As a child, whenever Andrea's family went anywhere even slightly close to water, her mother would take a spare set of clothes because Andrea would end up in the water. The outdoors had a huge impact on her, impacting who she is as a human being. Partly because of this, in 2006, Andrea, by then a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, founded Chicago Adventure Therapy (CAT) and has been the director since. She has a broad range of clinical expertise and outdoor leadership experience. Andrea has been teaching paddlesports and leading adventure travel trips since 1998.
In October of 2015 she earned her 5 Star Sea Leader Award, becoming the seventh American woman to hold the award. In August of 2016 she became the second American to earn the UKCC Level 3 Coach Award. She also holds a 3 Star in Open Canoe and in Whitewater Kayak, and her ACA L3 Instructor Certification. As a coach, Andrea believes that paddling and learning should be fun, challenging, accessible, and engaging. She works to individualize her classes as much as possible in an attempt to provide every student with a challenge and an opportunity to learn in a way that is effective for them.