40 Over 40 for 2023
Erin Hannigan Andrews
"To the best of your ability, look at your life through the lens of where you want to be 10 years from now. Be in charge of your own destiny. Travel, make memories, share experiences, try something new. You are only limited by your own self."
PROFESSION: County Supervisor
What is the best thing about being your age?
I'm more comfortable with my beauty at my age. We all have 'things' about ourselves that we think could be better, I sure have more than a few 'things'. Hairstyles, and weight have been two of my biggest challenges throughout my life. As I matured and made adjustments, I discovered I was reflecting old thoughts of me and how I show up in the world that didn't reflect who I am today: the happy me, the one that is powerful, loving and joyful. My new love for ME can be attributed to pure happiness in all areas of my life. Being comfortable with who you are and how you show up can be a reward to aging gracefully.
What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
As a young girl, I needed several surgeries that required hospital stays for over 2 months. The hospital was very scary but a place where I found strength in community. I remember a time when I was 7 years old, a few days after my surgery and I was mobile, I would visit with the nurses and the other children on the floor. It was summertime and the nurses station had popsicles for the patients, so I pretended to be a waitress and took orders for the different flavors and delivered them to the kids who couldn't get out of their beds. This was probably the beginning of a lifetime of public service that was fostered by parents who both served through their careers in education and policy making.
What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
My husband Vern and I are committed to seeing as many National Parks as we can. We are impressed with the unique beauty of each of them we've visited so far. This year we toured Glaciers, Arches and Canyonlands NP. I love all of the national parks we have visited but I do have a favorite in Bryce Canyon, the hoodoos are amazing.
What is a trait you are most proud of?
Inclusion is important to me. I celebrate people for who they are and what they are about. I am an ally and an fierce advocate.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I think I was meant to be who I am throughout my life. I can’t think of anything I would change.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness for me begins with love. Love for my children, love for my husband and my family and friends. To love and be loved is wonderful.
What is your most treasured possession?
I'm in my second marriage and we have recently integrated our households into one, mine. Throughout the process, which began with ‘what am I willing to give up’ to ‘how comfortable am I with the addition of Vern's furniture and art’, I assessed my love or not and everything in between with every piece of furniture, art, and other knick knacks in my home. The result was I don't have strong feelings for any of my things, period. This exercise showed me that I value the humans in my life more than possessions.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
None of the achievements in my adult life have been because of something that I did on my own. With that said, the achievements that I am proud of are the result of the work of many people who share a vision and a passion. The Solano First 5 Center in Vallejo is a place where families with children under 6 years old can receive early childhood education and access to resources, at no cost to the families. While I raised over 75% of the cost to create the Center and 50% of the annual operating expenses, it is a place that is supported by many people and organizations for the benefit of the youngest in our community. By the way, the second Solano First 5 Center is opening in Fairfield next year!
What is your greatest extravagance?
I’ve looked back at the cars I’ve owned and realized I’m a purchaser of brand new vehicles. There is one exception and that is when my mom gifted me her older model Honda Accord when I was a new mom and our household income was very tight. Other than that I’ve always purchased new cars. We all know that you lose up to 20% of the value of a new car by driving off the lot, but that hasn't prevented me from continuing to do it. Oh well.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be curious about the world. Travel, immerse yourself in adventures and experiences. Always listen to your gut! It will guide you and protect you.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
If you don’t ask the answer is always no.
Words of wisdom to younger women…
To the best of your ability, look at your life through the lens of where you want to be 10 years from now. Plan for the future and build in the possibility to readjust. Be in charge of your own destiny. Travel, make memories, share experiences, try something new. You are only limited by your own self. If you want to run for political office, give me a call.