Episode 65: Plant the Seed with Becky Mendoza
Becky's not your typical attorney.
This week on Outside by Design we're joined by Becky Mendoza: action sports contract lawyer, founder of Action Sports Law Group, and co-founder of Changing Tides Foundation. Becky is not only wicked smart, but she also gives a damn. Becky talks about staying on top of changes in the legal world, how she stays nimble as an entrepreneur, what drives her, and the work she does around the world with Changing Tides Foundation.
Colorado Sun article on Backcountry.com
Follow us: @wheeliecreative
Don't forget to subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss our new episodes every Thursday. Please leave us an iTunes review to let us know what you think about the show!
Lisa: Hi, all you outdoor creatives and brand managers and marketing managers. Welcome to season four, episode 27 of Outside by Design.
Iris: Hey, hey, I'm Iris.
Lisa: I'm Lisa, coming at you from Wheelie, a creative agency based out of Whitefish, Montana.
And before we get into this episode, I think we should mention kind of a thing that we're doing, don't you?
Iris: Yeah, I think we should.
Lisa: We're always talking about how brands need to stand for something and stand up for what they believe in. And when we came across what Backcountry.com started doing, where they trademarked the word backcountry and going after small businesses that are using the word backcountry in their name and making them do name changes, we realized we could do something to help. If your business was forced into a rename and therefore a rebrand because of Backcountry. So if your business was formerly called Backcountry Something, and now it has to be called like something completely different, um... That's a lot of money to a small business to go through the rebrand of the logo and updating the website and all the collateral and package design and POP displays. That's a lot. And we can do something about that because we are a creative agency. So if your business was affected by this, we are offering completely free rebrands.
Iris: And if that's you or you know someone who was affected, uh, have them reach out to us. You can message us on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll hook you up.
Lisa: Yeah. We believe that the outdoors are for everyone and they should be an inclusive space and no one can own... no one can own the backcountry. All businesses deserve to thrive.
Iris: Yeah. And speaking of legal issues, today on the podcast we have Becky Mendoza and she is an action sports contract lawyer and the founder of the Action Sports Law.
Lisa: Yeah. Becky Mendoza is a badass. I was so excited to speak to her, one, because like a weirdo I actually love talking to attorneys. They're so smart. And two, Becky's just a real person who cares about the planet and stands up for what she believes in. And so, yes, she's an action sports attorney and she's also the co founder of the Changing Tides Foundation and kind of takes on these fun challenges like the plastic swear jar. And, um, she's awesome. Jump on Instagram before you listen to this so you can like, look at our life and see how cool it is.
Iris: Unless you're driving!
Lisa: Unless you're driving, keep your eyes on the road. Instagram, she's at actionsportslaw, and, um, check it out and yeah, let's get into this podcast.
Lisa: So Becky, first of all, thank you so much for being here today.
Becky: Thank you for having me.
Lisa: And the first question we ask everyone is to describe where they are in the country and what they're looking at.
Becky: I'm in Encinitas California, um, North County, San Diego, and I'm actually looking outside of my window at the ocean.
Lisa: Oh, lucky. It's snowing in Montana today. [laughs]
Becky: Oh, wow. Definitely not snowing here. It's like clear blue skies, perfect, like, probably 68 to 70 degrees and just really, really nice. Fall’s my favorite time of year.
Lisa: Oh, awesome. Well, I'm personally really excited to have you on here today because you're an attorney. And you're an action sports- an action sports contract lawyer, right?
Lisa: So that's awesome. And also you started Changing Tides Foundation. So maybe we can talk about both of those things, but because our audience is so largely photographers, videographers, and people in marketing, I'm sure that we will learn a lot about things we don't even know.
Becky: Yeah, absolutely.
Lisa: [laughs] so yeah. Do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a lawyer?
