Andrea Gurcsik grew up in East Toledo, a block away from her grandparents. Influenced by her hardworking family, she wanted to be the first person in her family to attend college. During her senior year at Cardinal Stritch, Andrea and her mother began visiting colleges. She had her heart set on a large school, far away from home. Her mother had a different idea and felt Andrea would succeed at a college where her daughter would receive individualized attention.
"After visiting numerous colleges, my mom said she was not going to one more, until we visited Owens Community College," Andrea recalls. "I agreed just to humor her. I had no intention of attending Owens." Andrea enrolled in an out-of-state college, but quickly realized she had made the wrong choice. During the first semester, she returned home and enrolled in Owens realizing that her mom was right about the college she should attend.
At Owens she loved it and felt right at home. "I was very impressed by the real world experience the faculty brought to the classroom," Andrea said. "They had all worked in their fields."
Andrea found her calling when she was hired at Alternative Management Resources, an employment placement firm. "I took a job to help with college expenses," she remembers, "and I discovered that human resources was my path."
In 1999, Andrea received her associate's degree and was strongly encouraged by her family and Owens faculty to continue her education. "My mom and professors really pushed me to go on," Andrea said. "They truly emphasized the value of education."
After Owens, Andrea went on to complete her bachelor's and master's degrees in Business Administration. A required internship led to a great start in the human resource field and the opportunity to meet her husband, Gary, at S.E. Johnson Companies, Inc..
Today, Andrea is the Manager of Human Resources for TolTest, Inc. She is responsible for managing the human resource function for the international construction company, which encompasses 21 different locations in countries like Cuba, Iraq, Guam and Korea. She handles all staffing, governmental compliance and all international personnel issues associated with overseas construction services.
Her community involvement includes vice chair of the Ohio Human Resource conference, volunteer at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, basketball coach for CYO, president elect for the Toledo Area Human Resource Association (TAHRA), vice president for the Owens Alumni Association, and director on the Board of Directors for Neighborhood Properties, Inc. In 2005, she was named Young Alumni of the Year by The University of Toledo's College of Business Administration and in 2006 she was a recipient of the Toledo area's 20 under 40 Leadership award. In 2008, Andrea will become the President of TAHRA, making her the second youngest president in their 89 year history.
When looking back on her start at Owens, Andrea always smiles. "Mothers certainly give great advice! Without my start at Owens, I am not sure if I would have made it this far. My professors helped me to discover who I was and what I could achieve. I felt that my ideas and opinions mattered to them."