COEUR d'ALENE - Although you'd never hear him say it, Jimmy McAndrew, at age 34, already has accomplished a lot. He's got big plans for the future, too.
"Those are kind words, but many of the successes that I've been part of have been the result of a lot of teamwork and support," said McAndrew, of Hayden Lake.
Professionally, he would like to grow into a position where he helps others establish their footprints, perhaps on a regional level, he said. He would also like to try his hand at economic development for North Idaho.
What do you do for a living? Why did you choose that career? If you hadn't chosen this path what would you have done instead?
I am a home-mortgage consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. I assist customers through the financing portion of home ownership, whether they are purchasing their first home for their family or refinancing an investment property to provide more additional cash flow. I have always been interested in the real-estate industry but this career sort of chose me. My brother-in-law first hired me into my first position in the industry nearly a decade ago and I have worked on building up my business ever since. Had I not stayed on this path I probably would have pursued a career in advertising or sports, marketing in a metropolitan area ... until I got homesick for North Idaho.
Why did you create the Coeur Group?
The formation of the Coeur Group came about over lunch with Ben Miller, a financial adviser with D.A. Davidson. I was just getting my feet wet in my industry and Ben was a new transplant from Eastern Washington who wanted to meet new people. In February 2004, we invited a half dozen or so young businessmen to an after-hours meeting to talk business and exchange ideas on how to ramp up our own individual growth. We soon evolved into a professional group with a focus on giving back and improving our community.
How do you choose what Coeur Group gets involved in and contributes to? Who are a couple groups or individuals Coeur Group has helped lately?
The foundation of the Coeur Group is relationships, and more often than not someone comes to a member with either an idea or specifically asking for some assistance with their projects. We are less of a fundraising group and more of a hands-on group. For example, our signature project, The Locker Program, has been in existence for years and years. In 2011, we leveraged a relationship with the EXCEL Foundation to get more exposure for the project and find a way to stretch the goodwill so that it helps go back into Coeur d'Alene School District 271. Our latest, and perhaps most visible, endeavors have been related to hosting and moderating various candidate forums in Kootenai County over the past few years (Coeur Group will be moderating the upcoming school board candidate forum at 5:30 p.m. April 30 at the Coeur d'Alene Library in the community room). Overall, I would say there are at least a dozen projects and/or organizations that we partner with annually.
Who is in Coeur Group, and how are the members chosen?
The Coeur Group consists of about 35 local, young professional businessmen who are dedicated to their trade and share the common goal of giving back to Kootenai County. I use the term young very loosely as the definition has been re-evaluated a few times now that we are nearing on a decade and getting a little more seasoned. Each industry is capped at one member with some overlapping from time to time. Membership is voluntary and generally comes about by word of mouth. We just ask that the potential member be ready to roll their sleeves up.
Why should people age 23 to 35 live in Coeur d'Alene? Why do you live here?
Personally, I can't think of a better place to raise a young family and call home. Coeur d'Alene has definitely been discovered, but I believe this area is still relatively untapped when it comes to industry. The opportunity to carve out a career and take advantage of the quality of life is definitely available for the younger demographic.
You're a well known guy in the community. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Many will be very shocked to hear that I may have been a little disruptive in class during my formative years ... except any of my teachers who may be reading this. Also, my career choice in high school was to work for MTV.
You wear a bow tie from time to time. How did you get started?
I do have a few bow ties that I wear on occasion. The first time I wore the bow tie was speaking to the Coeur d'Alene Leadership Class of 2011 on economics day. I figured if I totally bombed the presentation that maybe they would remember the bow tie rather than the delivery.
What do you do in your free time?
My free time is very precious, so it is generally spent with my wife and daughter. We like to go to the local parks or travel when we are able. I'm a huge sports fan so a round of golf or occasional trek to go watch Gonzaga play basketball are also at the top of my list.
Who knows you best, and what would they say about you?
My wife definitely knows me best. I think she would say that I am loving, caring, responsible and probably have my hands in too many things.
You're involved in a lot of different community events? What motivates you to get involved?
Right now I'm on the board of Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre and just about ready to start my term as president of EXCEL Foundation. I'm also a member of Sunrise Rotary and The Coeur Group, an usher at His Place Church and I volunteer for the VIP Program at Borah Elementary. I feel blessed to be able to give back to this community because it is so good to my family and I. Each of these organizations and programs has a positive impact on the makeup of Coeur d'Alene. I felt like people always rallied around to help each other when I was growing up in St. Maries, so that sense of community has always been important to me.
Who has influenced you? What drew your attention to them?
There are three women who have had the most influence on me: My grandmother Doris Hagan, my aunt Kristi Hagan and my wife, Julie McAndrew. My grandmother raised me and is a literal saint. I don't know where, (and) don't want to know where I would be without her. My Aunt is the definition of selfless and has been a huge role model for me in the business world. My wife is my biggest cheerleader and has absolutely brought out the best in me. She's much more introverted than I am, which I know is not easy but she is and always has been a trooper. Those are my three angels.
How did your upbringing influence who you are today?
As I mentioned, I was raised by my grandmother and she treated everyone with respect, compassion and love. She never drilled in personal accountability, but she quietly lived it. My aunt and uncle also played a huge role in raising me, so much I could never thank them enough. Parents and grandparents of friends, teachers, coaches - I've always been blessed with people watching out for me so I feel like giving back is just my opportunity to pay it forward a little.