Bristow Proud: Andy Rome Solves Puzzles at Work and at Home
Houma (Louisiana) Project Coordinator Andy Rome wears a lot of hats and works with integrity every step of the way.
What do you do in your current role? What does a typical day look like for you?
The position of project coordinator requires me to be multifaceted. Describing a typical day is difficult because there’s no such thing as a typical day in this role! If I had to sum up the roll, it would be proactively planning to ensure the day-to-day operation flows as smoothly as possible. This includes manual revisions, acquiring the necessary approvals/certifications to operate in a new area or continue operations in an existing area, closing audit items, working with IT on EFB updates, etc.
What in your background prepared you for your current role?
I have a diverse background that gives me a wide set of skills. Prior to joining Era in 2012, I was an inside sales representative, short order cook, grounds keeper, facility manager, mechanic, background actor (movie extra) and self-taught programmer. I joined Era in a base support role, then I moved into customer service. From there, I held a safety advisor role until I took on my current position. No matter what role I’m in, I try to be an asset to the company. I learned skills and gained experience in each of my previous roles that help me in my current role.
What do you consider some of your greatest personal and business accomplishments over the years?
My biggest accomplishment is personal growth and honing my philosophies that guide my actions. Through the years, I’ve worked hard to become closer to the version of myself that I want to be, even though the version that I “want” to become is also evolving. Becoming more open to different possibilities is a trait I’m especially proud to have developed. I also strive daily to improve how I communicate my ideas, and I’m proud of my progress there.
I’m also constantly refining what exactly I want from my career and life in general. I’ve determined that my goals are to help others around me however I can, but especially through mentoring. I’ve learned there is no finish line in life; there isn’t a set amount of money you need in your bank account before you die or a certain career level that must be reached by a certain age. Life is about always getting better, so I’m always striving for improvement!
It is so vitally important to live in the present, and not constantly focus on the things you want out of life. While it is great to have goals/dreams, if you aren’t careful, one day you look around and 10 years have passed while you were chasing your dreams. Make an effort to be aware of life while chasing your dreams.
What does it mean to work with integrity?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about integrity is doing the right thing, no matter who is watching (or not watching). It is also doing what is right even though it may be easier or faster to cut corners.
What is the best career advice you’ve been given throughout your career?
One thing that has always stuck with me was something a guest lecturer said in one of my business classes: “If you work for someone else, you have to make them more money than they spend on employing you.”
This really struck me and has guided my career since. I want to make sure I’m providing value to my employer.
If you weren’t in your current position, what would you be doing? What is your dream job and why?
I enjoy doing computer programming – I find it challenging and satisfying. I have learned that I enjoy creating business processes more than managing those processes on a day-to-day basis. In other words, I prefer a job that changes regularly, as opposed to doing the same thing every day. I enjoy solving problems. When I was working in Juneau, I picked up a Rubik’s cube and taught myself to solve it in six days. I get a lot of enjoyment in working diligently to find solutions.
Who inspires you (professional or personal)?
One of the biggest inspirations for me personally is Mr. Rogers (of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood), because he was a man of upstanding moral character. He truly cared about kids. Many people who reach his level of fame unfortunately often have scandals, but he never had one. I truly believe he was a good man who cared about making a positive impact on the world.
Demonstrating integrity professionally and personally has a way of building friendship and loyalty with those around you; conversely, once the reputation for integrity has been lost, it is extremely difficult to gain that back.
Why is working with integrity important to you?
Integrity is a personal value that I try to cultivate as much as I can. I have not always lived up to my ideals but strive to be better each day. Demonstrating integrity professionally and personally has a way of building friendship and loyalty with those around you; conversely, once the reputation for integrity has been lost, it is extremely difficult to gain that back.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
Technically, my first job was working with my dad after school repairing crash damaged vehicles. I learned what hard work was, and that there were no shortcuts to doing things correctly. I also learned that you don’t always feel like working, but it must be done regardless.
My first actual job (not working for family) was at Academy Sports & Outdoors. I started in sporting goods working behind the gun and reel counter. What I learned there is that I did not want to work in retail!
What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies?
In the rare free time I get, I enjoy camping, short road trips, going to the beach, relaxing at home and spending time with family and friends.
One of my most recent hobbies that I have adopted is heavily modifying and building electric guitars. I started when I wanted to improve the old left-handed guitar that I had. Then I wanted a right-handed guitar. I didn’t want a low-quality one, but I also didn’t want to spend the money to buy a high-end one – so I did it myself! I also enjoy playing guitar, I mostly play rhythm but am striving to get faster at playing lead.
I enjoy carbs! Other than carbs, I do like eating sushi, especially sushi rolls with some sort of cooked meat and cream cheese.
Talk about a time that working with integrity paid off for you or the company.
For me, integrity is something that I must choose each day. Much like my view of the greatest professional achievements, I regard each time that I disregard the impulse to cut a corner as a time where integrity paid off, my ability to go home each day knowing that I put in an honest day’s work is reward enough for me to continue to choose integrity. Always striving for better! I could be dead tired when I get home, but, if I know I put in a good day’s work, I can rest peacefully.
Favorite place to travel?
I haven’t been to very many places; I mostly stick to road trips to states adjacent to Louisiana, with the exception of when I worked in Alaska at our Era base there. I would love to go back to explore Alaska one day. Work was hectic during my time there, so I didn’t get to see much beyond the Era base.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world – past or present – who would it be and why?
I think it would be fun have dinner with Keanu Reeves. There is a good deal of information out there about how nice of a person he is. Plus, who wouldn’t want to have dinner with John Wick?
What are some examples of opportunities you've had to demonstrate integrity?
There is no shortage of opportunities daily to demonstrate integrity. It can range from taking out the trash when you tell your spouse that you will, to not fudging your taxes at the end of the year or not “pencil whipping” a form at work. Most of the time, integrity goes unnoticed until it is missing. It’s a quiet, yet powerful thing.