Member of the Month: Kelsey Hitchingham

Member of the Month: Kelsey Hitchingham

Name: Kelsey Hitchingham
Company: The Hitchingham Group
Role: Founder, Executive Director

 

      1. What brought you to Austin and how long have you been here?
        I moved to Austin over Labor Day weekend in 2009 from Sarasota, FL. My parents had just moved to Buda and I was looking for a change in scenery, so I packed up everything I owned that could fit in a pickup truck and moved here with no job and no friends, and stayed with my parents for a few months. I do not recommend this approach.
      2. How did you get connected to AYC?
        In 2015, I moved to DC very briefly (three months) and when I came back to Austin, I resolved that if this was going to be my home for years to come, then I needed to start getting involved in a meaningful way. I attended my first Economic Development Committee meeting in May of 2017 and have been hooked ever since.
      3. What are you involved with in AYC AND what is your favorite part of AYC?
        I am currently the vice-chair of the Economic Development Committee, and I look forward to our meetings every month. In addition to working with great people in the leadership, our meetings always have fascinating content from speakers, policy chairs, and the general membership who show up and contribute. I love AYC as a whole for the opportunities it brings to young people in Austin- I really think that we’ll be seeing a wave of more political engagement from the people who have been moving to Austin over the last decade and I think AYC is a great way to engage and educate them.
      4. Where can we find you brunching in Austin on any given Saturday?
        My house! I have zero desire to leave the house on a Saturday morning, but I love to cook and no one is counting how many mimosas or slices of bacon I’m loading up on.
      5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and what would you use it for?
        I wish I could do long division without a calculator. Adults who remember how to do that on paper are the real heroes.
      6. If you could have any celebrity live next door to you, who would it be?
        Ruth Bader GInsburg, so I can catch her next time she falls.
      7. If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them to show them a good time?
        Kitty Cohen’s. I’m somewhat of a regular there, and I’ve even introduced my good Midwestern mother to the wonders of frose on a sunny afternoon. It’s got it all, in my opinion: good music, great bartenders, A POOL, and some great popup food.
      8. If you played hooky for a day, where would we find you and what would you be doing?
        I am starting a business and working from home, so every day feels like I’m playing hooky, honestly. But when I want to legit get away, I like to take a book to Deep Eddy and snag a spot away from everyone for a few hours, then call up some girlfriends to sneak away for a late lunch of gin martinis and french fries at Hillside or Peche.
      9. When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you tell them?
        I once put “rockstar” down as my occupation on a Customs Declaration form and NO ONE challenged me on it. Now, though, I am in the process of launching a consulting company that works with small- to mid-sized nonprofits to create data and financial management tools that they can use to attract funders and increase their revenue.
      10. What technology could you not live without?
        Although it’s an extension of my arm, I could totally do without my phone. I honestly hate how much screen time I have throughout the day, so you can bin it all and I’d feel a lot better. I guess to answer this question, I’d choose the trifecta of electricity, the internal combustion engine, and the printing press.
      11. Who inspires you?
        I am friends and collaborate with some amazing women in Austin who work in progressive, LGBTQIA, anti-racist, and survivors advocacy spaces, and their courage to do the work they do is astounding. I am inspired by women all over the world who speak out against injustice and who bear emotional labor to educate those of us with privilege.
      12. What is your proudest accomplishment?
        The Hitchingham Group is a pretty big accomplishment for me. There was a time I never thought I’d go to college, let alone start my own business one day, so I feel pretty good about the path my life has taken the last few years. I’d say that the biggest takeaway, and what I’m most proud of, has to be walking away from some big sources of comfort and stability in my life that weren’t fulfilling or helping me grow. Choosing to take a leap of faith in my own ability, and so far landing on my feet, feels pretty good in the morning.
      13. If you couldn’t live in Austin, where would you want to live?
        Paris. I studied abroad there in college and have a brother who lived there for a long time; it’s a place that has spoken to my heart since I was a kid. If not Paris, I’m a pretty solid 9 when I visit family back in Indiana, so if things ever thin out for me here I can try my luck as a Hoosier.
      14. I want to learn how to…?
        Speak Spanish. I’ve spoken French since Middle School, but living in Texas that doesn’t give me a lot of opportunity to practice every day.
      15. Pick:
        Soup or Salad?
        Super Salad!
        Indoors or Outdoors?  
        Outdoors
        Winter or Summer?  
        Summer
        Tea or Coffee?
        Coffee
        Mountains or Beach?
        Beach
      16. Favorite Drink?
        Before 10: Coffee; 10-5: Water; After 5: Wine
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