The Art of Construction

In construction, success hinges not just on groundbreaking projects, but also on the art of construction operations. Discover the secrets behind a truly successful process and the critical role operations play in ensuring a business thrives on the backend. Joining us today is Holly Northup, Operations Manager, who sheds light on the unique challenges and solutions within the real estate industry.

Explore why operations are often overlooked but desperately needed, uncover the impact of having great administrative staff, and learn how effective communication and a supportive culture contribute to a happy and efficient team. You'll also learn about streamlining operations, fostering employee satisfaction, and maximizing the potential of your business.

This Episode Will Cover: 

• Holly’s background and career history.
• How Holly ended up at Simply Home.
• The importance of operations.
• What operations look like in this business.
• The importance of having strong admin staff.
• How to ensure your employees feel heard and appreciated.

Learn More About Ashley, Michelle, & Simply Home: 
• About Ashley & Michelle:
• Website:
• Podcast:
• Instagram: @simplyhomeaustin
• Facebook: @simplyhomeaustin
Episode Transcript

This is the Simply Home Podcast - Ladies Who Build, a podcast for women by women.

This is Ashley Wainscott and Michelle Mullins.

After spending the last 10 years revolutionizing the construction industry and raising the bar of the contracting world.

We are inviting you on our journey as we continuously learn how to be extraordinary and thrive in this industry.

Now, come hang with us.

Welcome to Episode 18 of the Ladies who Build podcast. Today, we are joined by a very special guest, our fearless and amazing operations manager of Simply Home. And today we're talking about the art of construction, the operations of what a successful project looks like. Some summary of key points that we'll be hitting are the importance of operations, what it takes for a successful business to run on the back end with operations. And what operations looks like in this industry specifically. So, Holly, welcome to the podcast. We are so excited you're here.

Thank you. Thank you both for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Okay. So tell us just a little bit about you, what your background is, how you got into this field of all things, operations and what led you. led you to Simply Home.

Sure. Yeah. So I actually started in art history and my goal was to be a curator of a museum in Europe. And then the great recession hit and everything changed. And I, there are a series of different situations. I ended up in real estate and in real estate, I found out very quickly that sales was not my strong point. So I moved to operations and then I fell in love with it. And I have been in operations ever since.

Did you study that and call it like anything operational in college?

I mean, no, I did end up going back to get my Master's in Business, but much later. So after I had already transitioned into real estate and transition to operational field, then I went back for business.

So you just knew in your blood, it was like meant for you.

Yes. Well, I've always been very, a type of personality. And so operations just fits when you're focused on accomplishment and achievement and checking those boxes gives you like a really great satisfaction. So it just fit my personality.

Yeah. It makes sense.

Holly has her operations zone in her office, but then all of her art all over the operation. And it's, it's funny because it's, it's like the zesty or like silly, but also mix was very serious art. And so it's, it's all of your personality when we get to do zoom calls.

Yes. There's many sides. I know. I actually had a vendor I was meeting with one of them and they were like, I could tell they were like looking at, like “what is everything behind you?” And I was like, yeah, everybody does. That was the weirdest knick-knacks.

It is, it's like the I Spy book. You know, where you have to see and find different random things and that's Holly's office.

I was like, are you looking at my knick-knacks? He was like, I was really trying not to be a creeper, but yes, and I was like, it's okay everybody does it.

Oh my god. That’s so you.

Yeah, it really is. Yeah.

That's amazing. Okay. So then you, you were doing that Ashley is how you kind of came about with Simply Home. And I remember when me and you spoke when we were looking to hire for this role. She was very blown away. She like, couldn't stop talking about you in the best way possible. She was very excited that she met you and figured that you would probably be the missing link to what we were needing for the company. And you've definitely worked.

Yeah. I mean, it worked out perfectly. I think Ashley and I met years ago in the Austin Young Chamber. And it was kind of like an instant love connection on a personal level because we're both, you know, weird.

We're both that way.