Becky: Yeah, so I'm, I'm actually Cuban-American. My parents were both born in Cuba and I was raised in Miami, Florida. And, uh, you know, being from Miami, it's just kind of a different pace of life than, let's say, here in California, where everything's kind of just very fast. And so, um, when I was in… like, studying and in college it was just very much like, what are you going to be? What are you going to be? You know, that was the question, what are you going to become? And so I kind of felt like I rushed a little bit into law, um, but it was kind of based on a dare. My mom worked at a law firm and one of her bosses kind of gave me a little pep talk one day, and he was just kinda like, you know, if you're an attorney, you can kind of do anything you want. You know, so, um, I liked that, that it wouldn't pigeonhole me into just the typical law profession. Um, which is something that I was very kind of afraid of. So, um, yeah. So I basically took him up on his dare and, and went to law school. But, um, I knew, like I said, I knew I didn't want to be a traditional attorney, so I ended up getting a master's in sports administration to kind of give me another avenue, um, and a little bit of a specialization on which to practice law that wouldn't just be like going into a courtroom.
Lisa: That's so cool. So, like, why action sports? What resonated with action sports for you?
Becky: Oh yeah. So basically, this is very strange, but while I was in law school, I started surfing, which is a really weird... Miami is a weird place to start surfing, A. And B, you know, during law school. It's just very… you know, you're... it's very time consuming and there's not really a lot of time for extracurriculars. So for me, it was something that I did kind of on a holiday weekend, um, went up coast with one of my friends from law school, and I absolutely got bit by the surf bug the first time I did it.
So, um, that kind of... spun me into becoming a fan. I was always a sports fan. Like I grew up on, you know, playing basketball and softball and, um, yeah. And loving football and whatnot. So, um, yeah, so basically I became a fan of surfing. And so that was all around the time of like, Blue Crush, and like, there was just a lot of surfing started coming into the media.
Becky: Yeah. And, uh, and so I. Started basically with all of my master's projects, I started doing everything on the business of surfing, and the business of action sports. And through that, um, I found a sports agency out here in California that, um, took me in as an intern.
So I basically worked with them for a summer. And I remember going to work the first day and telling my boss like, Hey, you know, I brought a, I brought a business suit, you know, just in case we have meetings. And he told me, you know, Becky, that's the best way to get you fired from this job is to wear, you know, is to wear a suit. And so I just fell in love with the culture and the lifestyle of action sports and, uh, and I just... yeah. Going back to law school after that, I, I had to go back and finish my last year of law school in Miami. Um, I basically was just like, that's for me and this is not for me. And so my whole goal then became to get back to California and start working in action sports. And that's what I did.
Lisa: That's awesome. And you are 10 years deep into your own business, right?
Becky: That's correct. Yeah. I've been an attorney for 15 years, and 10 of those years have been specific to Action Sports Law Group, which is the name of my firm.
Lisa: That is so cool. What is a typical day like for you now?
Becky: Oh man, it changes all the time, especially with the inception of Changing Tides Foundation. But typically... the reason I chose this lifestyle in this profession and the thing that I've been able to, um, to kind of really treasure is the pace of life and the flexible schedule. So, you know, I typically work with, um, athletes doing either their contracts or doing visas to the United States. I also work with, um, with photographers and videographers, helping them get visas to the United States, um, the foreign ones. And, uh, and basically because everybody's on different time zones, it kind of has given me the flexibility to not have a typical nine to five. I think, um, from the beginning, one of the things that I had to work on was discipline and understanding that, you know, just because I don't have a normal nine to five, it's figuring out what's gonna work for me and what's going to make... like, make sure that I'm able to get my work done.
And, um, and so, yeah, a typical day for me really changes from day to day. Um, the one thing I do every single day is make my bed. But besides that, I mean, I don't, I'm not even a coffee drinker, so it's not even like, oh, I go and get my coffee and blah, blah, blah. So, you know, I typically, um, will check the surf and see - I live across the street from the ocean, so I typically will check the surf and if the tide's right and there's some waves, then maybe I'll go for a quick paddle. Um, you know, sometimes I go to the gym early morning and, and get that kind of over with. But, um, it also makes it a really, really good start to, to my day, you know, with a lot of energy.
And then, um, yeah, I go into my emails. That's the first thing I, you know, more and more, especially with the addition of Changing Tides Foundation to my schedule, um, you know, emails are taking up a lot of my time and, and, uh, you know, it's not, it's not ever just a simple answer back in an email. It's typically a, it's typically pretty complex. So, um, yeah, I take the time to do that and then, um, typically try and schedule my, my meetings and calls around midday. And I try to check out around like 4:00 PM, you know, there, there are certain days where I'll work until 10:00 PM if I have to, but I try to keep it pretty balanced and, uh, and just make sure that I'm being physical every day and, you know, getting time for myself and not just burying myself in my work.
And, um, yeah, like I said, because of the, uh, because of the time, you know, change and the different time differences with a lot of my clients, it's been pretty... pretty, like, manageable to do that over the last 10 years.
Lisa: That's so cool. I love that you can go check the surf right across the street.
Lisa: That's so cool.
Becky: It's pretty convenient.
Lisa: Yeah. Um, so what, uh... what do you find that, um, photographers and videographers typically don't know when it comes to contracts?
Becky: Huh. Well, it depends. It depends on how seasoned people are when they first come to me. But, you know, definitely with photography and videography, especially with the birth of the internet age and social media and everything, things change all the time. And, um. Yeah, I feel like everybody's kind of trying to figure out what's allowed as far as licensing goes. Um, you know, how to protect yourself, um, the best you can with regards to contracts and, and all of that. Um, so yeah, I, I feel like that's probably, uh, you know, probably the biggest, um, the biggest issue to touch on is like, licensing and clearances and different things like that.
Lisa: Yes. We keep coming up against this kind of broken system within the industry, which is, especially in skiing, which is like athletes are required to provide a certain amount of photos to the brands that represent them. But photographers are the one making those images, and so it's this interesting symbiotic relationship of athlete and photographer, and it's not always respecting both parties.
Becky: Totally. I've definitely seen that even just... because I have really good relationships with, with my clients, they tend to become my friends, you know? So, um, I've had a few clients that have become roommates. And this goes for professional athletes and, um, photographers and videographers. Um, and so it's been really interesting because I see both sides, um, with regards to the athletes saying, you know, to a photographer, Hey, this, you know, taking pictures of me is going to help you build your portfolio or build your repertoire. But then when it comes to, um, yeah, when it comes to actually like financing or funding it, um, I feel like they have a little bit of trouble, especially when, when, you know, if the sponsors aren't paying much, they have a little bit of trouble financing that and funding that. Um, the whole paying of photographers thing, so... it's been really interesting. I've definitely seen athletes kind of look for, um, either up and coming photographers so that they can get the work a little bit less expensively.
But if they have the budgets, they kind of always seem to take care of their people. I dunno if that really answered the question, but that's kinda like what I've seen with regards to like, changes and in like, the differences between up and coming, photographers and videographers. And, and then, uh… and then the people who are well established, that kind of... and I've seen a lot of, of like action sports photographers and videographers move into commercial work. Um, because it seems like that's kind of where there's more money, you know, with the changes that have happened in, um, print, you know, and everything going to digital, there's just less, um, it just seems like there's less funding for, for photography in print, which was kind of like big bucks, you know. Now everything's just like… there's a lot more accessibility to photographs and a lot more opportunity for you to submit photographs to things, but a lot less opportunity to like get it funded, if that makes sense.
Lisa: It does. Yeah. We, we come across that all the time with photographers and athletes that we work with and, and also in commercial shoots. Are you also like seeing conflict or opportunity with social media kind of changing the game?
Becky: Yeah. I mean, I think that that's, that's where the biggest change I've seen has come from, you know, is, is the whole social media thing and then having people… people and companies kind of share photos, you know? And, and... also I've seen like, and I've experienced this with, with some of my own friends, you know, is saying like, oh, this could have been a magazine cover, but instead we were like, trying to get photos from this trip out, you know, um, on social as soon as possible.
And so it kind of just like diminishes the opportunity, I feel like, with... social media diminishes the opportunity with print. We used to see, um, people taking photos and holding the photos, right, like, hiding the photos and then pitching it, you know, shopping it around to different publications. And now you don't really see that everything's so, like, real time.
And, uh, it's been... it's been really interesting watching how that's affected, you know, my friends and clients that are, that are photographers, you know, and same with film, you know, it's, it was, uh, you know, let's save this clip for our next movie. And next thing you know, it's like... you're seeing like a new clip every week on Instagram or you know, on YouTube. And so it's just - it's definitely, I think the advent of social media and the digital world has changed the game quite a bit from my perspective.
Lisa: Absolutely. Yeah. It puts so much more pressure on athletes who formerly, you just had to come up with that one big video part per year.
