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Five Former Presidents Come Together for Hurricane Relief with "One America Appeal"
The Purpose Institute, GSD&M and CSpence Group joined forces to produce the PSAs to help raise funds for Texas and Florida By PR Newswire

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Along with the rest of America, as the five former living presidents individually watched Hurricane Harvey pound the Texas Gulf Coast and the approaching Hurricane Irma, they decided that they must answer the call and collectively do something to help?now. That collective determination inspired an almost-impossible effort to write and produce two PSAs ready to air within four days during the NFL's season opening game on Thursday night, September 7th.

"When five former presidents need help for such a noble cause the only answer is yes," said Roy Spence, cofounder of GSD&M and The Purpose Institute. "In times of disaster and devastation, it is our duty and our purpose as marketers to answer the call, to use our skills to unify the nation and create awareness about how the country can help."

Working closely with Bush 41 spokesman Jim McGrath in Houston, who was coordinating with the offices of the former presidents, Spence contacted his daughter Courtney Spence in San Francisco to prepare for five video shoots, in five different locations across the country, within 72 hours.

"We became one team in one day," Spence added.

The campaign One America Appeal was first conceptualized and scripted by McGrath in close collaboration with Roy Spence and Judy Trabulsi of The Purpose Institute in Austin. After receiving approval from the offices of the former presidents, Courtney Spence and the CSpence Group led an all-volunteer creative effort to ensure that the PSAs with five former Presidents could immediately help inspire and activate a nation ready to help.

"The call to collaborate with the five former American presidents who were concerned came on Saturday night of Labor Day weekend," said Courtney Spence, co-founder and CEO of CSpence Group. "And there was no question we would do whatever it took to answer the call. As a proud native Texan, I was reeling from this disaster and I knew it was our honor and duty to make some kind of difference. So, we reached out to our creative community to help bring to life the message of all the five presidents. America is at her best when against all odds; we come together and lift each other up. Everyone we reached out to said yes! And we all joined hands and hearts, and made it happen."

Production partner Humble mobilized teams across the country in Maine, Georgia, California and Washington, D.C., to capture the former Presidents in their homes, libraries and offices. Led by director Gerard de Thame, executive producer Mark Kovacs and producer Fabyan Daw, production was executed in just 48 hours. Cut+Run's Frank Effron edited the PSA in one day.

"After seeing the devastation, we knew we wanted to contribute our time, people-power and resources toward relief efforts," said Humble president and founder, Eric Berkowitz. "Putting together five filming shoots in 48 hours was no easy task, but it was an effort we're honored to be part of."

Mike Blair/Whole Life Films and Rocky Powell/Rock House Films filmed President George W. Bush in Dallas, Texas. "Rocky and I have been creative partners with Roy Spence and Judy Trabulsi for many decades. When they call to help others with PSA productions, it is our passion and honor to answer the call."

About The Purpose Institute

Companies with a purpose are motivated by the idea of making a positive difference in the lives of the people they serve. The Purpose Institute exists to help organizations discover, articulate and bring to life their deeper purpose in the world. In a nutshell, our purpose is to help you fulfill yours.

About CSpence Group

CSpence Group is a strategic and creative agency that partners with companies and organizations seeking to transform themselves and the world around them. CSpence helps companies accelerate positive change across culture and brand through strategic consulting, creative communications and community building. To learn more about CSpence Group, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About Humble

Humble is a bicoastal, integrated content studio created in 2006 by president/founder Eric Berkowitz. With sister company Postal, Humble offers full concept-to-completion creative resources, from high-quality live-action production to full editorial, visual effects, CG, design and post production. Humble creates award-winning and buzz-worthy commercials, music videos, branded content and features for top filmmakers and ad agencies around the world. For more information, visit

About Whole Life Films and Rock House Films

Mike Blair and Rocky Powell and their film production organizations have worked together for a lifetime.

Not only have they produced award-winning commercial TV advertising, they also joined with Roy Spence and Judy Trabulsi at GSD&M Advertising to produce PSAs for The Bush/Clinton Katrina Fund and PSAs for the Clinton/Bush Katrina Funds.

About Cut+Run

Cut+Run features an award-winning and diverse roster of talented editors, as well as resources for visual effects, design and finishing services for advertising and entertainment. With an emphasis on client service, Cut+Run operates under a borderless philosophy, making its editors available worldwide on location and via its offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin. For more on the company, please visit or join the conversation via Cut+Run's Facebook page at


Creative Credits:
Creative Agency: CSpence Group
Founder and CEO: Courtney Spence
Partner and COO: Courtney Irving
Executive Producer: Lindsay Stillman
Producer: Angie Gontaruk

Production Company: Humble
Director/Creative Lead: Gerard de Thame
Directors: Gerard de Thame, Sam Stephens, Jonathan Yi, Charlie Beyer
Producer: Fabyan Daw
Producer: Devon Wright
Producer: Michael Tillman
President / Founder: Eric Berkowitz
Executive Producer: Mark Kovacs

Production Company: Whole Life Films
Executive Director: Mike Blair

Production Company: Rock House Films
Director: Rocky Powell
Producer: Sharon Reinschmiedt

Editorial Company: Cut+Run
Editor: Frank Effron
Assistant Editor: Christopher Kasper
Managing Director:  Michelle Eskin
EP: Bebe Baldwin
Producer: Joanna Hall

Finland Finish               
Colorist: Nick Smith

Music Supervisor: Wool and Tusk, Aaron Mercer

"Texas Our Texas"
Performer: Paul Wright at 360 Musicworks

Tequila Mockingbird in Austin, Texas
Song: Mayflower Hymn
Composer: Danny Levin
Producer: Wally Williams

Courtney Irving  
Partner, COO
CSpence Group
(512) 820-7734
[email protected]



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SOURCE CSpence Group

Copyright 2014 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved

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