Not only does Lauren bring a keen eye for design to our team as an imagineer and builder, she can also add Nerf gun sniper to her resume. The latter being far more necessary in our office than one might think.
Meet Lauren DiRusso, Design Director at our Seattle office.
1. Are you from Seattle? If not, where are you from?
I was born in Massachusetts, but moved around a lot when I was younger. I’ve lived in the Detroit area (twice), Kansas City area, Fort Worth, and Dallas. But now that I’m in Seattle, I feel like I’ve meant to be here all along.
2. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I’ve had a paying job ever since I was 13 years old. But I learned the importance of customer service when I was in charge of making school lunches for my many siblings at the age of eight. You’d think that was an easy job, but my word, people can be so very particular! “Too much jelly! My sandwich was smooshy.” Or “My banana was too brown.” Or “My banana was too green.” From early on, I learned that if you want to build a lasting relationship, flexibility is certainly a virtue. Not necessarily an interesting job, but it left an impression.
3. What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I like to play outside with my husband and two boys; camping, fly fishing, hiking, and backpacking, preferably to a new place that requires a long road trip. I didn’t know I liked to do these things until I moved to Seattle. I also love going to Full Tilt Ice Cream with my boys a couple times a week.
4. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Being close to the ocean. I need to have access to fresh seafood, a beach, a diverse range of cultures, and the salty, clean sea air.
5. What is your hidden talent?
Making up songs for my kids and my dogs. You could ask me to sing a few for you, but I don’t want to lose your friendship, so please don’t.
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Man, when my kids leave the refrigerator door open. That really gets me. They didn’t quite understand the significance until I came up with the idea to tell them that they’re killing baby penguins every time they leave the fridge door open. They still need to be reminded, but they’re improving. Now I hear them say to each other, “Baby penguins!”
7. What is something most people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m teaching myself how to play the drums. Thanks to YouTube, I’m currently learning “Freak” by Radio Head.
8. Name 3 things on your bucket list (things you really want to do or places you want to travel to someday).
There are so many places I haven’t been! But I definitely need to go to Italy and Sicily, and meet some of my distant relatives. I also need to go to Alaska to see the magnificent glaciers and wildlife. And when I retire, I want to own a few goats and a miniature donkey.
9. What is one of your personal mottos or favorite sayings?
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” – Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax. This applies not only to the environment, but anything you want to change in life.
10. Name a favorite line from a movie.
“Son, you’ve got a panty on your head.” -- Man in hijacked pick-up truck in “Raising Arizona”
11. What is your favorite part of your job? What makes you excited to come into the office every day?
The people. No contest. The folks that I have the pleasure to work with make me feel happy, appreciated, and supported. My HA teammates challenge me appropriately, which means that I accomplish things that I didn’t know I could do. These people are amazing. And most of them drink beer, like me.