Lisa: And now you have to have just constant, basically, little miniature video parts.
Becky: Totally. And you see it in their contracts too. You see... I remember when that started becoming a thing, you know, I mean, I was, I was, uh, reviewing contracts actively when that, when that change started happening. When you're starting to see, okay, you know, this is all of a sudden in your contracts, you're required to post and tag and you're required to, you know, to submit a certain amount of photos in a certain amount of video clips every month for your sponsors. And uh, and that just didn't used to be a thing before.
It was like, mostly before, I feel like the sponsors kind of, I don't know, I think the bigger companies always had like their photographers that would like, travel with their team kind of thing. You know? So, um, yeah, it's, it's really, it's, it's been really, really interesting. And it's not necessarily a negative, a negative thing. I mean, you could, you could say that it's given athletes more of an opportunity to, to kind of self market and self promote in an, in a way, if... even if they didn't have the big sponsors. Um, whereas before it was like, you can only do that stuff if you had the funding for it, right?
Ad Break: Did you guys know that Iris eats Toaster Strudels for breakfast? / Sometimes I eat a bagel. / It’s true. Did you know you could be getting protein powder delivered straight to your door? / That would probably be a much smarter choice. / You know what protein powder does? It makes you really really strong. And adds muscle to your body. Do you want to know what’s even better than adding muscle to your body? / What? / Adding muscle to your brand. You need a creative agency called Wheelie. / What does Wheelie do? / It’s a creative agency for people who thrive outside. It’s where brands go when they need a partner that can do some heavy lifting. / We do work out a lot. / And we also can do heavy lifting from a metaphorical perspective on digital strategy, branding, execution, design, and photography, package design, websites, we’re pretty nerdy. All kinds of good stuff. / Any kind of intellectual protein you need. / Boom! Wheeliecreative.com. We’re nerds, but we’re yoked.
Lisa: All right. I, I really enjoyed this part of the conversation. I love how Becky's adaptable as, as a lawyer, like when you think about attorneys they- in my mind, it's like a very rigid thing. But I think what people don't realize is how much creativity is involved with laws that are ever changing. And it's like continuing education and then being able to adapt. I do think being adaptable is one of the best things you can do, no matter what you do for a living.
Iris: Yeah. And Becky’s about to talk about how she stays nimble as an entrepreneur, as well as a founder of a nonprofit. So let's get into that.
Lisa: As an entrepreneur, how do you stay nimble and just constantly learning.
Becky: Huh. Well, things change, you know, things change and the laws change as well. And, uh, and it's really important for us to kind of stay on top of it, especially with the changes in like, let's say the advertising, how you have to like now write “sponsored” or “paid by,” you know, a paid advertisement and you've seen how, how all of that has changed. So for us, it just, uh, we just have to keep on top of the laws and we have to keep on top of, um… yeah, the, the, the changes that exist and that happen everyday in the industry. And, and, you know, there's, everything is ever changing, right? And so it's just gonna continue to change. And we just have to, we have to continue to adapt and to prepare our clients to adapt also and, and kind of keep them abreast of what the current trends are, you know, and how things are changing and what sponsors are looking for. I mean, we, we tend to help them out with that as well.
Lisa: I also really appreciate your, uh, affinity for change and then how your nonprofit is called Changing Tides Foundation.
Becky: Yeah. So we started a, yeah, we started the nonprofit about three years ago with, um, four of my best friends. So it's five of us co-founders and uh, we have adventurers and surfers and all sorts of awesome people, um, on our, on our team. And so it's been really awesome because they've really helped to get the word out and to, um, yeah, to basically create, and this is, you know, one of our, one of our co-founders, Leah Dawson, who's a pro surfer, she, um, you know, she told me one time, Becky, I really feel like what we're doing is creating this like beacon that's calling in like minded people in this industry, um, to be a force for good and a force of, for change.
And so we at Changing Tides Foundation, it's just really been about, um... yeah, trying to change the tide to a better future. And whether that comes in the form of, you know, environmental projects or clean water or female empowerment programs, um, which is what we focus on, you know, all of it is in order to improve the quality of life, you know, where we can, and, um, bring some joy into the places that give so much to us, um, in the form of waves and culture. And yeah. Yeah, it's just been a really special project and, um, I'm really proud to be a part of it.
