Austin Lavin has been the Director of Marketing and Communications and Corporate Realty since 2011. He develops and implements new strategies for connecting with current and future clients. Austin is also a licensed realtor in Louisiana who works with a wide range of clients to solve their commercial real estate needs.
Prior to that, Austin was the CEO of myfirstpaycheck.com, which he co-founded in 2007 and sold in 2010. While he was selling his company, he launched WorkNOLA.com, which many of us are quite familiar with already. It’s a non-profit project which offers users a way to explore and apply for job opening in the city online. After WorkNOLA.com was acquired by GNO Inc., Austin worked at Federated Sample where he developed branding and PR campaigns, established a new corporate headquarters in Canal Place, and more.
In 2008, Austin was recognized by LEADERSHIP Philadelphia who named him one of Philadelphia’s 101 Next Generation Connectors. He says that he has only expanded his network since moving to New Orleans a few years back.
Follow Austin on Twitter @austinlavin and learn more by reading his answers to our questions below:
What is the most exciting thing you are working on right now?
I represent a lot of great tenants and commercial properties as a Louisiana commercial real estate agent. That said, the most potentially transformative project I’m working on is helping the Corporate Realty property management team think about how we promote and manage space for a new generation of companies. Whether that’s giving underutilized space to great groups like BarCampNOLA or putting tenant handbooks online – there are many things we’re doing to make it easier for young and innovative companies to find and use great work space in New Orleans.
If you wrote a regular column for Silicon Bayou News what would it be about and what would you name it?
I run GNORealEstateNews.com which covers real estate news in theGreater New Orleans region. One of our newest features is ‘Where New Orleans Works,’ which features photos of New Orleans area offices, and we will be posting the tech and startup related offices on Silicon Bayou News as well.
If you recently moved here, what brought you here?
I was living in Philadelphia running an online job board company I’d created when I met Zach Kupperman. He had the great to idea to bring this kind of job-connecting resource to New Orleans, where a lot of long-time residents and newcomers needed a better way to find job openings, and a lot of companies and non-profits needed a better to connect with job seekers. My wife is a New Orleans native, and we had been thinking about moving down but couldn’t figure out how it would work until Zach brought me down to create WorkNOLA.
If you could win any award in the world, which would you be most proud to possess?
Winning the MacArthur Fellowship, aka the Genius Grant, would certainly be something I’d tweet about.
My wife, Beth Lavin.
IYO, which institution is most due for disruption?
Government. I think political campaigns are to evolving quickly as they use the internet and other new technologies in innovative ways, but the actual management of government needs to adapt—and will.
If you had to pick a drink to describe yourself (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) what would it be?
Abita beer. I think a lot of people forget that Abita’s only been around since the late 80s. Relatively it’s a newcomer to town, like me. But I think we all see Abita now as part of what we love about New Orleans. That’s how I want to be, too.
Tell us about your biggest failure.
I’ve had an entrepreneurial career. I’ve built a lot of things I’m very proud of but there are also ventures I’ve gotten involved with that never became what I’d hoped they’d be. It’s hard to say what my biggest failure was, but some of these experiences ended up providing painful lessons.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
I love tailgating outside of the Superdome on Sunday afternoons. It’s great to see our community come together to celebrate and support each other, and it’s the one of the few times I really let myself eat a lot of Popeye’s chicken.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hamburgers and fries with all the fixings.
If you could live in any other time period, which would you choose?
I like where I am right now. But if I had to choose I’d probably take inspiration from my glory days playing Sid Meier’s Colonization and pick the late 18th century. It would have been amazing to see Benjamin Franklin in action.
The standard superpower dichotomy: