For Maia Modeste and Destiny Lockhart, the pandemic is not stopping them from creating strong teams.

The duo normally manages client relations at VIPER, an L.A.-based event company that's handled operations for huge brands like Spotify, Adidas, and Amazon. But with their industry in a holding pattern, Modeste and Lockhart decided to instead focus on their own firm's culture.

“[The pandemic] put the business on hold,” says Lockhart, vice president at VIPER. “But what we have been doing here is working really hard to be as creative and productive in this moment and find ways we can take the energy that once was in certain aspects of our business and put that toward other things.”

They’ve used this opportunity to switch gears from building external client relationships to building relationships internally with their staff.

“With the pandemic and cultural movements, we’ve gotten to know each other better because we had other things to talk about,” says Modeste, VIPER president. “We’ve always had relationships, but our company culture has an emphasis on check-ins and keeping up with everybody we don’t see as often as we normally would have. We have found ways to socially distance and see other, so that we can still be a team and know that we’re here to support each other no matter what.”

Members of the VIPER team

Modeste and Lockhart have also taken this time to reiterate their company values and mission with their staff. As an all-female team, part of building their company culture is to ensure that women are offered leadership positions and are paid competitively — a mission that they stand by.

“VIPER does a great job in providing a platform for strong women who want to work and build something, whether that be creative, finance, business," Lockhart says. "There’s something to do at VIPER as a woman that you may not have the opportunity to do elsewhere."

Alongside building morale, the executive team is looking ahead to the future and adapting to whatever might come their way.

“It’s been a really exciting time to be innovative and brainstorm what things we can do to keep moving forward and adjust to how things are changing,” Modeste says.

In terms of what they would share with other events businesses, the VIPER leaders recommend making the most of this downtime before business inevitably picks back up.

"Create a space where your team can not only grow, but contribute and bring new business ideas to the table," Modeste says. "Like VIPER, find new ways to operate within the continuously changing limitations of COVID. This will not only help you stay afloat during these times, but also help expand your business’s abilities and marketability."


Are you looking for ways to build morale and strengthen your teams right now? Check out the Hello Alice Reinvigorate Your Company Culture Guide for more tips.