Millennials on the Move: Andrew Petrey
25, Intermodal Coordinator with CMA CGM America LLC, Norfolk
Business community involvement:
Something that sets you apart from the crowd?
At first glance my hair! Looking more closely I would say my friendly and loyal nature make me different within my industry.
Someone who keeps you motivated?
That person is State Delegate Jason Miyares. When I was a junior at Virginia Wesleyan University, I wanted to become more active in local politics. On my first day I met with Jason, he gave me my first words of advice about integrity and work ethic as I entered politics. After college, Jason invited me to join his legislative staff during his first General Assembly Session as delegate in Richmond. During that session, I learned from him more about our state legislature and the importance of servant leadership.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
In 2018 I was selected to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) with the Sorensen Institute at the University of Virginia. ELP is a leadership development course for young professionals pursuing a career in public service and public policy. Having worked on local campaigns and in the state legislature I was able to bring my own awareness, while engaging with my peers on how we can maintain integrity and civility in our democratic process. Sorensen taught me the value of restoring thoughtful dialogue and staying motivated to develop better solutions to public policy issues.
What’s a challenge you’ve had to overcome to find success?
The experience of being a runner has taught me to face each day as a new challenge and time to do greatness. Running is a big part of my life as it serves as a continual personal challenge toward a goal. Starting at a mile a few years ago, I advanced to running for local charities and completing my first marathon in the 2017 Shamrock Marathon. However, I know it’s the positive teambuilding and united environment which the running community encourages that I was able to complete the run. Always remember running belongs to no one and to everyone. Now is always a good time to run.
Most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
As a young professional with a humanities degree, I look at a company’s set of values first. How a company includes and takes care of its employees is important. I’ve been fortunate to work in places that I’m passionate about, and thus I’m committed to providing the same confidence they’ve placed in me. Millennials can offer new ideas as we were raised in an advancing technology age. The inclusivity of younger employees can help me know this company embraces change, which is important. Furthermore, my workplace should be regularly involved in the local community. Lastly, I know my career journey is limitless if they encourage a healthy work-life balance.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
I would probably become more active once more in Virginia politics while continuing to further my education.
What new idea or development are you most excited about in Coastal Virginia right now?
Growing up in Virginia Beach, I remember as a child watching Town Center being developed. As a local I’ve been able to experience the diverse businesses offered in our area, and a place with a city and beach combined. The recent Something in the Water Festival was a proud moment for our area and has me excited for the wave of positivity toward Coastal Virginia. My hope for the future is that we continue to make our community a better place to live with more well-thought-out attractions for younger generations and families.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
Home to the largest naval base on the East Coast, Coastal Virginia faces the danger of excessive damage by hurricane or catastrophic flooding. According to experts we are where other notable cities have recently seen record damage. In addition to the naval base, our Port and the hospitality and entertainment industry are each at risk without proper storm surge protection. Recognizing recent action was taken at the state level. Our local leaders should continue to use the tools available to make more improvements. Collectively our region should take an active approach in ensuring preventive measures are in place from flood devastation.
Where is your favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
Running the trails at First Landing before grabbing lunch on Shore Drive and heading to the beach with my dog Buddy.
From his nomination:
“Andrew’s passion for public policy is exemplified in his desire to protect and advance our democratic process. He encourages everyone to engage with those who think differently than you do. Thoughtful dialogue can lead to a more social and diverse business environment.”
—Rebecca Chambliss, managed Andrew Petrey as an intern in the Office of Delegate Jason Miyares