Lisa: Yeah. Do you want to talk more- well, the word of the month on the podcast is cultivation, and, um, I feel like that's a really good tie in to Changing Tides Foundation. So like when you hear the word cultivation, what comes up for you?
Becky: I mean, tying into what I just said, it's like cultivating basically to me is like laying the groundwork to create. So like saying if we can, uh, like analogize it to a garden, right? It's like creating healthy soil. It's, you know, laying all the groundwork so that you can then plant the seed and water it and watch it grow, right?
And so, um... Yeah. With, with regards to, to cultivation and I, it's a, it's a really special and, and fantastic word. Um, it's really about doing all the things that are going to need to be in place in order to create a better future. That's my, my perspective of it.
Lisa: That's awesome. And so... Yeah, can you talk a little bit more specifically about some of these events that you guys put on through Changing Tides Foundation?
Becky: Yeah, so basically we put on events like, so we're all volunteer based, so none of us get paid to work with Changing Tides Foundation and for the work that we're doing now. So our focus is on the projects that we create. And essentially what happens is we get contacted by a nonprofit, let's say, um, that shares a similar mission or similar message, and that has a need, uh, an attainable need. And typically those places tend to be um, in surf based locations, I think it's just because we were surfers and we're, we're definitely appealing to the surf community and namely the female surf community as well.
So we'll get a call, let's say from a nonprofit in... I'll give you an example, in Bocas Del Toro in Panama. And they'll say, Hey, we have all these really cool programs for kids, but because of cultural norms, um, the girls will not participate. Once they get to a certain age, the girls won't participate if there are boys participating. And, you know, we would love if you guys could come down here and do a program, launch a program that's just for females. Um, and so we basically throw parties and throw events so that we can raise the funds that we need in order to fund these projects in different places. And typically, part of all of that is us coming down there and running a workshop with the girls, and we call it, we call our main workshop that we do WOMP, um, which means Women's Outreach Mentorship Program. And so the acronym for that is WOMP. So we have one programs in different coastal locations globally, and we've done different things with WOMP, depending on what the needs are of that particular location.
So in this location, uh, let's say in Bocas, we worked with, um, these teenage girls. Um, first of all, creating the first women's group that we are aware of in the community where we worked, um, where it's just not normal for women to gather, you know, they just don't have the space. So it was really special for us to be a part of that.
And we also help to create the curriculum, um, for a 10 week program that went far beyond, um, after we left. Does that make sense? So we continued to fund the WOMP program for 10 weeks at a time, for, um, you know, for several years. And that's the goal. And so, um, our curriculum involves ocean education and ocean safety. Um, if the girls don't know how to swim, we will fund them, you know, a, an instructor to teach them how to swim and to teach them ocean, ocean safety. And then we do everything from talking about, you know, um, environmental awareness and why it's important for women around the ocean to be stewards of our environment, um, and stewards of our playground, and to protect where we live and where we play and the importance of all of that.
And then also, um, really just giving women a space to talk about things that maybe aren't... you know, it's not customary, um, in their culture to talk about, like maybe we're talking about, you know, your menstrual cycle. Maybe we're talking about changes in our bodies. Maybe we're talking about, you know, different things that happen around puberty that, um, that are just things that are difficult to talk about. Or maybe you're not so comfortable talking about them with your mom. You know, we kinda just make it where, hey, we're all the same. You know, we may be different colors. You know, you may be, Afro Caribbean and we may be, you know, white girls or whatever, but, um, we all come from the same stuff and we all experience the same body changes and things like that. And so I'm really providing a safe space to be able to talk about that has been really, really powerful.
And then, uh, another example of, of some cool work that we just did, we just did a program in, um, in Lobitos in Peru, and that was with another nonprofit called Beyond the Surface and a, and a professional windsurfer named Sarah Houser. And with this Women in Water program, we, we kind of did the same thing we held, we held workshops with teenage girls, but then we also, um, took younger girls and older women, um, surfing. And we also held like artwork shops and really, really cool, um, programs. And through all of that… the main goal is to tie in women and water, you know, and to tie in all the aspects of water. But then ultimately, um, we just got approval, approval from the mayor of the community, um, to start fundraising, to get a desalination plant in that community because there's no water in that community. The water gets pumped in from another place, and it's not, uh, it's not clean. So, um, with the events that we do, we basically focus on fundraising for particular projects and programs. And, uh, and then we go and execute. And then we also have, like, some environmental awareness um, campaigns.