This way.

Makes sense.


I see it.

Yes and so we just connected and then, you know, I was wanting to get back into operations cause I had been a little bit too much on the backend, like the real estate world. And I found out that y'all were looking at, so I kind of just hounded out Ashley for a while. And I was like, you need me. You know, you want me.

You know, you want me.

And then, and then we, we ended it cause we had hired someone by the time we first started talking about it. So then when that didn't work out, then I was like, I, okay, Holly, tell me what I need.


And she did.

And I did.

And she did. And then I was like, okay, let's figure this out. And then we just had, we had to have Holly on the team. We have to figure out how to get Holly because then you were like, well, I mean, I could do it, but I don't know. And I was like, don't you play this hard to get with me now.

I know. But it all worked out.

It really did.

And here we are.

Yeah. Wait. And so you, were you always in real estate operations specifically? That's always been your operations focused?

Yeah. I mean, I started like sales a little bit and then sales is not my jam, obviously. And so, yeah, I mean, I went through the whole thing. Like I was an assistant and then I did marketing and then I did ops and then director of ops. You know what I mean it just kinda kept going in the ops world on the real estate side and just stayed with it.

Which, a totally different topic for a different day, but, um, how much real estate is needed of ops and systems and processes like the whole round of that world. You probably saw that you are desperately needed in the industry.

Yes. Oh, my gosh. It's so, it's so lacking and it's sadly not highly valued if I would just should. I think that's one of the biggest mistakes, I don't know if we're jumping ahead, but one of the biggest mistakes of companies and teams and businesses is that they don't value operations and administration the way they should.

And they always think like it's a very replaceable field or it's not needed until it's like desperately needed. And it's like, if you would just invest in operations, it will change your world.


And so real estate does not have a strong focus on operations, but it is desperately needed because a lot of those agents are sales focused and generally, if you're a good salesperson, you're not great at operations.


And vice versa. Very different personalities.

Well, thank God we have you so they can’t.

Not everyone can have a Holly, but they need one.

Yep. They should do it.

What, Holly, what have you seen to, whenever you come into different, you know, companies and you start with obviously diving into operations, but what are you. I have a few questions, but like what do you typically start with? And then how do you see things transform and evolve when you dive in?

Yeah. I mean, you always start with like, assessing where a company is. And often, the biggest issues are disorganization and a lack of consistency, a lack of systems, because when you don't have operations and you don't, or have a really strong admin staff, Everything is just all over the place, right? Because everybody is like last minute throwing things together, or they're trying to figure things out, but nobody really has time to do it. They don't really understand how to organize.

And so things are kind of like a bomb went off on the backend side and it causes a lot of confusion and it causes a lot of wasted money. I think that's some of the biggest things I see is that people are wasting money because they're either have subscriptions. They started that they completely forgot that they had, right?

Or they're paying for things that they don't need but haven't had the time to sit back and assess like whether they really need them or not. So there's a lot of different elements, but I think like once you get organized and once you get your systems in place and you can work to start refining everything, but you have to have the foundation of your business bill, because without that, you're going to keep running on the same wheel.

Have you seen it change like employees' lives or impact the business? Like how do you see what's the impact of all that?

I mean, I think the biggest impact for our employees is it just makes their lives easier, right? Because when you have better communication, employees feel more supported, they feel more understood.

I think a lot of times when your foundation isn't strong, your team members or employees might be saying something. And they don't feel heard because nothing ever changes. And when you fix your backend system, they get a lot of their time back, they got, get a lot more clarity about what they're supposed to be doing, how they're supposed to be doing it. There's a lot more support and on the business side of it, you also get efficiency. And you get to save money. And you're prepared for growth because you cannot grow if your company doesn't have a strong foundation because it will just literally, and I have seen it happen just implode on itself.


Like a poorly built house.


