Brandon Davis's blog

Supporting Youth and the Future of our Industry

Summer marks the conclusion of another school year for young people. Like those young folks, I entered this summer with excitement and energy, although for different reasons. While students are excited to spend a summer building experiences and memories of youth, I am excited about what I have seen this last school year, both in young folks we have interacted with and in our team at Austin.

Maintaining a 140-Year-Old Start-Up Culture

Austin founders at tableWhen I speak with our internal teams, clients, professional organizations, groups of students, and young professionals, I almost always in one fashion or another talk about the “140-year-old start-up” culture we strive for at Austin. A culture I am always working to strengthen and maintain within our team. In these talks, one of the questions I am often asked is, “What does it mean to be working to keep Austin in a ‘140-year-old startup’ mindset, and why do it?

I admit, it does sound a little strange at first. How can a company, born of the Industrial Revolution and at the center of so many early 20th Century industrial plant design, construction and operational advancements, be a “start-up” today, more than 100 years later?

Celebrating 100 Years of the Austin "Pretzel" Logo

I once had a marketing consultant I respected greatly tell me “the brand specifics really don’t matter that much; you can make your name and logo whatever you want and then build a story and a reputation behind it.” He followed this by providing several examples of solid brands with little thought behind their original logo, or who’s operations today bare little relation to their original purpose or branding.

Pick Up the Phone or Take a Walk

By Brandon Davis, General Manager and Vice President Operations, Cleveland

The proliferation of email and other means of mass communication have certainly added many good things to our workplace and culture; however, one thing it has not done is strengthen relationships in the workplace. I am sure you have been guilty at times – I know I have been. Sometimes it seems so much easier to write a quick email rather than pick up the phone and talk to someone, or perhaps it is late at night and you want to send an email now before you forget (since it is fresh on your mind). Whatever the logic, and trust me – I have used them all – please stop and consider for a moment whether that message should be delivered over email.