Meet Andrea Nagel, a longtime Coeur d'Alene resident with a talent for writing and photography and a love of animals and the outdoors. She and husband Kyle chronicle their adventures on the Stuck in North Idaho blog. Andrea's handiwork can also be found in online and print media, as well as through her work at Kootenai Health.
Tell us about yourself:
Generation: I fall squarely in the millennial generation, although I don’t know that I fit many of the stereotypes. That said, I do love a good piece of gluten-free avocado toast.
Career and community involvement: I am a communications specialist at Kootenai Health. I put together our quarterly magazine, manage media relations and create content for our websites and social media accounts. I also do some freelancing on the side for a few local publications and started dabbling in photography work the last two years. I’ve served on the board for the Post Falls Distinguished Young Women and served on the Community Opportunity Grant Committee for the city. I plan to volunteer with the pet therapy program at the hospital with my dog in the near future.
Parental status: So far, just "fur babies" for us. We have a 7-year-old Bernese mountain dog, Juneau, and a black cat named Zooey.
1. What inspired you to pursue a career in communications?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was a kid and had several amazing English teachers pushing me in that direction. I studied journalism and creative writing at Washington State University and worked at the Coeur d’Alene Press for a stint after I graduated. It was there I met my current director while working on the Festival of Trees section for the paper. I saw there was an opening for a writer in their communications department and thought I’d give it a try. I just celebrated my eight-year anniversary. I love being able to work for an organization, like the hospital, that does a lot of good in our community but still be able to work in a creative capacity.
2. What is your personal philosophy?
Leave it better than you found it. This can be applied in any situation — as big as making a difference in our community over a lifetime, or as small as picking something up when you leave a room in your home or a piece of litter on a trail.
3. Where do you go to get away from the world?
I love being outside — it helps me feel centered and more connected despite being very "offline." I find the most peace while out hiking or jogging with my dog in the woods or paddle boarding on the lake. Even if it’s a quick loop around Tubbs, being outside always lifts my spirits and clears my head.
4. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Much to my mother’s dismay, I got my motorcycle endorsement a few years ago. Right now I have a 150 CC scooter I ride to and from work in the summer, but I daydream about getting a vintage-looking Ural motorcycle with a sidecar for Juneau to ride in.
5. If you could be any animal, what animal would it be and why?
My pets have a pretty great life, so choosing to be one of them would be the easy choice. Who wouldn’t enjoy napping all day and then playing outside in the evening? But to pick something a little less obvious, I once took a "What is your patronus?" Harry Potter quiz and got an otter and liked the description. It talked a lot about their curiosity and eagerness to solve problems in addition to being associated with being a good friend. Those are all qualities I can get behind.