Virginia Cumberbatch | Coordinator of Client Services, Hahn, Texas & Founder, Austin Area Urban League Young Professionals
The passionate Austin native made a post-grad return to Austin, bringing change to the city she loves.
Beyond the opportunities God has afforded me with, Austin is continually striving to improve its living conditions. It is a blessing to be a part of those efforts and a privilege to work in a city that encourages collaboration and innovation.
What is your role at Hahn?
As Coordinator of Client Services, I help our clients determine their message and tell their story to those best positioned to hear it.
Will Meredith | Principal, MFI Real Estate & 5 Axis Design
From community development to advanced design technology, this modern Renaissance man envisions an exciting future for the capital city.
I lived in Northern California until 1992, when my father, Tom, moved our family here. This city and its people have been very kind to us, and I intend to do what I can to keep Austin known for its kind people, inclusive creativity and academic and civic foundations.
Why has Austin been a good place for you to live and work?
The real sense of connectedness here forces a humility and authenticity that is rare in most big cities. One’s reputation, honesty and hand-shake can still mean something here.
Alex Winkelman | Founder, Citizen Generation
Don’t let this dynamo’s petite stature fool you—she is making big changes in this city, leading the charge for the growing community of enthusiastic, young philanthropists.
I’ve been in Austin since I was five. My family and the community have kept me here all of these years. It’s a very cool experience to be in the middle of this growing city and to be a positive force of change.
What career moment are you most proud of?
Most recently, hiring Citizen Generation’s second and third employees and getting our first office has been an extremely proud moment. This represents success and growth to me. And on November 9, we hosted our 46th event, The 4th Annual CharityBash Live Auction, which raised over $100,000 for local nonprofits. This was definitely a highlight.
Lindsay Muse | Executive Director, Polari
After a successful career in NYC and as a festival producer for SXSW, she’s taking the AGLIFF-Polari nonprofit organization into its next chapter.
I’m a native Texan and moved to Austin to live near my family since August 2003. I previously lived in NYC for eight years and worked at HBO Studio Productions, Cornerstone Promotion and in corporate real estate. I owned a furniture store and art gallery in NYC, and my love for directing events was born from curating art shows and events during fashion week. After five years working as Festival Producer at SXSW, I felt compelled to lend my experience to the nonprofit world and began working for the AGLIFF–Polari Nonprofit Organization in 2011. I’ve produced two Polari Film Festival community program seasons to date, including its 25th Anniversary Year Film Festival this past October.
Christian Lane | Co-founder, in.gredients
Along with his business partners, Christian Lane founded in.gredients, a micro-grocer focused on limited packaging and zero waste, the first of its kind in the country.
When did you come up with the idea for in.gredients?
Five years ago, my business partners (brothers Patrick and Joseph and friend Christopher) and I were looking for areas of sustainability to invest our time, energy and money. We’ve considered several business plans including bio diesel, composting and smart energy, as well as a beer and wine refill business. We decided to expand the scope of a beer and wine refill business to a full groceries offering. Considering the green-field nature of our start-up, we set out to maximize local products and reducing packaging and waste.
Elizabeth Baird | Architectural Designer, Mell Lawrence Architects
This smart and stylish designer took the leap and moved to Austin, where she’s a rising star in the architectural community.
Ryan Rhodes | Designer, LAND
One half of the design duo LAND, the always smiling and ever humble Ryan Rhodes and his dynamic art stand out from the crowd in Austin’s thriving design community.
Ten years ago, McGarrah Jesse asked me to join their design team, and two of my buds offered up their couch to me. Those folks helped me set roots in Austin. I have found solid friendships here ever since.
Who have been some of your collaborators?
Deus Ex Machina, Easy Tiger, Folk Fibers, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, Patagonia and Transgressor Magazine.
What career moment are you most proud of?
There are people in this town who are just going for it, in work and life—friends, cohorts, clients…all of the above. There’s a lot of positive vibes going around, and it inspires me tremendously to be a part of it.
Maggie Lea | Founder, Cinema East
This connector and tastemaker specializes in the art of bringing all the cool kids together.
I came to Austin in 2004 to study literature, gender politics and political science at UT. I created a community of friends here and realized that what I was good at was bringing people together. It has become a full-time passion of mine—building audiences and curating. When I found that Austin was very receptive to that kind of community building, I stayed.
Peter Simonite | Cinematographer
A soulful cinematographer, whose credits include Tree of Life and Miss Congenialty, takes on projects around the world but loves calling Austin home.
There is something very cool about where we live. The more opportunities I have to travel, the more I realize the distinct identity of Austin. We have such a cool community of creative people, and working in Texas, we have access to the best and friendliest crews. Whether you are talking to the grip or the gaffer, everyone brings an artistry to it. There is a different professional vibe and pride about what we do here. I learn every day from everyone around me.