I think that has been, there's been so much I've seen change with since you've been on board, but I think one of the biggest things that I didn't realize was needed, well, but again, there's a lot, but there's so much more clarity around who's doing what. And I don't think that there's, we've never been in a box where someone's like, this is my role and I don't step outside of it. That's definitely not our culture. Everyone helps each other, no matter what. But I can definitely feel more ease with everybody because it's like, this is so clear and this process is clear.

And then when this happens, we do this. Whereas before, like you said, we were in a, in a sense, like if we didn't have a process for it, we'd just kind of figure it out and we get, and then you just. But nothing was ever kind of resolved for the future. So I think that's been the biggest thing is people kind of can breathe easy to be like, all right. I know what the process is here. And now I know what to follow. Yeah. It's been, it's been great.

And something we've noticed too, even with what we're working on right now has been, I felt the difference when you have operations. And then as we build more admin support for our business, but how the team can feel heavy because they're doing the things that operations and admin should be doing. You know, so like those are, those are things that the whole team has to pick up when you don't have that department or those individuals and I think that's something more and more than I'm like, I’ve witnessed, you know.


Yeah, I think there is like, I think staying in your lane has become a controversial term because people take it as. Oh, well, if I just stay in my lane that I'm not helping people and I'm not, you know, kind of picking up slack, right. Or finding gaps. And it's not that at all, when you're staying in your lane, you can still help your team members. You can still fill gaps. You can still find things that need to be fixed, but when you're staying in your lane, you're allowing everybody else to do their jobs because once you start crossing those jobs, that's where resentment gets formed. That's where the lack of clarity and confusion comes in. People start stepping on each other's toes or doing double work.

So you know, and staying in your lane, it's really not that you don't care about the company. It's just that you are making sure you're doing your job to like the highest and best value that you can, and then when you're done doing that, then you can help everybody else.

Yeah, well then it gets blurred too, if like, okay, well, who is responsible?


For what? Because Baba has actually been doing this, but is that on me and my job? Is that part of my metrics and how I operate? So it's like, I could see, I mean, that just gets confusing.

Yeah. Okay. So then knowing all the things that you do behind the scenes, it's just so much, but what do you find the most joy in or what brings you to the satisfaction when working on, like the whole operations of the company?

I think the best part of operations for me, well one, I love operations. Because it's so diversified. You get to be in so many parts of a company and you get to see so many parts of it. I also love strategy. And so strategy and planning is huge for me. And creating an environment in which employees can thrive and they can grow and they feel safe and happy and secure and confident and all of those things. So I think just really, I mean, that's just to help answer your question cause it's basically everything about operations.


But everything about operations really is.

It’s enjoyable.

Yeah, I love it because I think you're so, you get to be in so many parts of the business and you get to have relationships with everybody in the business and it's not just, oh, well, this is your team or that is your team. And those are the people you talked to. I literally get to talk to everybody on the team and get to work to build relationships with everybody on the team. And I think that's a special position to be in.


Your department is everyone's department.

Yes it is.

What was the most surprising thing to you about getting into the construction industry in specific, like specifically construction? Good or bad surprise.

So this thing, I think what was pleasantly surprising to me is because on the real estate side, I worked in a lot of new construction, custom home builts. I worked with a lot of developers, so I, I wasn't new to the construction world. But I think the renovation remodeling side is so different. And so I think the close relationship you get to have with a client is really special about it versus new construction or development or things like that, where they are just building to produce a home.

They're not building somebody's dream. And so that was a nice, surprising part for me about Simply Home and the remodel, the residential remodel part of it is that you're really a part of somebodies life. And I think there's a little bit of that in real estate, but still once you sell the house, it's like, bye you're gone. The remodeling side though, you could actually help them build that life, which I think is really special.

Yeah, that's a really good point. And it's, it's I think again, people know this, but I think seeing the transformation, when you really tighten up the backend, how the client facing or how the product turns out, become so drastically different in the best way, because you just don't. It's hard to understand where you could blame this one thing where the project, if it project went south, or maybe didn't go as planned, but in reality, you look at this bird's eye view of the company and you're like, well, actually it's X, Y, Z, I'm sorry, Z.

