Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.
Andrea Owens is the owner of HourGlass Testing Solutions and a medical billing instructor and success navigator at the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology.
HourGlass Testing Solutions specializes in same-day, on-site drug and alcohol testing for HR, logistics and safety managers in the manufacturing and transportation industries.
Owens’ 30 years of experience in the drug and alcohol testing industry has allowed her to train drug-screen collectors, breath-alcohol technicians and employers on policies, compliance and regulatory issues that affect productivity, job performance and safety.
Her work is fueled by her passion for safer workplaces, roadways and communities.
Biggest career break?
The opportunity to become an educator in 2012, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. Working with students to obtain careers in the health field — what a privilege it is to serve others.
When I received my master’s degree in management in 2010. My mother encouraged me to continue even through her illness. It took 12 years to complete because of other obligations, and my mom was there to witness it prior to her passing on.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Always place others first, remain humble and always act with integrity. For me, these are words to live by in my personal and professional lives.
How did you make your first dollar?
Working for the Kent County Road Commission converting farmland into a park during the summer before my senior year in high school. I finally understood the importance and value of hard work and to know when the sun is at its peak — noon!!
A picture of me and my mom before she passed away. I look at the picture daily. It’s an inspiring reminder about the importance of relationships.
Being the owner of my own business helping employees build their social capital to obtain their dreams. Be it mentoring, job shadowing, etc. Knowing that someone helped me along the way, so I’d like to do the same for others.
If you were president for a day, you would … ?
Try to level the playing field when it comes to social injustice. Develop a plan to provide local communities with the resources needed to strengthen current efforts. Local communities are where it all starts.
Last book you read?
The Bible. It’s an awesome read and provides lots of wisdom!!
Last search term you googled?
Regulatory compliance within the drug-testing industry
Your worst habit?
Not knowing when to slow down. I am constantly on the go, and I truly need to slow down and relax sometimes. Some things can wait!
To unwind, you like to … ?
Hang with friends and family, laughing and talking for hours (when I have the time). There is value in listening to others.
A family vacation in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Mexico. Enjoying the beautiful blue waters swimming, snorkeling and eating.
Mexican cuisine: tacos, burritos and lots of fresh guacamole
Person you most admire?
My husband for his resilience, strength, leadership and love for his family. His continued encouragement is what keeps me going. He supports my efforts whole heartedly and for that, I am forever grateful.