#Gravi-Member Spotlight: Derek Brooks

Hey there! Happy Thursday! This week's #Gravi-Member Spotlight features Derek Brooks aka Broox! Broox is a dedicated desk member at our Downtown location and can be spotted at concerts, traveling the world, or doing extreme-ish sports!

Derek is from Port Byron, Illinois making his way to Mount Vernon, Iowa to attend Cornell College. After graduation in 2003 Derek moved to Des Moines, Iowa for work where he has resided ever since. Derek is happily married to his college girlfriend and together they have a fur baby Garth Brooks (pictured below). 

Derek has had many jobs throughout his life - some a little funky and some not. After graduation, Derek got into the corporate development environment but soon discovered that it was a bit boring for him. He then dabbled in the startup business world, serving as a Software Engineer until he had the opportunity to serve as the Lead Engineer of Voter Contact and Protection at Obama for America, powering President Obama's 2012 campaign. Derek currently works as a Software Engineer for Venmo (by way of PayPal). His primary duty is working on products that allow people to use their Venmo balance to pay for products and services IRL (in real life).

Derek originally came to Gravitate Coworking to get out of the house but stays for the people. In his words, "It helps me get out of the house and meet other badasses in the community." He definitely isn't wrong!

When I asked Derek what his favorite spot in Des Moines was, he had a tough time answering this. Not because he couldn't think of one, but because he couldn't think of JUST one. A few he listed off are:

- Fong's Pizza
- Gravitate - DUH!
- Black Sheep - for a little partying
- Flying Mango - for their BBQ
- Library Cafe - for their weekend breakfast
- Des Moines Bike Trails

So if you get anything from that response it's that Des Moines has some pretty sweet places and you should totally move here! (subtle plug)

Here are a few fun facts about the OG party animal, Derek Brooks:

Nerdiest thing you do in your spare time: Automating my home!
Go-to happy hour drink: A good pale ale! Derek is a homebrewer and craft beer enthusiast!
Biggest guilty pleasure: Driving like an asshole and listening to terrible music! 
Go-to midnight snack: String cheese!
Go-to karaoke song: Pledge of Allegiance by Lee Greenwood!
Favorite concert: Too many to list! Head over to https://derek.broox.com/shows to have a look!

To wrap this up, Derek's advice to future entrepreneurs is this: "Be transparent. Take notes at every meeting and make those notes available to everyone you work with. Also, do everything you can to get out of your bubble. Foster diversity in every sense."

Thanks for taking the time to get to know our awesome #Gravi-Member, Derek Brooks! If you'd like to know more check out his website: https://derek.broox.com/ - he is a Software Engineer so you know it's impressive! Have a great weekend! #graviout