DRS and Associates is made up of a wonderful team of creative and hardworking professionals, and now you can get to know them a little better. Here’s a look at our very own Andrew!

Andrew Hartwell, PR and Social Media Marketing Coordinator

The newest member of the team is Andrew Hartwell, our PR and Social Media Marketing Coordinator. He started working with us in early 2017 after moving back to his home state of California.

“I love the close-knit environment and increased focus you only find in a boutique PR firm like DRS and Associates,” Andrew says. “Our smaller size means we have to be more agile than the big fish: I get the opportunity to wear so many different hats and tackle a variety of challenges. Every day is a different adventure.”

Andrew grew up in the rural outskirts of Sacramento, riding bikes through fields and counting stars. “There’s a lot I love about country life,” he says, “but when I was a teen I started to spend more time hanging out in downtown Sacto and in the Bay Area, going to indie rock shows and midnight B-movies. I began to hunger for the constant, invigorating energy of the city.”

When the opportunity came to move to Los Angeles for college, he took it. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in history and political science, he traveled across the country, moving to Brooklyn, where he worked as a barista and as an activist before getting hired by a public affairs firm. A couple of years later, after a short detour to Virginia to work for some guy named Obama, he headed to Madison, Wisconsin, where he handled social media for an international B2B marketing company. In 2017 he finally made it back to California, settling in Long Beach with his spouse.

We sat down with Andrew and asked him, “What’s Your DRS?”

Destination: What’s your favorite trip you’ve taken or place you’ve visited?

“I am lucky that I was able to take several road trips around the United States. I’ve been to almost every one of the lower 48 states. But, my favorite place is Marigot on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. That half of the island is still owned by France, and it was so surreal to visit what felt like a quaint old French town, complete with an 18th century fort that had been transplanted to a tropical paradise. Seeing the recent devastation to the area wrought by Hurricane Irma was truly tragic and I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for everyone there.”

Renovation: What would you update, remodel or change in your home?

“I can appreciate all sorts of styles, but my ideal home décor would be a mixture of modernist minimalism and industrial chic. I’m also partial to brutalist architecture—it gets a bit of a bad wrap because of the name, but I love the egalitarian philosophy and clarity of purpose behind brutalism’s imposing concrete geometries, and a lot of it just looks really amazing. My personal taste in design is informed by minimalism, bauhaus, modernism and similar schools of design: I’m all about function influencing form, about pieces that manage the rare balance of being simple and unpretentious while still being interesting and innovative.”

Significance: What has great meaning to you? Perhaps a cherished item, event or realization.

“One of the most profound events I’ve ever experienced was the 2012 presidential election, when I spent two months organizing in the backwoods of southern Virginia. I studied history and politics in school and thought I knew everything there was to know about elections. I was wrong. Spending every day speaking face-to-face with regular people about the issues that affect them, being inspired by the passion and dedication of volunteers, and being confronted with the poverty and the entrenched social problems of rural America taught me more than any textbook ever could.

Andrew Hartwell playing ukulele with his cat

Andrew playing ukulele with his cat, Nico.

Andrew and architect Frank Gehry

Hanging out with architect Frank Gehry inside the Gehry-designed 8 Spruce Street, NYC.

Andrew Hartwell taking a call in a replica of the 1970s oval office at the Nixon Presidential Library.

Taking an important call in a replica of the Oval Office at the Nixon Presidential Library.

Andrew Hartwell relaxing by Lake Mendota, Madison, WI

Relaxing by Lake Mendota, Madison, WI.