A Note from Dave

March 6, 2023

My name is Dave Souza and I’m a videographer and editor at MMM.  I’d like to share a little background about myself. I was born July 28…no, just kidding – not that much background.

I am an Air Force veteran. I have to start here because leaving military life into the civilian world over 24 years ago was a tough transition. In the military, you learn teamwork – it’s driven into you. You come out of the military with a sense that you must do your job to help the person next to you. There is a feeling of pride that comes from working together for something bigger than yourself. 

It is a strange transition when you are put back into the civilian world. In general, careers and personalities center around an individual more than a team. This is the very reason that I am sharing my perspective about MMM and why I am glad I ended up here. 

After my military service, I started my television news career. At the beginning it was exciting; I shot sports most of the time and learned a lot. Fast forward to almost 18 years of shooting video and getting to witness the worst and sometimes best of society. I still loved the process. Shooting video, editing, and telling stories was still my passion, but I was bored with news. On the side I had an outlet for my creativity with documentary work and some animation shorts, but it was more of a hobby with an occasional fun trip to film festivals. 

I started a documentary film and a few silly podcasts with cartoon characters. The documentary about the St Louis car scene, which is still in the works (thanks COVID!) helped me to really start enjoying the process again.  

Now we are going to Quentin Tarantino this story and jump backwards to go forward. 2005 was when we moved our family to St Louis.  I had worked with Mike at the very first news station I worked at here in town. I can also say that as a group, the photographers at this station were the closest I felt to my days in the military. They had your six (in civilian English – your back). As I moved on to a different station and he left that station, our careers took different paths, but I watched him grow MMM from his basement to the company it is today. I’ll be honest, I always wanted to work for Mike, but the stars never aligned. I worked freelance here and there over the years for MMM, honestly never thinking the opportunity would come up for me to work full time. One day I received a call from Mike. He offered me a job. I was floored.

I started at MMM late summer of 2019. I have never been happier. Like any job there are stressful days and editing crunches that can get your heart rate up. There is the juggling of multiple client projects to get the job done, and most importantly to create great videos and make those clients happy. At home, I’m juggling kids and trying to make time for family and hobbies and it’s all leveled out by the fact that I do not dread going to work on a Sunday evening anymore. I look forward to working. 

The job comes first, but Mike knows what it is like to miss important events with kids. He knows what it is like to have worked against the grain for companies that see you as a number. Mike and I have a love/hate relationship – we hate each other’s hockey teams, but I love working for him. Honestly, I don’t even hate his hockey team, I just love mine more. 

The office itself at MMM is more like that brotherhood, that connection with coworkers that are also friends that I have missed for many years. In the military there are those above you who can supervise in two ways. One type is the person who will just throw around their authority and see what they get out of their troops. The other is the man or woman who takes care of their people, and who you would go through a wall for.

There is a saying and a book that highlights three M’s (coincidence?) The Men, the Mission and Me. If you take care of your men or people, they will take care of the mission and that in turn takes care of me or that person in charge. Too many people in the civilian world only care about the Me. Mike is busy running a company, but I have seen him get on a plane because an employee couldn’t. 

This also trickles down to the employees. When someone has an important day with family or just some other event planned, someone else will help them out and cover their assignment. I can’t speak for Mike on how this translates as a boss, but I can say after all these years of looking for that “Brotherhood” sort of feeling again, I found it at MMM.