That all goes towards this end product. And so it's, it's now with you being in this role and you being here, it's allowed me to kind of see that big guy, big view of it. Instead of it being, it was just one thing we'll know, it's, there's really a systematic issue here, or a systematic kind of tweaking we have to do which is like, not how I think. So I thank God for you.

Yeah. I mean, that is what operations is, right?


Operations is taking everything to that.


30,000 foot view so that you can see everything as a whole. Because everybody does get very pigeonholed sometimes. And so operations is kind of the big umbrella.

You're the one in the charter jet.


Oh, yeah.

Looking at, looking at the highland.

That's what we need.

Yes, that would be great.

It reminded me though, of like, when you, both of you were talking, it reminded me of a body, you know how like, nothing is just an item of its own. Like if you have an issue with your gut, or if you have an issue with pain in one part of your body, it's never, it's never separated. So that it's just that one part of your body, it's like all connected and all integrated. So even though it reminds me of operations in essence, where it's like, you think that it may be a sales problem and then you investigate it and it's all linked to all these other things.

Holly, what do you think people don't know of like behind the scenes operations? Because obviously you're not client facing.

Everything. I think. I think understanding operations, it's very difficult if you're not in operations. I've had so many people, when you say, oh, I do operations or in operations. They can either glaze over or they are like, what is exactly that mean? And essentially, it's everything that is needed to make sure the company is functioning at its highest and best use. Right? So. If it's people making sure that team members are happy and have what they need to do their jobs really, really well. If it's better systems that need to be done. If it's strategic planning that needs to happen.

So it's every part of the business. It's almost like if you go behind a huge machine and you see all those little gears, that's operations. And just nobody ever sees those gears so they don't understand how many there are that have to be working together. For the company to be successful, that's what the backend looks like.

You're the gears.

Yeah, no, that's a really good…

I’m a little person oiling.

I was just thinking that.

That’s a good metaphor.

Yeah. What would you say would be a success story of your time at Simply Home?

I think the team has a biggest success Simply Home. One of the things I always tell everybody is I have worked for a lot of companies and I've worked for a lot of teams and Simply Home, it's just unique. I've never seen it before. I've never seen, I forget who it was telling, but I was like, I have never heard a single person complain about their job. Like there are difficult days, right? Of course. There are difficult clients, there are difficult situations or difficult vendors, but I've never heard anybody at Simply Home just say, oh, this job, right? Like I don't like it or management or leadership or any part of it, so everybody is so invested in Simply Home. They truly like genuinely loves Simply Home and like working there.

And it sounds so simple. But if you were to go out and find that, try to find that in other companies, it would be very, very hard to find. So I think the biggest success of Simply Home is simply, the team.

Mm. Mm.

Simply, the team.

Simply, the team.

That makes my heart warm.

We need to put that on the website.

Simply, the team.

That is. It's so true, but it's very, it's refreshing. It's a good perspective for, I think me, Michelle. I mean, for us being in it, as long as we have been, we just know what we know. And, but we do know it's not the same company. It was when it first started and getting here, like you're saying. I hadn't thought about that, that nobody complains about their job and people show up and they love what they do and they get to enjoy their job. It's not like the part of life that they hate doing every day. But yeah, I mean, it has taken a long time for that to come through. You know, that culture and environment.

Yeah. We've like we, we built that. We did that a long time ago. And work towards that, which is really you, you, you easily forget that stepping stones we take to get there. And now it's, I mean it's pretty phenomenal.

We had our team meeting yesterday, was it, no two days ago. And one of my favorite, I literally laughed out loud when we were talking about culture and we're asking our team about culture and one of the men on our team was like, you know, how would you sell Simply Home’s culture to someone. And he was like, okay, well, if you're a man, you really need to get in touch with your feelings because we’re gonna be talking about them all day, every day. He goes, I didn't even know I have these many emotions but they’re here and I started laughing.

