Though he grew up in Wisconsin, Andy was no stranger to West Michigan when he was a child. His family’s historic cottage near Traverse City was a frequent summer spot. Some of his earliest memories were of time spent on the shores of Lake Michigan, and as a result, he fell in love with the region.

After staying in Wisconsin for school and eventually moving to Washington, Andy and his wife knew they wanted to come back to West Michigan. When he heard about the opportunity to be the Executive Director of the West Michigan Symphony, Andy applied – and got the job.

One of the many reasons Andy loves West Michigan is the arts. “The Muskegon Museum of Art is on par with museums I have experienced in major metropolitan areas,” Andy stated. “The Frauenthal Theater, where the Symphony plays, is quite simply the best performing arts venue in the state. You walk into it and your jaw will drop. Suddenly, you could be in Chicago or New York… It’s a first-class experience and more people should take advantage of it.”

Additionally, Andy loves that the West Michigan Symphony not only has a core symphonic series and an education program, but it also operates The Block, an alternative performance venue for small group events, and a ReThink West Michigan location.

But the arts scene isn’t the only reason Andy fell in love with West Michigan. The time spent as a child on Lake Michigan had an impact on him. As a “lifelong beach bum,” Andy has been to beaches all over the world, but he said nothing compares to the ones in West Michigan – especially Muskegon.

“I’m back where I want to be and it feels great,” Andy said. “It’s home.”

Looking to grab a bite to eat in West Michigan? Andy’s favorite restaurant is Hearthstone. For great places to eat or grab a drink, visit our food and craft beer page.