Uh, we have a series called where does it go? And it's exploring where things go when they leave our hands. We did our first episode on recycling. Um, we did our second episode on motor oil and our next episode on clothing should be coming out pretty soon. And yeah, just, uh, we have another really cool campaign, um, that we launch around Earth Day and it's a week long campaign. It's basically, it's called the Plastic Swear Jar Challenge. And it's the same concept of having a swear jar, right? And putting a dollar in a jar every time you say a bad word, um, it's the same thing, but, but it's involving single use plastics. So we say for one week, keep track of all of your single use plastic. And every time you swear, which is purchase or use an item of single use plastic, you put a dollar in the jar. And that will just help us understand our own, you know, single use, plastic consumption, and just awareness is the catalyst to change. And if we create awareness around our own behaviors, and that's like the best chance we have in being able to change our behaviors. So yeah, in a long winded answer, that's what you got.
Lisa: That's incredible.
Ad Break: Hey Lisa, did you know that there are these super comfortable shoes that are made from trees? / What are you talking about? / Yeah, they're so comfy and they're really eco-friendly because they're made out of trees. / Iris shoes don't grow on trees. / No, they don't. / But you know, what does? Creativity. / Really? / Speaking of creativity, I know of a really great creative agency called Wheelie. / What's Wheelie? / It's a creative agency for brands who thrive outside. That's where you can go for strategy, execution, photography, awesome vibes, good coffee and creativity that grows on trees. / Wow, I'm gonna contact Wheelie for all my business’s creative needs. / They all wear shoes.
Iris: Lisa, I love what Becky has to say about awareness is required to change your behaviors.
Lisa: You don't know what you don't know. So first you have to be an observer.
Iris: Yeah. So like, the plastic swear jar challenge, like that's a great way to realize how you're living your life. Cause so much of what we do is subconscious all day long. You, you don't even realize a lot of your actions and their impacts. So, um, I love what the Changing Tides Foundation is doing. Not only their incredible work with girls around the world, but um, raising awareness for the little things that you can change in your life to help out the environment. Cause we like the environment.
Lisa: Yeah. We need that. Also, the Changing Tides Foundation is so freaking awesome. Um, you guys should get on Instagram, drop what you're doing unless you're driving and go look at it. Go look it @ChangingTidesFoundation. Because again. Nothing is cooler than women and surfing.
Iris: Yeah. Like not only is Becky wicked smart and super cool, but she's also a really good person. What more could you ask for?
Iris: Let's get back to that super smart and really good person. She's about to tell us about what drives her.
Lisa: You're, you're kind of a badass, I think.
Becky: [laughs] Thank you.
Lisa: So, like, how have you just always been like this? Or like how, how do you... yeah, what drives you to be an attorney and then also have, have all this change making happening and that's incredible. What, yeah, where does that come from?
Becky: Yeah. I feel like I've always been really ambitious, like since I was younger. I was always like, okay, what's next? You know, what's next? And I love growing and I love learning. If you would've asked me when I, when I was in probably like 9th or 10th grade, what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said a Renaissance woman. Like I just always wanted to learn about everything.
I've always been like really, really, like, curious about things and, and what I was younger I used to pick one thing a year and say, okay, well this year I'm gonna learn to speak Italian. You know, this year I'm going to learn to play the guitar. This year, I'm gonna travel by myself, like do a big trip where I travel by myself You know, and different things like that, which continue to keep me from being stagnant, right? They, like, when you have experiences like that and you challenge yourself, you really get the opportunity to grow a lot. And I feel like I've always wanted to challenge myself. I've never been the type of person to just be content and don't get me wrong, I definitely like, am okay with sitting still and celebrating my victories and enjoying, you know, enjoying the things that I learn. You know, it's not like I'm always just trying to be like, okay, that's, you know, that's, it's not like, it's not enough.
