[EDITOR'S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank. If you are interested in being our next community partner, contact Mark Eckert at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
YOUNGSTOWN — Terrill Vidale is making waves in the entertainment industry with locally owned 2Deep Entertainment.
With more than 100 clients in 20 states — including celebrities DJ Luke Nasty, Meek Mill, Juicy J and cast members from Wild ‘n Out — Vidale has turned his hometown business into a national force.
Vidale, 32, did not triumph without adversity, though.
Born in Charlotte, N.C., and raised in Trinidad for 12 years, he arrived in Youngstown 20 years ago. His mother had two goals: to become a social worker and to see snow.
The Mahoning Valley was the perfect fit.
Unfortunate circumstances left Vidale’s family homeless and living at the Beatitude House, which provides resources for disadvantaged mothers and their children, for three years after his parents’ divorce.
In Vidale's view, in every hardship, there is a lesson.
“I knew what I didn't want. For me, it was, ‘OK, well, I'm never going back,’” Vidale said. “I'm actually thankful that I came that way. Because now my wants are very low because I don't need much because I didn't have much.”
2Deep Entertainment launched in 2013 in humble surroundings. Vidale moved back in with his mother to start the business and used his sister’s makeup vanity as a home office. Today he occupies offices on Front Street.
Vidale’s religious upbringing inspired the name of his entertainment company.
“2Deep comes from footprints in the sand. When you see two sets of footprints, that's you and God. When you see one set of footprints, that's when God carried you. So technically, you're never by yourself. You're always two deep,” he explained.
That background has guided him as he chose his clients.
“When I got involved in the entertainment industry … I don't smoke, I don't drink and I don't curse. [Some former clientele] all they do is drink. So our lives weren't twinning,” he said.
In addition to 2Deep Entertainment, Vidale owns 2Deep Estates and is former NFL player Michael Vick’s business manager.
Vidale hopes to use his platform to reach out to and uplift other African Americans in the community and give them resources to succeed.
“There are always challenges because just being African American is a challenge, because I mean, we don't have a lot of resources,” he said.
One of those challenges surfaced in mid-January when the Youngstown City Council did not renew 2Deep Entertainment’s contract after serving as event coordinator for the past two years.
Vidale believes he fulfilled his contract and said he is saddened by the decision.
“I feel like there's so much more could have [come] from it and so much more could have been done. The work was still happening. That was just the start of it,” he said. “I mean, at the end of the day, [the city council] has the right to choose whoever they want.”
Vidale said 2Deep Entertainment doesn’t do much business in Youngstown. Rather, he took the position as city event coordinator because he lives in the Mahoning Valley.
“I did, from my heart, my passion, something that I wanted to do,” he said, adding he was “really focused on trying to uplift the city and bring different things — bring different viewpoints.”
But even in the midst of adversity, Vidale doesn’t plan to slow down.
One project Vidale is working on is building the Community of Faith Credit Union, which will focus on teaching African Americans about the importance of financial literacy. The credit union is expected to launch by January 2021.
“It's been an initiative that's been going on long before me. I just got involved about two years now. And we're finally starting to head in the right direction. So, God willing, hopefully by the end of this year, early next year, it will be launched,” he said.
Vidale said a big component that holds African Americans back is the lack of knowledge in the African American community when it comes to money.
“To be honest with you, we're not taught [how to manage money]. That's the thing — if we don't have a lot of African Americans teaching it to other African Americans, it's just a cycle. I'm focused on breaking that,” he said.