Meet the team behind the mission: Q&A with Andrea Garrett
In our mission to recruit companies and grow jobs, the REDI Cincinnati team amplifies the region’s unique story to national and international audiences. This series flips the microphone for a look at what makes these passionate economic development professionals tick — and what they love most about living and working in the Cincinnati region.
She arrived as a transplant to the Cincinnati region just a few short months ago, but Andrea Garrett is wasting no time. She’s already purchased a home and is trailblazing new connections in her role as REDI Cincinnati’s Site Selection and Real Estate Manager.
Andrea has previous industry experience, but for the first time, this new position allows her to combine deep passions for both economic development and real estate. Here, Andrea discusses just a few of the personal and professional factors that have prepared her to take on challenges and opportunities unique to the Cincinnati region.
Q: Describe your background and what first attracted you to economic development.
A: I’m originally from Michigan, so my career started in the Kalamazoo area. I worked a bit in sales and client management before relocating to Detroit, where I had opportunities to champion local and regional companies at the state level. While working for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation as a senior program manager, my job was to engage stakeholders in target industries and assist them in overcoming barriers to success.
Q: What excites you most about the REDI Cincinnati mission?
A: I am especially passionate about affecting change in urban neighborhoods. Living in Detroit, I enjoyed seeing new buildings go up in the urban core, companies moving in, and the positive effects on both the economy and surrounding communities. Working in a field where you can influence that process makes it even more fulfilling—it makes it very personal. The Cincinnati region has similar diversity and potential, so I’m excited to get more opportunities to be a part of that positive change.
Q: What aspects of your personality make you well suited for economic development work?
A: For me, it’s all about the challenge. I love thinking critically about a pain point and finding solutions with the power to positively affect a number of different people. It really stems from a desire I have to be as helpful as possible, and I’ll change up my approaches and processes as many times as necessary to be able to do that.
Q: What are your favorite things about living and working in the Cincinnati Region so far?
A: I’m still new to the region, so it seems like I discover a new neighborhood, restaurant, or event just about every week. A friend introduced me to the Loveland community and I was so drawn to the outdoor trails and friendly vibe that I decided to stay and buy a home there. I think it will be a great place to be while I embrace whatever the future holds.