And I thought that's so true, but yes, it makes it such an open place to say, don't hide that emotion. Let it come out. That is frustrating. Let's talk about that. Or how are you feeling about that. But he's like, I've never been asked so many times in my life, how are you feeling or how are you doing. And I, I appreciated that he said that. But yeah, I think that's part of it is we bring the emotion into the process, you know?

I think that's the key, honestly, with Simply Home is that the way in which you're building the team is so intentional. And that's always the missing part because a lot of places will say, oh, we care about our employees. Oh, we put them first. But in actuality, that's not the case. There's no intention of how you want to treat your employees. But Simply Home that’s like the main intention. And it's funny because you know, I'm so, I have such a, entrenched mindset from where I've been before. And so Ashley constantly has to say, Holly, that's not the way we do it at Simply Home.

Like this is our focus. And I'm like, yes. And that's amazing. And I love that focus, but I need the reminder.


Because the majority of places that you work, that's just, there's no intention behind the things that they do other than make the bottom line, right? Or the business, the health of the business versus the health of the team member. It's always an afterthought. And at Simply Home, it is the farthest for, of everything we do is well, how is this going to affect the team.

Yeah. It's the center.

We did good.

You guys did amazing. Amazing.

And now we just continue it on.

Yup. Yup.

Communication. I think it’s always the key to success in really anything but especially projects, because you can set up a schedule or you can create a plan. You can follow a budget. You can tell the clients in the beginning what's happening, what they can expect. But all of that is forgotten. Great. People are so busy and there's so many things going on in everybody's lives. And if you're not constantly retelling people what's happening, why it did happen, why it didn't happen, what they can expect next. I mean, that's, I think telling people next steps is so huge and so often forgotten. So I think the fact that we communicate with clients every single day is paramount, because that way they're never guessing. You don't ever want a client to wonder, was somebody there? Did they do something? Do they not do something? Well, why wasn't it done? So by creating a culture of like, constant communication, even if our projects don't go off as planned, it bridges that gap. So at least the client understands what happens. And then that's what gives them that sense of security, that sense of safety, that sense of like, okay, well you do care about me. You didn't forget about me and I really matter to you.

Yeah. I think when you were talking, it makes me think about, on the project management side, those who are client facing, one of the things I always said was if a client has asked you something, it should be, you can obviously answer it. But then that should be the next thing that you give them for information.

So if, if they asked for example, well, what time is he going to be here? That should never be a question out of a client's mouth. You should have already given them that answer. And so I always say, if they're asking you a question, make sure it get answers the next time. But I like that you said that because I think so many times you kind of get focused on, well, this is my role and this is my job. And I sent the update and it's done. But could you think beyond that to say, well, what do they really want to know? And what are they not asking and what are they asking? And then how can you make that better for yourself to make it look like, well, you already came to them with that. So you're taking care of the problem because you already answered it. So it's just a different way of thinking and kind of creating in your mind instead of just doing the check boxes type of thing for that role.

Right. And I think it prevents so many stories, right?


Because we, everybody tells himself stories. And so if, if I ask you a question about my renovation and you don't get back to me. Oh my gosh. Right?

Can you imagine your mind?

That’s gonna spin in so many directions where if it's a simple, hey, we don't have that yet, but we expect it in this amount of time. Or I will get back to you tomorrow with more details. Some things as simple as that, gives me that peace of mind that I don't have to create a story of what's happening, why it's not happening, why you're not taking care of me and my whole renovation.

Yeah. Am I not important to you?

I'm not important to you. You don't prioritize me. Maybe you're prioritizing somebody else's project, right? So.

My project doesn't matter. They probably have bigger projects.

Yes. Exactly.