For me it's just more, um, it's just more impassioned. Like for me, taking a surf trip - and this is kind of how Changing Tides Foundation all started - for me, taking a surf trip, you know, I'm going, I went to Nicaragua for two weeks and um, and I loved it there. And I surfed every day, three times a day, and I just was certain like surfed out, completely surfed out. But when I came back, I was like, well, that was super awesome. That was an amazing trip. But I didn't really get to learn a lot beyond what was the, you know, what was in the four walls of where I stayed, you know. And I really just had this like, innate curiosity for culture and, and for people's stories. And I think... so the next time I went back to Nicaragua, I took a bunch of water filters with me and did something that made me step out of my comfort zone, made me interact. You know, it gave me a mission, it gave me a purpose. And when I went and came back, I mean, I had never felt so fulfilled. And so for me, it was just like, okay, well, I'm never not going to go on a surf trip and not give back, you know? And that's kind of where the whole idea started, um, for Changing Tides.
Becky: And yeah, for me, it's always been about, uh, it's really this innate curiosity about learning about people and, you know, if there's something I can do to help, I mean, I'm an empathetic person through and through, and so, um, yeah, I just, I definitely like... Just, I feel. When people feel joy, I feel joy for them. You know, it's like my joy. And when people feel sadness, I feel their sadness as well. And I think that's a big driving factor as well.
Lisa: Wow, that's, that's awesome. Um, is there anything I haven't asked you that you would like to tell our audience?
Becky: Um. Oh, man. I don't know. I mean, really, like, like I said, with, with what I do, uh, my bread and butter with, um, action sports is visa related work and, um, and helping other… or people of other nationalities come into the United States to continue to fulfill their dreams. And that, that's a really fulfilling part of my work with, with Action Sports Law Group is really allowing people the opportunity to chase their dreams. Um, and so for me, the visa work is - the contract work is something I love. Like, I remember getting teased when I was in law school. Like, I loved the contracts and nobody wanted to paper push, you know, and I was just like all about it. And, uh, and so I love the contract work, but for me, the more fulfilling part of Action Sports Law Group is like I just said, it's, it's like enabling people and being a little part of someone's story when they're, when they're chasing their dreams of coming to the United States and having opportunity here. And whether that's through an athlete, you know, an athlete visa or it's through an artist's visa, like for, um, professional photographers and videographers. Um, it's just a really special thing to be a part of their story and it's really fulfilling.
And I am not going to get political, but right now there's a lot of really blanketed immigration policy that's happening in the United States and it's really, really affecting the opportunity for athletes and artists and entertainers to come to the United States and pursue their passions and to really be a part of the sport, right? So it's important that let's say, a top athlete is able to come into the US for competition that might help them qualify for the Olympics, right? Cause that's gonna make the Olympics more fair. You know, that's, that's the whole thing is like, you want to allow the high caliber athletes to be able to come into the United States or to, to come for the competitions that are going to enable them to continue to compete at the highest levels.
And unfortunately, right now with US immigration, we're seeing some pretty big changes that are affecting, um, quite a lot of people. And it's, it's not, it's not really fair. And so we're just, we're very affected by it right now. It's, it's, um... It's a complicated situation, but that's kind of just something I wanted to touch on just because like it's for me right now, it's the, it's the biggest challenge we're facing as a law firm. Especially focused on immigration. And it's a shame that, you know, really good people and really talented individuals are suffering because of it.
Lisa: Yeah, I would say that's extremely relevant.
Lisa: Yeah. Wow. Well, um, I think, I think people are lucky to have you on their side for that.
Becky: Thank you.
Lisa: Yeah. Um, yeah, and thank you so much for being here and, um, I'm, I'm thrilled about this one. I loved this episode.
Becky: Yay. Thank you.
Iris: Thank you so much for being here, Becky. We're so glad to have you on the show and learn about all the work you're doing, both on the law side of things and with the Changing Tides Foundation. And I know our listeners are excited to follow you and what you have in store.
Lisa: Yeah, thanks for meeting legal advice way more fun.
Iris: Lawyers are cool!
Lisa: Lawyers are cool.
Iris: And you know what else is super cool? Leaving us a review on iTunes. It helps get our show to more listeners just like you and the outdoor industry, so we really, really appreciate it. If you'd take a moment, if you haven't already, to leave us a review. And with that we'll see you next week.
Lisa: Party on.