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Staff Spotlight: Andrea VanValkenburg, Estimator & Project Manager

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

We love getting the chance to highlight our amazing A.F. Smith Electric team members!

What is your role at A.F. Smith?

I am an Estimator and Project Manager. As an Estimator, I analyze sets of electrical drawings and cross reference with the other trade drawings in order to best interpret what a project will cost. As a Project Manager, I make that project work by overseeing and managing the job, all while staying within budget.

How long have you worked at A.F. Smith?

I’ve been with A.F. Smith about 13 years. I began here in 2000 as summer help. I came back in 2003 as a first-year electrical apprentice. Then in 2011, I came back as a Journeyman/Foreman. In 2018 my position changed to Project Manager/Estimator.

What does your average day look like?

My average day includes multiple phone calls, emails, doing takeoffs on drawings (calculating materials and costs), dealing with field issues, handling change orders and so much more.

What led you to your career at A.F. Smith?

I was installing lawn sprinklers in my mom’s yard. Her neighbor, Jeff Koepp (one of the owner’s sons), saw me and said, “You’re a hard worker, you should be an electrician.” I took that to heart and did it. Once I began that journey, he said I’d always have a home at A.F. Smith. He’s been true to his word.

What does being on the A.F. Smith team mean to you?

It means everything, to be honest. It has basically changed my whole life. I was a bit wild in my 20s and having a career was the last thing on my mind. Working here changed that, and I’m forever grateful.

Why should customers choose A.F. Smith?

Customers should choose us because we’re reliable, family-oriented, friendly and we do things right the first time.

Who has been your strongest influence in life?

My grandmother, my mémé, who came to the U.S. from France. She was always my biggest supporter and never judged me. She also always had a story for me that related to whatever I was going through. She lived to be 102!

What are you most proud of accomplishing, personally and/or professionally?

Going from my wild 20s to being who I am today, in an awesome career where I’m happy and comfortable. I also try to be the best grandma I can be to my own grandchildren.

What is your favorite memory of working at A.F. Smith?

There are so many great ones. Mainly it’s the relationships I've formed with the guys in the field. Foremen that have guided me in the right direction, and have been like “work dads.” I’ve maintained many of those relationships even if they’ve retired or don’t work here anymore.

What three adjectives would you use to describe A.F. Smith Electric?

Professional, knowledgeable, reliable.


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