Yeah. We don't want anyone feeling that way, coming up with those stories that aren't necessarily true, but that could happen if we weren't taking these necessary communicative steps. And Michelle, you did remind me because we would always say if, if a client has brought something to your attention as a concern, that is already, even though they make it sound so minute and so small, like, oh, don't worry about. I just was wondering about this. That has been sitting in their head. They have been festering on it. And by the time they actually tell it to you, it's huge.


So for them to actually come to you and tell it to you, that's huge by then. So don't believe them when they say that it's small and it's minute, because they actually feel like it's a huge deal to them, but they're trying to downplay it.

So it's like communication games of like really understanding what a client's intention is and like where they're coming from. You know, like, oh, they're probably scared about this. Or they're, they've had history with this in you know, it's our job to navigate through those waters.

Yeah. You have to be very emotionally aware and emotionally intelligent to be at this company, not just in this role, like the role, whatever. But at the company in this role, we had our very emotionally intelligent people, because if you can't recognize that and others, then you certainly can't recognize it elsewhere and in yourself and it just, yeah. That's, that's the whole reason culture is so important.

When we’re talking about the emotional intelligence, it's a really important point because people don't tell you half of what they think or more. But they make decisions off of those emotions that they're not telling you about. So if you're not communicating or you're not being intuitive about what your client needs, they could tell you, oh, it's not a big deal.

And then they never work with you again because it really was a big deal. Or there was something that they weren't telling you. There was something that they weren't happy about. So it can really affect whether a client will work with you or not. And you may not even know that that's how they're feeling unless you figure it out.

Right. That's a good point.

Mind games.

Yeah. It's just going deeper with the mind games too, because yeah, you're right. I always tell the team, if, if you find yourself pulling away from a tough conversation, or if you find yourself scared to do something, then lean into it because that means you've got to do it. You've got to go there with them because it really does make the difference. And like, if they're feeling something, hush it out. Talk about it. Let them be frustrated about it, resolve it, and then move on. Like it will be okay. But if you don't address it and you got it faster than they're gonna get mad at something so small and simple and you’re gonna be like, gosh, what's going on with them? Well, there's more to that, you know, So we kind of try to break it down as we move.

Yeah, the snags. You got to address the snags.


To make sure that the rest of the process goes on without a hitch.


Otherwise, they will hold on to that snag.

Oh, they will.

And they’ll be, do you see that? Do you remember that? That happened. We haven't addressed it.

Into their credit right. In the renovation, remodeling development field, like there, isn't usually a place for emotions.


So people are very scared to express those emotions because they're dismissed or it's held against them. So when you're working with Simply Home and it's a very different experience, I can imagine that they're probably at least a little bit afraid to have an opinion, voice an opinion and show some kind of emotion. So it's important for our team to really make them feel safe in sharing that.


I mean it is. I mean, even if somebody isn’t comfortable in their daily life with emotion or talking about feelings and then we're like, hmm, you seem off today. Is there something you want to talk about?

You know, they're from like, no. You know, like not everybody wants to talk about feelings, but at least we give them the opportunity and space to talk about it if they want to. And that goes with, like what you're saying, internally with employees. Internally externally with vendors. We always know how they're feeling and same thing with clients. We like wellness is such a focus for us and it's weaved into our operations and everything that we do is around the wellness of all the parties involved. So, that's, I mean, that's just us.


Okay. Anything else on your own, Holly? But you feel kind of should know, or people should know about the importance of operations.

I think it is important for clients to dig in when they're talking about getting a remodel or working with a company, I think when you're trying to find a company, it's never really looked up. Right. So you don't dig into, well, what kind of support there is? But you can tell the difference and our team members say this all the time, right? With like subcontractors. Subcontractors is, if I have somebody that has a support system, like a scheduler or an admin person that I know will pick up the phone that I know will be there, that I know scheduling is going to be really easy, it makes a world of difference than if you have a company that doesn't have any support system and trying to get information from them or answers when you need it or just somebody to pick up the phone when you want to talk to somebody.

So I think it's just a very underrated overlooked aspect of working with a company and making sure like how strong is your support system in getting the jobs done.

