Rob Fauver spends a lot of time on the road. The Los Angeles native is Chief Strategy Officer for Hoverstate, a software design and development agency, with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Milan, Italy, and now, Lubbock.
When Hoverstate went looking for an affordable U.S. location to open an office, they discovered Lubbock fit the bill. Centrally located between both coasts, with a top research and technology university, affordable cost of doing business, and high quality of life, Lubbock offered Hoverstate everything it needed for a solid foundation to build on.
Those features sold Fauver on Lubbock as a place to do business, but it was the people who won his heart. His experience during his first trip to Lubbock is a story that has become sort of legendary in the Lubbock area and been told again and again.
After landing at Lubbock’s Preston Smith International Airport at midnight, Fauver went outside to grab a taxi to his hotel. But unlike LAX, there was no line of taxis waiting outside for passengers. Fauver tried calling Uber and Lyft. Each were 35 minutes away. So, while he sat down to wait, two guys in a pick-up truck approached him and asked if he needed a ride. The driver was picking up a friend at the airport after a trip, and the trio got to talking. After chatting for a bit, Fauver got his first introduction to Lubbock’s hospitality with a late-night ride to his hotel and some great conversation.
“They just left an impression on me that if you are stuck at the airport at midnight, these guys will give you a ride,” Fauver said.
Ask any native of the “Hub City,” and they’ll tell you, “That’s so Lubbock.”
Since opening Hoverstate’s Lubbock office in November 2017, Fauver has fallen in love with the “Hub City.” After 13 years in Southern California, his driver’s license now says Texas, and, when he’s not traveling, Lubbock is where Fauver hangs his hat.
“Despite being born in LA, I was raised as a country boy at heart,” Fauver said of his decision to make Lubbock his home. “Not only did the ride from the two guys impress me, but it was just the feel of Lubbock, the wide-open space.”
Hoverstate’s continued growth keeps Fauver on the road quite a bit, so he doesn’t feel like a Lubbock-ite just yet.
“But when I am there, I really feel at home,” he said. “There are people I look forward to seeing, not only at the office, but in town.”
From attending Lubbock’s First Friday Art Trail, to taking his staff on an outing to the American Windmill Museum, Fauver said he is enjoying getting to know his new home.
“With Lubbock, you are surprised every time you turn around. I feel like I find something unique and interesting every time I am here. You find things in Lubbock that you don’t expect to find.”
From the eclectic antique shops on Buddy Holly Avenue, to the variety of outstanding restaurants, Fauver said he has found plenty to love while getting to know his new home.
“I’m always surprised at the people I meet and their backgrounds,” he said.
Lubbock is full of innovators, artists, creators, and entrepreneurs. Many of those people spent time in other places and returned to Lubbock. That diversity is good for business and the economy.
“As we recruit from Texas Tech, those students are quite diverse themselves,” he said. “By all accounts, everyone gets along really well.”
Since opening Hoverstate’s new office—dubbed the PEGA Innovation Hub—at the newly renovated Courthouse Lofts, the staff has grown to 25 and is expected to continue to grow.
Now, Fauver and Hoverstate are planning to share the Lubbock love by encouraging other businesses to establish a presence in the historic building.
Hoverstate occupies an office on the garden level of the renovated 1930s brick building that was formerly home to a post office, then a federal courthouse, in Lubbock’s downtown. But there’s still plenty of office space available for other companies to join them. Fauver is hoping to encourage some of Hoverstate’s clients to relocate there.
“Even if it’s co-located while we work on a project together,” he said.
With Hoverstate’s Lubbock office up and running, and Fauver’s five children now grown and on their own, he and his wife, Tina, are looking forward to a life together in Lubbock.
“You reach a point in life where you say, ‘OK, where do I want to settle?’” Fauver said. “It’s a little bit slower maybe, a little more laid back, a little easier pace of life.”