Andrea Kilmer, ESG’s President and CEO, participated as a guest speaker at a recent CBDX professional development luncheon on May 22 at the Sandler Center. Approximately 15 young professionals were in attendance to hear about Andrea’s career progression and professional insights, and to discuss business topics.
Andrea shared her career path from obtaining an Accounting degree and CPA certification, to starting employment with a national accounting firm in Richmond, relocating back to Virginia Beach to work for a regional firm, and then making the jump to private business.
She has worked for ESG and its Founder and Chairman, Eddie Garcia, for more than thirty years where no workday has been dull. She considers Eddie one of her most important mentors in life. He has helped expand her professional experience beyond the traditional accounting roles and shown her that maintaining one’s integrity and doing what is right (even at one’s own expense) are the most important qualities a person can carry with them through life.
Andrea encouraged the attendees to stay true to themselves and to be open to new challenges and step out of their comfort zone. Even at this stage of her career, new projects and opportunities have pushed her to hone new skills and attributes. Other discussion topics included work-life-balance, essential soft and hard skills for professionals, and regionalism.
The CBDX is the young professional division of the Central Beach District Association (CBDA) of Virginia Beach. As stated on its website, the CBDX is a group of business professionals ages 40 and under charged with furthering the mission of the CBDA which is to support the growth and development of the business community within the city’s Pembroke Strategic Growth Area, better known as Town Center.
Andrea is a current member of the CBDA and serves on its Board of Directors. Andrea was one of four speakers in CBDX’s newly launched Professional Development luncheon program. Other speakers included Chris Stone (CEO of Clark Nexsen), Michael Zeiders (Founder and Chairman of Zeiders American Dream Theater) and Lou Haddad (CEO of Armada Hoffler).