Every day I am exposed to a different way to be successful. It never ceases to amaze me.
Where did you grow up?
Yuba City, California, about three hours north of San Francisco. I grew up in a valley with the Sierra Nevada mountains on one side and the Coast Range on the other. Growing up in a farming town, I learned to fix anything with bailing wire and duct tape.
But you went to college at the University of Colorado. How did you end up in Boulder?
I played hockey growing up. I was invited to the Olympic trials in Colorado Springs. I got to go up and take a look at Boulder, fell in love with it during that first trip and said, “All right, it’s over—this is where I’m going to school.”
I saw a picture of you on a hunting trip. When did you start hunting?
My father and grandfather took me hunting when I was probably six or seven. I had a great time in the outdoors. Hunting lets me get back to the environment I grew up in, which is wonderful.
How did you get into the insurance industry?
I took a job interview at the University of Colorado with absolutely no intention of taking an insurance job. But I loved the guys I interviewed with, and the rest is history.
And you’ve never left insurance. What do you like about it?
The interesting businesses I get to understand. How many ways there are to make a lot of money making widgets. Literally every day I am exposed to a different way to be successful. It never ceases to amaze me.
What does your perfect weekend look like?
Time with my wife and kids. Out to dinner with friends. Watching my kids win all their sports games. Get a couple of workouts in. Watch a little sports on TV. Read a little and catch up on my sleep.
What’s your favorite place to visit?
If I’m just kicking back and relaxing, it would be Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico. I’ve gone there the last 18 years with my wife. We go there every February, typically Valentine’s Day week.
I love the combination of the mountains and the ocean being right there together. The weather is consistently warm that time of year. No humidity. The people are laid back, and the golf is great.
What was your favorite vacation?
The next one.
Do you have pets?
We have a Belgian sheepdog, called a Bouvier. He’s about eight months and 85 pounds.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Most people are surprised that I like bird hunting. They might be a little surprised to find out that one of my goals is to play the top 100 golf courses in the country.
How many have you played?
Of the original list, I’ve played 78. Of the current list, I’ve played 67. The list changes every year. The only one in the top 20 I haven’t played is Augusta. If anyone can help, they are welcome to call me.
Of those 67, do you have a favorite?
I have favorites for different reasons. Pine Valley for the accomplishment. Winged Foot because we played 36 holes one day and had an awesome host. Fishers Island because it took us nearly 10 years to get there. It’s just a very private course. Historically it’s been in the top 25 and been just super hard to get on
How would the people you work with describe your management style?
Direct. Jovial. Fair. I think that would sum it up.
What have you learned that you’d like to pass on to others?
The importance of always learning, always growing, being inquisitive. And the importance of relationships, as nothing is more important than an open and honest relationship.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
The industry’s adaptation to technology. I’d really like to see the industry accept new technology and the efficiencies that can be achieved at a more rapid pace.
What gives you your leader’s edge in this industry?
My intellectual curiosity. I’m always looking for something new, something different, something that’s better than the rest. That’s a trademark of our organization. We’re always trying to do it better, do it faster, be on the leading edge.
The Mitchell Andrews File
Hometown: Barrington, Ill.
Family: Wife, Colleen (married 18 years); children: Mickenzie, 15; Max, 13; Michael, 11; and Mason, 10
Wheels: 2010 Land Rover Sport