Charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

By Lisa Morgan

When you first meet Andrea Carter, it is her earthy, easygoing but straightforward, look-you-in-the-eyes, warm smile and handshake that get your attention. Your first impression after any conversation is, ‘This woman knows what she’s doing, and I can trust her,’ and that is because you can. You know immediately, in spite of her “California girl” good looks, that she is a driven and smart leader. Her work here in the desert, both professional and charitable, is held in high regard by many throughout the Coachella Valley, but when you find out later that she’s just a small town girl, wife and mother, raised in Ellendale, Minnesota (population 55), who only came here 16 years ago to escape the harsh winters, your respect and awe for all she has been able to accomplish grow even deeper.

Andrea Carter 3Family:
Carter dotes on her husband of 21 years, Anthony Carter, and for good reason. The two make a dynamic and productive partnership. “Anthony is part of the management team at Milauskas Eye Institute, and has been there 16 years,” she shared. “He is brilliant with numbers and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. We share the same love of our charity of choice: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.” Working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Carter was part of the founding board for the Patrick Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament, helping the event become the top grossing golf tournament fundraiser for St. Jude in the nation.

Together, they have raised two beautiful daughters. Alexa, a sophomore and on the varsity tennis team at La Quinta High School, and Halle, 14 months younger, a freshman on the junior varsity volleyball team. “Both my girls are straight A students and have taken piano lessons for more than 5 years,” she said proudly. “We recently started volunteering in the community together by joining National Charity League (Desert Cities Chapter).”

Andrea Carter 2This CV “Top Twelve Most Interesting & Influential Women of the Coachella Valley” honoree gives a lot of credit for her success and happiness to her own upbringing. “My parents are amazing! They instilled in me that solid Midwest work ethic that has been at the core of any and all successes I’ve achieved in my life. My mom taught me how to cook and bake, play piano, and most importantly, fostered my passion for music and singing at a young age. My dad has been extremely involved in my life and always encouraged me with sage words of advice and his dry humor.”

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Education and Work Experience:
Carter put her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Public Communications to work immediately as the public relations coordinator for AAA Minneapolis, and was assistant editor for their regional travel editor, Home & Away magazine. Her resume is rich with positions ranging from Public Relations Specialist for the National Marrow Donor Program (now called BeTheMatch.org), to a position in consumer public relations for The Maccabee Group with clients like General Mills. Upon moving from the “frozen tundra,” she was hired by Kiner/Goodsell (now Kiner Communications). Within eight years she worked her way from Account Executive to Vice President. In 2008, she set out on her own, launching her own successful business, Andrea Carter & Associates.

Secrets to Her Success:

1)    That strong Midwest work ethic my parents taught me
2)    Doing what I say I am going to do, and following through
3)    Placing integrity at the heart of everything I do
4)    Taking pride in the respect I’ve gained in this community
5)    And most importantly, REMAINING HUMBLE AT ALL TIMES (Tim McGraw’s, “Humble & Kind” is my theme song).

“I don’t ever let thoughts of competition affect my business. I think there is enough work to go around for all the talented marketing/communications professionals here in the Coachella Valley. Besides, no one else is really doing what I am in this market. I’m not a freelancer – my company is a registered ‘S’ Corporation in the State of California. I wear several “hats” in my business and I do everything personally myself. My roles range from marketing director for the CareerBuilder Challenge and marketing consultant for SunLine Transit Agency to ad copywriter for a number of JW Marriott properties and editor of La Quinta’s ‘The Gem’ monthly magazine, as well as a number of other incredible clients I have as listed on my website, www.andreacarterassociates.com, almost all of which have come through referrals.”

Andrea Carter 1“Juggling being a wife and mother and business owner with a full workload of client projects is pretty stressful; I’m not going to lie. I don’t have much time for myself; I work day and night, whatever it takes to get the job done while making goodies for the volleyball team’s bake sale and cheering my on my kids from the sidelines. Because I am my own boss, I am able to be there for the kids’ activities, and that means the world to me. One tip I can give to others about juggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help… from your kids, your friends, your family… the people who love you and want to lift you up when you need it most. We aren’t meant to do it alone, so it’s okay to tap your support network if it’s going to keep you from having an ‘I can’t do it all’ meltdown!”

Authors note: You should hear this girl sing!