That's probably a good question for clients to ask any GC or builder. You know, what systems do you have in place? Because if it's just like him or her and they're running the show, I mean, that might be a red flag. How much can that one person take on? Well, we know not much. In regards to clients.

Right. And it's such a, it's such a common problem, I think one of the biggest problems I see, especially in smaller businesses or mid range businesses is growing too fast. And so what happens is they grow super, super fast and they don't hire the support system for that growth.

And that's when you start to see companies fall off. So I've seen companies that were really highly recommended and had really great reviews and were really strong in the beginning. And then they blew up because everybody loved them and they didn't hire that support system. And then everything good about their company went away because they couldn't meet the same expectations that they set in the beginning.

Yeah. That won’t be us.

No. That will not be us because we are making those key hires and have made the key hires.


And, you know.


No way.

It's always a part of Simply Home’s planning is what role do we need to hire next to support the company.

Yeah. Yeah, we've never really, really arrived. We're just constantly, okay, what next support thing do we need?


Yeah. We arrive and then get on the next train.



We keep going.

Yeah. What's next?

What's next on the org chart. What do we need to fix on the org chart? What are we going to add? What are we going to do? But yeah, operations is imperative. I, because we, yeah, we hadn't had an operations manager ever before in the last year and you need it.

Oh, yeah.

You need it. Let me tell you. There's so much to it, but yeah, I think that clients can feel when the company does have that, that good support system and when our vendors, when they don't have good admin or operations or back in systems, we can feel it. And we struggle to get through whatever it is we're working, whether it's invoices or trying to reconcile a project or scheduling.

I mean, it just makes the whole process so much harder than it needs to be. And that's the opposite of what we want our clients to feel. And our vendors and our employees.

Yeah. Yeah.

Okay, should we go into fun questions?


You ready, Holly?

Ready for the fun?

Yeah, what did I, okay I was trying to think I shouldn't do it earlier because it’s always hard for me. Yes.

Okay. First one. What's the best kept secret of Austin, Texas?

So one of my favorite secret places is peace park. So not a lot of people go to that park but they do a lot of really big art installations all the time that are always changing. And it's such a great like mix of what makes Austin wonderful. Right? Cause it's a fantastic park. And then you have these fantastic art installations and many of them are interactive. So like kids can run through them and they can be a part of them. And I don't think a lot of people go to that park really, but it's right downtown.

Just you.

Just you.

Have you been?

Yeah. Peace park?

You and me.

Yeah. We're somehow there, but we missed each other, but yeah, they have a lot to offer there.

They do have a lot to offer.

They have the tree houses.

Really? Then I need to go.



Yeah. That’s a really good spot.

I like that it's all ages friendly.

Yes. Yes. We were talking, it was hope gallery until they destroyed it. So now it's peace park is best kept secret.

I see. Okay.

Peace park is really cool.

Okay. All right. What would be a hidden talent of yours?

Oh yeah. I mean, I don't really have hidden talents. I think we were talking about is I'm freakishly good at movie lines, like remembering movie lines. So my brother and I speak in movie lines all the time. And so I guess just from doing that for so many years, like I can recite movies that I've seen maybe like once or twice.

Okay. That's insane. Your brainpower.

That really is.

I always think like, if I could use this brainpower for good, if something productive, it would be amazing, but I don't. I'm just wired from abuse.

So are you good at trivia? Like what about movies and stuff?


Oh, you are?

Oh, That’s also nice.

That’s some hidden talent.

Yeah, I am good at trivia. It’s just really weird like I think my brain just works with really random stuff. So random facts, random movie lines.

What's your go-to movie lines?

Well, my brother and I obviously so like Christmas Vacation.

Oh, obviously.

Yeah, right.



It's been sure is a big one like old, oh, I mean I'm older, right? So like all the older movies.

Oh, those are all the ones I quote all the time.

Yes. So there's a number of them. Friends.


