This week on All About You we’d like you to meet our first intern, Henry Mautner.
Henry moved to New Orleans in 2007 to attend college and to help revitalize the city. A Washington DC native, Henry graduated from Tulane University in 2011 with a BSM in entrepreneurial management and legal studies in business and a fierce devotion to the people, spirit, and community of New Orleans. He joined The Idea Village team in May 2011 as Community Coordinator and is presently working to promote and retain New Orleans entrepreneurs so that they will continue to drive the economy and rejuvenate the city long-term.
What is the most exciting thing you are working on right now?
The 2012 Water Challenge is the most exciting project I’m currently working on because it is a business competition that promotes entrepreneurs with tangible solutions to water management in our region. As residents of Southeast Louisiana know all-too-well, there is a desperate need for support in this space and I’m thrilled to help provide it.
What are you most excited about happening on the Silicon Bayou that you aren’t directly involved in?
America’s Wetland Foundation is an incredible organization that I am not directly involved with yet, but plan to be soon. Louisiana wetland loss is a dire consequence of oil drilling and industrialization and AWF is combating this problem with solutions ranging from dedicated coastal restoration funds and resolving federal policies to actively rebuilding wetlands with marsh-grass and beneficial dredged materials.
Tell us about your biggest failure.
My biggest failure to-date was a failure to seize an opportunity in 1996. I was 7 years old and my brother, Ben, and I operated a lemonade stand in Chevy Chase, MD. Our mission and vision were simple: make enough money to purchase a Super Nintendo. The competition was fierce that summer and we had to innovate to survive. We differentiated ourselves by selling peacock feathers (collected from our great-grandfather’s farm in Kentucky) and brownies in addition to lemonade.
We dominated market share within a week and were even generating press in the local news. Our profits averaged about $50 a day and were growing steadily; we had all the momentum in the world. I remember hanging the sign one morning, getting ready to open, when Ben, counting the money, exclaimed, “We’re going to Circuit City!” We closed the stand for good that day and spent the rest of the summer inside playing Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo. I still sometimes wonder about the squandered potential of that peacock feather/brownie/lemonade stand.
IYO, which institution is most due for disruption?
New Orleans’ Water Management Infrastructure
What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
Watching football and eating adventurously. In the off-months I enjoy reading, riding my bike through City Park, taking my dog to the Fly, and playing tennis.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Rhode Island Lobster Rolls
If you could live in any other time period, which would you choose?
Mid-15th Century, exploring has always seemed a desirable profession to me.
If you could win any award in the world, which would you be most proud to possess?
Nobel Prize in Literature
The standard superpower dichotomy: Fly or Be Invisible?
If you were stuck on an elevator for two hours, what one person (dead or alive) would you choose to be stuck with?
Dave Chappelle, preferably alive.
If you had to pick a drink to describe yourself (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) what would it be?