AMBASSADOR OF THE MONTH: Andres Ventura
Name: Andres Ventura
Company: Lead Commercial
- What brought you to Austin and how long have you been here?
My wife, Kaelin, a local Austinite, brought me to Austin three days after our wedding in Panama City, Panama in August 2015.
- How did you get connected to AYC?
Funny story. Thanks to David Bean whom I met at an Urban Land Institute event (commercial real estate trade organization). The company he works for, Den, had hosted an event and as I was exiting the parking garage the parking ticket didn’t seem to be validated so I asked him if the validation was working for him and he said that it wasn’t so he was nice enough to treat me to lunch a week after. It was there where he encouraged me to join AYC. I haven’t looked back since. Thanks David!
- What are you involved with in AYC AND what is your favorite part of AYC?
With only eight months as an active member, I have been lucky enough to become an Ambassador as well as the policy chair for real estate for the Economic Development Committee. I look forward to joining other committees in 2018 and to take on some leadership roles within some committees as well.
- Where can we find you brunching in Austin on any given Saturday?
Probably either Snooze, Emmer & Rye or at Texas Honey Ham (best breakfast tacos in Austin)
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be and what would you use it for?
I’d love to be able to have telekinesis. Sometimes I wish I could be in 2-3 different places in matters of seconds but the reality is that I can’t. Having telekinesis would enable to go from A to B to C in no time. I’m also not the most patient person (who is!?)
- If you could have any celebrity live next door to you, who would it be?
Andrew Zimmern. He is my favorite TV host and Chef. His experience of travelling around the world and eating all types of ethnic food is really appealing to me. I am a big fanatic of ethnic foods and trying all different/new culinary experiences.
- If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them to show them a good time?
Las Palomas – an authentic Mexican restaurant in Westlake. Delicious food in a nice ambient with the best margaritas in town.
- If you played hooky for a day, where would we find you and what would you be doing?
I’d probably start with a 3-mile jog on Town Lake early in the morning, followed by a couple of breakfast tacos at Honey Ham. I’d probably then go to Mozarts for a nice cup of Joe and lake sight-seeing. I would then try to take a trip to Fredericksburg to a couple of wineries. All this with Kaelin, of course.
- When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you tell them?
I tell them that I solve commercial real estate problems and turn them into solution by helping companies find new office and industrial space for relocation. Whether they are down-sizing or moving to a larger space, I will be the first one to help them in assessing the options and providing the best advice in Austin. I also do numerous acquisition deals of commercial real estate for investment purposes, mainly office, industrial and land for development.
- What technology could you not live without?
Honestly, my computer and phone. I admit that I am a victim of technology. Every night I have to watch 10 minutes of my top two TV shows (Parts Unknown and Bizarre Foods) to be able to go to bed (not kidding, I’m a creature of habit).
- Who inspires you?
There’s no better feeling than making someone you love proud of your accomplishments. For me, that person is my wife. No matter what went down the day I feel stressed, I do my best to tell myself that she’s as proud as she can be of me. Every difficult decision I make, I try to put myself in her shoes and think like she would in that situation.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
Professional – I’d say to lease over 50,000 SF in my first year as a broker. It’s been a good learning experience to start off with smaller deals and then partner with more experienced broker to take on larger deals.
- If you couldn’t live in Austin, where would you want to live?
I’d live in London: Big city full of energy and diversity. As a big fan of ethnic cuisines, I think London offers that. Commercial real estate in London is a big thing and also, coming from an investment banking background, I think London can offer a lot of access to capital sources which can overlap with my current skill set. Finally, I’d love the idea of going to pubs and getting to watch the Premier League during a gloomy, cold Saturday afternoon.
- I want to learn how to…?
Code. I actually think I can be good at it since I am a very curious individual.
Soup or Salad? Salad
Indoors or Outdoors? Outdoors
Winter or Summer? Summer
Tea or Coffee? I’m from Panama… coffee
Beer or Wine? Who do you love more – your mom or your dad. Love them equally.
Mountains or Beach? Beach, for sure. I don’t like heights.