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Andrea Stevens, 29
Senior Accountant/CPA at Elliot, Robinson & Company, LLP and Owner/Coach at CrossFit 417
ï¡¿The daughter of accountants, Andrea Stevens didn’t enroll at Evangel University thinking she would follow her parents’ footsteps. But a persuasive business professor and a natural talent with numbers led her in that direction anyway. After getting a degree in business and marketing, she worked at Evangel and enrolled at Missouri State University to pursue her master’s degree in accountancy.
It was hardly an unfortunate delay. Waiting to start her career allowed Stevens to support her eventual husband, Jared, while he finished a football career with the Evangel Crusaders. The football journey even took her to France for a season, where they lived for six months while Jared played for the Nice Dolphins. After returning to 417-land, Stevens finished her master’s degree, and today she works at Elliot, Robinson & Company as a senior accountant. She likes her particular firm because it’s small enough to get a taste of all sides of the business. In her free time Stevens serves as a Young Ambassador for Lost & Found.
Stevens and her husband’s athletic past isn’t entirely history. The couple now owns CrossFit 417, the Ozark-based CrossFit gym where Jared instructs and Andrea keeps the books. “I’ve always wanted to own my business, and a gym was just a natural fit,” she says. “Helping people get fit is definitely something we both love.”
Occupation: Senior Accountant/CPA at Elliott, Robinson & Company, LLP and Owner/Coach at CrossFit 417
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration in Management & Marketing from Evangel University in 2006; Master of Accountancy from Missouri State University in 2011
1. How did you end up at your current job/profession?
Both of my parents are accountants, so that’s the last thing I wanted to be. However, as I started taking classes, accounting just made sense to me. I took the long way to get to where I am but have enjoyed the journey. I worked at Evangel as a recruiter for four years after I graduated because I wasn’t ready to leave. I love what I do now and I love where I work. I always wanted to own my own business and being an accountant is such a great asset in that regard.
2. Where do you find passion to do what you do?
My dad has always worked hard to provide for my family. I want to make him proud and help others. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” That’s my motto.
3. Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my wonderful husband Jared for seven years. He’s from Idaho, and we met in college at Evangel.
4. What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
Working out and just being active with friends. I also like to travel to cheer on my husband at CrossFit competitions, and I probably watch too much reality TV.
5. Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
I am a Young Ambassador for Lost & Found. It’s such a great organization because it helps children and families who are struggling with the loss of a loved one. It fills a need that you don’t even think about until tragedy strikes. It’s important to me because a good friend of my mine lost her brother when she was younger. Seeing the type of impact this organization can make on assisting with healing and providing support is incredible.
6. Are you a member of any professional organizations?
I’m a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA).
7. How would you define the secret to success?
There isn’t a secret because success means something different for everyone. However, setting goals is really important. I remember a co-worker telling me to start writing my business plan. I thought that it was so far away from becoming a reality, but took her advice. Less than a year later, we opened our business. You also need to have a good support system. My family has always told me that I could do anything and my husband worked really hard so I could take the summer off to study for the CPA exam. In summary: Plan ahead but take each day one at a time and do something you enjoy. I try to live my life with an eternal perspective.
8. What's your favorite thing about your career?
My bosses (I have seven). They each have different strengths and are brilliant in their own way. I love learning from them, and they are so great about sharing their knowledge.
9. What's your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
The community. I’m originally from Michigan but moved here for college. There are some really amazing people here. It’s the reason both my husband and I stay while still being so far from our families.
10. If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be more confident. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. There are so many pressures in high school; now I look back and think wonder why I cared what anyone though.
11. What was your “dream job” at age 5?
I don’t know about at age 5, but I always wanted a career, and I always wanted to own my own business. I guess you could say I’m living the dream.
12. List three traits that define a successful career:
Hardworking, confidence and compassion.
13. Why are you a 20 under 30?
Because I have some great friends! I strive for balance in my life. I work hard and never give up, but still know how to have fun.
14. What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
Our firm is building a new building for the first time in 40 years, and we’re all very excited about that. I also enjoy looking for new talent as part of our firm’s recruiting team and working on governmental audits.
15. What completed project are you most proud of?
I’m so proud of our gym. It will always be a work-in-progress, but seeing people do things they’ve never done before is an awesome thing. I love being part of someone’s fitness journey. Every day I walk in and say “I love this place.”
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
Jesus makes life worth living.
A day at work wouldn't be complete without tracking my time every 15 minutes.
Ten years from now, I hope I'm still loving life.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would call my dad.
The best part about being a 20 under 30 is being famous.