Young Professionals Spotlight: Andy Van Engen
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Andy Van Engen, 35, is the Corridor’s next Young Professionals Spotlight. Van Engen was born and raised in Spencer and attended The Creative Center Art College in Omaha to study graphic design. He stayed there for 11 years, and during that time, Van Engen freelanced and also worked full-time. Van Engen did most of his freelance work for ad agencies, corporations, and churches, but decided to move back to the Corridor three years ago. He now works as the Art Director and Strategist at F8 Creative in Spencer.
“I decided to come back to Spencer to be closer to family, and figured I would have to just freelance until I figured things out,” said Van Engen. “I started freelancing for F8 in 2012 and after doing that for about a year, Chris and Joe asked me to join full-time.”
Van Engen states that he’s surprised and excited about the many opportunities available for young people in the Corridor. Although his decision to move back was a tough one, Van Engen states he’s excited to see the Corridor grow.
“Networking in a small town is so much better and people are always willing to help,” says Van Engen. “There are opportunities here, but you really have to think it through, get creative with it and put in the effort to find them.”
Van Engen realized the amount of opportunities through his time as a student for the Corridor’s “Prepare to Launch” class. Van Engen says the experience helped him better network in the area.
“I took the Corridor’s ‘Prepare to Launch’ class last year, and my instructor, Brian Dalziel, really emphasized making connections,” says Van Engen. “The connections and re-connections I’ve made in Spencer have really paid off for me.”
Van Engen serves on a various boards in Spencer, holding seats on the Arts on Grand board, as well as the Spencer Main Street board. Additionally, he is a local host for Spencer Tech Brews. Van Engen also enjoys playing the bass guitar and other various instruments at his church with his wife, Melissa. They have been married for two years, and although Melissa is originally from Connecticut, the Van Engens are committed to staying in the Corridor.
“My job is such an amazing opportunity and with having family here, it would be great to live here for a long time,” states Van Engen. “For the time being, we’re here to stay. I really want to see this region grow.”
For more information about the Young Professionals Spotlight, visit the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation blog at lakescorridor.wordpress.com.