Small-town Georgia girl at home in Park City | ParkRecord.com

Small-town Georgia girl at home in Park City

Steve Phillips, Record contributing writer

Andrea Haas is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential. A Park City resident for the past five years, she works remotely as a director for "Stop at Nothing," a small, Florida-based leadership and organizational management firm. She says she loves to help clients improve their leadership skills and personal effectiveness "from the inside out."

The work comes naturally for the ebullient, 40-something wife and mother of three. She was born Andrea Holloway in Alpharetta, Georgia. Though an only child, she grew up surrounded by extended family. "I felt I was from this big family and was very close to my aunts, uncles and grandparents."

In the late 1960s and ’70s, Alpharetta was a small, rural town 30 miles north of Atlanta. Haas has fond memories of her early years there. "Christmas morning often meant 30 of us around the tree opening presents. Summer nights we all played hide and seek and caught fireflies. I remember being in the "Old Soldier’s Day" parade, throwing candy and passing out pamphlets for a family friend running for office. In high school, I was drum major for the marching band at that same parade," she recalls.

Haas attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, graduating in 1989 with a B.S. degree in industrial and systems engineering. "Though I was on the football dance team, my real claim to famed was being named Georgia Tech "Greek Goddess."

She met Kevin Haas while at Georgia Tech. "I actually walked up to him in a college bar and introduced myself," she grins. "I had noticed him for a long time but, sadly, he hadn’t noticed me. We dated all through college."

Together they enjoyed several ski vacations out West during their college years. "Utah quickly became our place to ski. Kevin was always talking about his dream to live in a ski town. He moved to Jacksonville, Florida, after graduating and then realized he wanted to marry me," she recounts.

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"I had no idea what an amazing man he would become. I loved his smile, the fact that he folded down his toothpaste, that he was very smart and goal-driven, and because he was a total smart-ass," she laughs.

Her first job after college was with IBM in Memphis, Tennessee. "I was only there six months before transferring to their office in Jacksonville, because Kevin proposed to me — finally!"

The newlyweds settled at the beaches in Jacksonville, home for the next 21 years. "We waited about five years after marrying to have children — Troy, Kyle and Serena arrived in that order."

For Andrea and Kevin, the west still beckoned. "In 2009, friends from Atlantic Beach transferred with Delta to live in Park City. Kevin watched our friends follow his dream. That’s when we finally made the decision. Sometimes it simply takes seeing someone achieve a dream to realize that it’s possible for you too."

Their dream was fulfilled in 2010. "We moved here when the kids were entering 10th, 6th and 4th grades, perfect transition years. We wanted to make the move while they were young enough for Park City to become their home so that, when they grow up and maybe move away, they’ll always want to come back to see us," Haas says.

"I love the people here, they’re so happy, upbeat and welcoming," she continues. "Our entire family is thrilled to live here. That includes my wonderful mother, Lucy Holloway, who moved here last fall. Everyone here is so interesting, very smart, with unique life stories because most are transplants themselves. We’ve made some wonderful friends."

Haas’s passion for helping people and her nascent love affair with Park City have recently merged, inspiring her to give back to the community in a big way. "I’m very excited about my upcoming role as president of the Summit County chapter of the National Charity League," she says. "Our mission is to foster mother-daughter relationships through a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences," she says. Started two years ago and still growing, the Summit County chapter is currently partnered with Peace House, Swaner EcoCenter, the Christian Center and the National Ability Center.

Haas and her family are living their ski-town dream, giving and taking from the community town in equal measure. "The town provides so many fun activities, like Savor the Summit and great outdoor concerts. My family is so much more active here. I am so proud of all the maintained single-track and paved trails and the preserved open space," she says.

Yes, Park City suits Haas just fine. What started as a dream so many years ago has ended in a match made in Heaven.

VITAL STATISTICS:

Favorite activities: ski, hike, bike, jog, camp, outdoor concerts

Favorite food: chocolate

Favorite reading: good page-turners and thought-provoking literature

Favorite music/performers: mostly alternative rock, some pop and Jack Johnson

Animal companions: Mojo, a 2-year-old Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Bucket list: be in a community theater production, sky dive, an African safari and lots of travel

Steve Phillips is a Park City-based writer and actor. Send your profile comments and suggestions to him at stevep2631@comcast.net

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