As Slalom opens its doors in Austin, we spoke with Lindsay Wenk, the office’s managing director, about why Austin is the perfect fit for Slalom and what she’s looking for as she grows the Slalom Austin team.
We’re so excited to have you here at Slalom. Will you tell us a little bit about your career before joining us?
Thank you, I’m very excited too. I began my career with Accenture in the Dallas office and over time made my way to Chicago, then New Jersey, working in the communications and high-tech practice. In 2003, my husband and I decided to make Austin our home, so for the next few years I worked mainly with communications clients in San Antonio.
Then in 2011, I decided it was time to focus locally. I joined Bazaarvoice, a successful, well-known digital marketing startup based in Austin, and I focused on client services. In 2013, I joined Iodine Software, a high-growth startup in the healthcare space, and spent the next five years building the organization and serving our rapidly expanding client base.
Both parts of my career journey have been fun and rewarding, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring experiences from both the consulting and startup world to Slalom and Austin.
What made you choose Slalom?
For me, it’s the chance to build something from the beginning, but to do so knowing that there’s an extended network and support system. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity—and also incredibly rare! Combine that with Slalom’s clear and sustained focus on our people, and the decision was really easy.
Why is Austin a great fit for Slalom?
I believe there’s a gap in the market in Austin, and Slalom is uniquely positioned to fill it. Austinites are all about Austin and “keeping it local.” There are some really interesting companies here that are innovating at a rapid clip, and they’re hungry for a partner to help them achieve their visions. Beyond that, Austin is a high-energy city, and I think Slalom will be able to tap into that energy and use it to bring value to a wide variety of Austin companies.
From a people perspective, Slalom will provide a really interesting option for talented professionals in the area. Austin continues to be on most Best Places to Live lists and is filled with really smart, motivated people who want to do amazing things. I think the opportunity to work for a company like Slalom, while living in a great city like Austin, will be tremendously appealing to many people.
When you think about Austin, are there specific types of projects or industries you’ll likely be targeting?
Austin is home to an array of industries, many of which I think would be a potential fit for Slalom. Initially, software, retail, and business and consumer services all stand out as areas of focus. I’m also excited about Slalom’s focus on mid-market and believe Austin fits in nicely with that strategy.
What are the qualities you’re looking for as you build your team?
I’m looking for people who are passionate about helping companies solve their biggest challenges, and energized and excited by the opportunity to create and build the Austin office. Starting something new is challenging, but it’s also some of the most rewarding work there is! I’m looking for people who can be brand ambassadors for Slalom in Austin, people who represent the culture and values of Slalom—putting people first and being true partners with our clients—and who are passionate about getting that message into the market.
What do you love most about consulting?
For me, it’s the opportunity to serve clients and deliver value beyond their expectations. I also really enjoy the variety of work that comes with consulting. It’s fun to always have new and different projects and challenges -- never a dull day in consulting!
Outside of work, what’s your life like? What do you enjoy doing?
I love spending time with my family. My husband, Clint, and I have three daughters-- 13, 11, and nearly 8--and a dog and cat. We have a very busy household with a lot of soccer, music, and theater activities. I practice yoga as a way of staying grounded and I daydream about picking up my camera again and continuing to learn more about photography. Additionally, we travel with our kids as much as we can and are excited to be taking them to Europe for the first time this fall.
We heard that you’re a big reader and podcast fan. Any favorites?
It’s true. Podcast-wise, some of my current favorites are Reboot, Hidden Brain, Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, and of course This American Life. I try all the Gimlet Media podcasts at least once, but my favorite is the original StartUp, especially season one.
In terms of books, I alternate between entertainment books, usually memoirs (just finished Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, starting Tara Westover’s Educated), non-fiction centered around acts of bravery and achievement (The Boys in the Boat, Unbroken, about to start Endurance), and leadership/self-inquiry/business books (Thinking Fast and Slow is a recent favorite, and Work Rules). I’m also eagerly anticipating Brené Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead.