This is the last day of our internship at Explore Austin, and we have deeply enjoyed working here with such an amazing staff. This office is full of characters, all unique and wonderful. Their work does not define them; rather they work to accomplish a mission. Thank you guys for letting us be a part of this awesome organization this semester.
Todd Hanna is a combination of old Austin Tarrytown boy, focused, military commander, and fun, cool, outdoor junkie.
Memory: After Quest for the Summit, we went to The Long Branch to celebrate, and Todd’s friends from high school came along. I loved seeing Todd in this element, him being totally unable to control their big personalities, while subtly egging them on.
Quirk: Whenever he is on the phone with a donor, about to ask for something, he always prefaces with “I’m sorry, I don’t know how to ask this…” It’s very genuine, and sweet.
His daily usage of the mountain-scene belt buckle
Common phrases: “Thank you,” “Ladiezzz”
Robbie Jane Paup is our on-site trendster. She is fashionable, in touch with the times, and always entertaining. Just ask her about her dating history…
Memory: RJ told everyone she was going to bring Hootie (her French Bulldog) into the office the next day, so the next day RJ shows up and there’s no Hootie in sight. Almost an hour into the day, Gergo asks RJ where Hootie is. She replies “Oh, (expletive) he’s in my car,” to which Gergo replies, “So you’re ready to have kids, huh?” Classic moment.
Quirk: Zero tolerance for potty humor, Snap Kitchen addict
Common phrases: “Have you heard about ______ (insert newest Austin restaurant/bar/etc.)?”
[talking to waiter] “So here’s my dilemma, I’m going to work out after this, so which beer should I order?”
Shelley Hardeman is compassionate, hard-working, and humble. She is a good listener and conversationalist. The combination of her Southern roots and true grassroots hippie flair make her truly interesting.
Memory: Hillary is a slightly unobservant person, and so when the time came for Mountain Laurels to bloom, it’s no surprise that she didn’t notice. Shelley, however, was determined for Hillary to see and smell one while they were only in bloom for a certain period of time. One day Hillary came into the office to find a handpicked Mountain Laurel specimen sitting on her desk in a vase. Sweet, sweet, thoughtful, Shelley.
Quirk: The emergence of her Southern drawl, strictly when she’s making fundraising phone calls.
Common phrases: [to Mike]“Hey roomie!”
Mike Braeuer is a jack of all trades, serving a very dynamic role at Explore Austin. He is full of life, love, and wisdom; and above all his other roles he is a husband and a father.
Memory: Although Mike may not want this revealed to our public audience, Elle beat Mike in a 7-0 skunk last week in ping pong, sorry.
Quirk: Mike has a scarf business on the side — not to be confused with a sweatshop.
Common phrases: “How are ya?” “Like how I color-coded this Excel spreadsheet?”
Claire Nelson is tough-girl rock-climbing chic meets glamour girl. She is independent, adventurous, and fun. She can find joy in any circumstance, is very easily entertained, even by the squirrel that lives outside her office window.
Memory: Claire single-handedly hoisted Hillary up the entire rock face due to her lack of strength.
Quirk: Claire makes all kinds of noises with her mouth, ranging from bird calls to chipmunk clicks.
Common phrases: “My boyfriend, Paul, always wears these short running shorts…” “It was really nice”
Gergo Perlaky is a crazy Hungarian male running model who arrived in the United States as a child wearing lederhosen. What else could explain the name “Gergo”? He expresses enthusiasm through fist pumping and “raising the roof.” His outrageous personality is softened by his genuine love for the Explorers.
Memory: Let us preface this with the fact that Gergo watched the entire collection of The Hills with his wife. That being said, one day he asked the staff, “So…do you guys watch The Hills? LC is going to be in town tomorrow night for her book tour and I kind of want to go…”
Quirk: Gergo prefers cobblestone roads over paved roads.
Common phrases: “I think girls should ask out the boys,” “Big day, big day!” “Totes”
Authors: Elle Spinks and Hillary Kunz
Spring 2012 Interns