HomeAway ROCKS!

There are two things the HomeAway Austin team loves – competitions and live music. And we’ve found a way get the best of both worlds by competing in the Health Alliance for Austin Musician’s Corporate Battle of the Bands!

Last year, HomeAway’s band, The Slakes, took the title of Austin’s best corporate band. However, unfortunately they’re unable to compete this year due to some health issues, so on April 11 we hosted our second annual internal battle of the bands to find a new group to help keep our winning streak alive!

Nearly 200 people – employees, friends, family and fans – flooded the rooftop deck of our world headquarters to hear the seven employee bands rock out for charity. Musical stylings ranged from blues to country to classic rock and each band something unique to the table.

The winning band, Foot Traffic, poses with Chief Product Officer, Tom Hale, and Chief Financial Officer, Lynn Atchison.

The winning band, Foot Traffic, poses with Chief Product Officer, Tom Hale, and Chief Financial Officer, Lynn Atchison.

After an audience vote by ballot, the band known as “Foot Traffic”, featuring Quality Assurance Engineer, Ryan Lewison and SEO Analyst, Tom Harris, earned the right to represent HomeAway at HAAM’s event in May. The band brought equal parts charisma and talent, playing a three-song set of totally original music.

Want to see Foot Traffic compete against other Austin-area bands on May 9 at Moody Theater? Get your tickets here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/529611?wrKey=4ED4CB437D4501C45C813D11D9F5F3FB



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HomeAway Hobbies: Archery

Dale4Dale Churchett, Senior Software Architect, sets his sights on a new hobby!

When did you first get involved with archery?
I got started a little over a year ago after coming back from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. The theme of the London Olympics was ‘Inspire a Generation’, and so I challenged my family to pick up a new sport. I’ve played lots of sports throughout my life, but had always wanted to give Archery a go, so this seemed like the perfect time.

Dale3How has your experience been?
My family and I all signed up and shot together for a year.

We are lucky to have an Olympic training program here in Austin run by a former National Champion and I progressed rather quickly: I got my own bow, achieved Level 1 USA Archery Coaching Status, qualified for the OPT program (Olympic Path Training in October) and began competing in November 2013.

My first tournament was held at Texas A&M University and it was quite an experience (there were three Olympians shooting). I also trained hard and competed at the recent State Championship and National Indoor Championship.

The first year of tournaments are really just for experience, and I never knew how physically and mentally tough they are! A tournament can last from 3 – 4.5 hours on consecutive days, so you have to be pretty fit mentally and physically to withstand the demands placed on you.

What do you love most about this sport?
I love competing and enjoy sports in general. Archery is quite different from most sports – far more physical than I imagined it would be. In the picture below I’m pulling back 34lbs (Olympians use 50lbs) and it takes years to build up the strength and control required for consistent shooting.

Dal2Now I’m getting ready for the Outdoor season where we shoot at 30, 50 and 70m distances. I’m excited to keep challenging myself and see how far I can take my new hobby!




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5 Things You Don’t Know About… Maria Ayuso Rodriguez

Get to know some of our employees from around the world.

MariaMaria Ayuso Rodriguez, Accountant
Lives in: Madrid, Spain
Joined TopRural: November 2006 (Toprural was acquired by HomeAway in April 2012)

What’s your favorite place to go on vacation?
I love summertime because of the warm sun and spending time at the beach, so one of my favorite places to visit is Conil de la Frontera, a village in south Spain.

Maria_In the beachIf you were auditioning for a music television show like American Idol, what would you sing?
I’m a huge Bon Jovi fan, so any song would be perfect, but if I should pick just one, it would be “I’ll Be There For You.” It brings back good memories.

What’s your favorite holiday?
Christmas! It is an important holiday for me because we get to spend time with all of the family, and with the busy life we have, it is simply impossible to do on other occasions.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?
Among all the things I would like to do, I would love to take a trip around the world. The bad thing is I barely travel, so just guess I must start now!

If you could swap lives with one person for a day, who would it be?
I would like to be a secret agent, unveiling worldwide conspiracies!

With my brother and his dog, on his birthday

With her brother and his dog


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5 Things You Don’t Know About… Boris Ivankovic

Get to know some of our employees from around the world.

With his wife and daughter.

With his wife and daughter.

Boris Ivankovic, Web Designer
Lives in: Frankfurt, Germany
Joined HomeAway: September 2009

Have you ever been told you look like someone famous?
Yes, somebody told me that I look like a slightly better looking George Clooney… Just kidding! However, the last time I was in Croatia on vacation, a married couple from Austria asked me which country I come from because I have some facial features that are common in aristocrats or Lords. Since that day, my wife calls me, “Lordy.”

Diving in Croatia on the Island Hvar

Which of the 5 senses is most important to you?
My sense of sight is most important to me because if I weren’t able to hear, I could always see what people have written down. I also like to know where I’m going, whose around me… all of that stuff.

What’s your favorite day of the week?
My favorite day of the week is Saturday because I can sleep longer and spend more time my wife and daughter or friends and family.

If you won $1 million, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
With $1 Million I would first buy a house in Frankfurt, where I live now. It’s a beautiful city and the nature around the city is also nice. And if you want to travel somewhere, we have one of the biggest airports in the world to travel from, which is what I would do with the rest of my money. I would like to visit North and South America, and go back to China, where I spent a month when I was in school. Now that I have a family, I would like to show them all of the beautiful places in the world!

Do you have a favorite sports team/athlete?
Yes, Novak Djokovic is my favorite athlete! He is a good entertainer, a brilliant tennis player, and is very accessible to his fans. He tries to help and motivate young people to play sports and do so with passion. I like his positive attitude!

Boris_In Amsterdam

In Amsterdam with his wife.




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Austin Employees Take a Stand

StandupDesksOver the last few years, a number of articles, like this one from the Washington Post, have come out explaining the damage that can be done to the human body by remaining sedentary at a desk for eight hours a day, as many American workers do. Bad posture, weakened muscles and a slower metabolism are just a few of the health hazards that can commonly impact desk workers.

This sentiment was not lost on our Austin employees, and as a result, many recently petitioned our facilities team to explore the possibility of standing desks.

The new furniture was initially tested by the employees in our temporary lease space in north Austin, and not surprisingly it was a huge success! We quickly saw the benefits to morale and productivity with employees who could adjust their work surface to a comfortable custom setting for both sitting and standing options throughout the day. Consequently, the facilities team began rolling out the new desks to all of our Austin offices over the holiday break.

In total, we converted 641 desks from standard fixed height cubes to adjustable sit-to-stand desks in just over a month.  Because of our commitment to wellness and the overall benefits to employee health and satisfaction, we plan to build out all future cubes and offices with this type of furniture.


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