All the Friends’ lines.

Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. Those are some of our favorites. Oh and The Great Outdoors, John Candy.

Oh yeah. Yeah.

So comedies.

Oh, Yeah.

All comedies.

Yeah. Really there’s a movie line for every situation in your life. And it's so much better than if you would just respond.

Oh my gosh. Our girl just opened up now like the movie lines.

You need to converse this way to Michelle.

I know.

Okay. Out of all office supplies, what would be your favorite item?

Pens obviously.


Pens. Yeah. Like writing pens.

Do you have a go-to pen?

Find one operations person that isn't obsessed with pens. You can’t do it. Everybody has..

Do you dare me?

Anyone who knows the answer to that question, next week we can hire you.

Like you gotta be operations person has like a pen, like a style of pen or a type of pen that writes,

Do you have a style pen?

Yeah, I don't know what it's called, but I actually bought them for Laura when she first started and that'd be her favorite pen. And that was like, oh.

Is it like the Sharpie pens?

No, it’s more like the felt, like the felt point.

Oh, yeah. I know what you’re talking about. That's a good pen.

I don't know what you're talking about.

It’s the best.

I really like writing in like markers, not like marker markers, like marker pens.

Oh, it's too fat.

You know what I mean?

The lines are too fat.

A little chubby.

Oh, chubby bed.

All right. What is something in the media world you've seen lately?

This is a great question because I don't really know. I would say, in media, you mean like all media, like social media or…

Yeah. Social media. Austin media. It could be national, world.

I don't really know about the news. I would say as much negativity as there is on social media, I think there's so many great things to social media, to there. So many amazing skills in my life off of TikTok and I would've never thought of it in a million years.

I mean, there's a question that you have to watch out for, right? But like from renovations to life skills, like TikTok has you. You’re done.


You’re good to go.

Yeah, there are some really inspirational quotes and I'm like.

Yeah, big dammit. Why'd I get that on TikTok because anytime someone asked me like, oh, where'd you learn that or where’d you pick that. And I'm like, damn it. Or Instagram. Ah Instagram. And it instantly sounds less credible unless you're someone that knows.

Yes. But there are some really great life hacks and like, like there's, you know, there's always like those respect for the ozone, like TikTok to where it's showing people doing like good.

Oh, yes.

Good deeds, right?


And I'm just like, well, good for them.

I know. You have to focus on the positive of it, but there is a lot of positivity out there.

Yeah. You just gotta sit through it.

Yeah, it is true. There's a lot of other sifting I do on Instagram, but yeah.

Not all of it is good.

No. Not all of it is good, but some of it's pretty funny.

There is. So that is my credible news from social media.

I know. Yeah, it's tough. I do follow news outlets on social media so that's kind of sometimes the first time I see news like, did you hear about this? Or did you see about this since like it's kinda bad that I don't actually like watch the news for that.

Is it? I don’t…

It's just a.

I literally used to watch the news every morning. And I was noticing that it was affecting my mood.

It does,

And I always start the day because it was like making me really negative before I started my day. And I was like, okay, I can't watch it.


In the morning anymore.

And it always leads me to like the world is ending.



Right. You always think the world is ending, which I get it the world's ending. Whatever, like there's nothing I can do about it, but I don't really want to know the world is ending every single day. And I don't want to think about other countries and how they're going to end us and all these things. I just don't need that.

What am I going to do, if they drop a bomb on me, like it’s out of my hands,

Right. What am I going to do?

I can't do anything. Yeah.

No. I mean I’ll run to my friend's house.

I mean, there's some doom’s day.

And they might stay alive when we all die right. They’re in their bunkers.


Y'all don't know this, but I have a bunker down there.

Oh man.

That wraps up Episode 18 with Holly, the RF construction and the operations of the successful project. I feel like we covered it all.

We did,



We covered it all.

That was great. Thanks for joining us today.

Yes. Thank you both.

Okay. Well, Todd tell y'all.