you in a downtown alley at night. As he began to talk about VAP, tears began running down his face and he said, “They changed my life, man. It’s like playing country music backwards. After working here, I got my dog back, my truck back, my house back, my wife back, and my house back.” Then he said, “what the Wenricks may not tell you is they give a significant percent of the company’s profits back to the community every year. And we get to vote on where the money goes. Naturally, we want to send the money to places like St. Vincent de Paul, where our lives were put back together. So now, we work even harder to increase the company’s profits so that we can help even more people.” The VAP employees put their gratitude into action by improving processes on the factory floor to make products safer, faster, and cheaper. What a company! We learned so much about what it means for a company to truly make a positive impact in people’s lives from VAP. Barking Squirrel Media exists to tell such stories.