Doug Fashenpour knows a thing or two about data.
He served as CTO and COO for 16 years at Amherst Holdings before the company launched a data analytics platform tech company called Amherst InsightLabs (AIL) in 2015.
For the past year, Fashenpour has led the team as CEO at AIL, developing fintech and risk management solutions in mortgage securitizations, asset management and a single-family buy-to-rent platform.
We caught up with Fashenpour to learn more about what AIL has in store for the upcoming year — and what he looks for in candidates as he continues to grow their team.
What's your morning routine when you get in the office?
No day is ever the same. When I get into the office, I usually review my calendar to determine top priorities for the day and readjust my schedule to finish any remaining items from the previous day. From there I make my initial touch points with staff where we are at with pressing items, what problems we’re encountering and how we can resolve them. I also like to browse the latest trending articles in real estate, mortgage or finance and deliver relevant news to the team about shifts in technology or the industry.
What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced in your career?
To challenge and convince everyone around me to think about technology in a different way. Technology is the key to better decision making, risk management, scale and consistency in the business process. Another challenge is to stay current within technology to match the speed of the financial services and real estate market.
What are some of your key focuses moving into the next year?
We will be growing and improving our technology platform that supports our Single Family Buy to Rent initiative that currently operates in 18 cities with 11,000 homes. We are also going to be releasing new versions of our core modeling and analytics platforms that will have a continuous impact on our overall growth and strategy.
This is also an exciting time to be a part of Amherst InsightLabs as our division will be moving into a brand new office space within our building that will allow for growth within our technology and engineering teams. Our goal is to create an efficient and collaborative environment that allows our team to solve complex problems.
Austin is known for having a large talent pool of thirsty, young workers. What are the top characteristics you look for in a potential hire?
We continually look for those who take pride in what they do, how they do it and who have a sense of ownership. Our goal is to build upon our culture by making everyone feel they are contributing to the next best thing within our company. We look for those who think outside the box and possess intellectual curiosity to help bring new ideas to the table.
We like self-motivated people who take initiative, pay attention to detail, and have the willingness to help others solve complex business problems.
How would your team describe working with you?
I think they would describe me as someone who cares about how they grow professionally and personally. I am the type of leader who invests time with the team. One that creates an environment where people feel they are contributing to our growth and have a significant impact to our company and bottom line.
My desk is located on the engineering floor to keep me in touch with what is going on within the company and allows for more of a collaborative environment.
Who inspires you?
My wife and kids inspire me to get out of bed every day, to get to work and do amazing things within the Austin tech community.
Another inspiration is free climber Alex Honnold. He is a person who continuously pushes himself to the limits, who is a master of his craft and defies the odds with precise moves. He stays on the bleeding edge of his craft, something that we strive to do.
Image provided by Amherst InsightLabs. Some answers have been edited for clarity and length.
Want to nominate a CEO for this series? Tell us or tweet @BuiltInAustin.