If you know Andrea Shirk on a strictly business level, you probably know her as the President and CEO of Rock Lititz in southeastern Pennsylvania. However, when you get to know her more, you learn that she is much more than just a big boss lady at a production company.
Born in Buffalo, NY, Shirk obtained a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University. In fact, she was the first person in her family to graduate from college, which is something she does not take lightly.
After graduating from Syracuse, Shirk moved to Philadelphia and worked at the popular military company, Lockheed Martin. And if that is not spectacular enough, she also went to Drexel University to obtain her master’s degree in Engineering Management.
Following graduation, Shirk moved to Boston to work at Bose where she met her now-husband, Mike. They have two kids together – Tyler (14) and Haley (10) – and they have built a strong family foundation.
Eventually Shirk moved to Lititz with her family as she was hired on as the sole employee of Rock Lititz.
“I joined Rock Lititz as the first and only employee in 2013 when the owners were first getting started with implementing their vision,” she said. “I have been helping to build the team at Rock Lititz as we have expanded the campus and operations.”
Shirk has been one of the main driving forces at Rock Lititz and is a major reason why they have grown into the business they are today. She has seen the business get built from the ground up, and that helps her appreciate where she is at each and every day.
At this point the question may be arising: what is Rock Lititz?
Well, for starters, it is a production company. Helping anywhere from the design stage to live entertainment experiences, Rock Lititz considers itself a one-stop-shop for all production needs.
“Rock Lititz’ community brings folks from across the globe to PA and we love hearing from them about how much they love Lititz, the people and the places to go,” Shirk said.
One thing that is truly different about Rock Lititz is the fact that the Clair family had a vision of growing and remaining in Lititz, and that is something they have stayed true to. There have been opportunities for them to grow way beyond the borders of Lititz, but the founders wanted to see their city grow.
And now, Lititz is home to one of the most well-regarded live event companies in the state. They have a massive clientele with many popular names coming through their doors, and that has brought credibility to both the company and the city of Lititz.
So, where does the current President and CEO of Rock Lititz come into all of this?
Well, first of all, Shirk mentioned that she absolutely loves working at Rock Lititz. She enjoys all the company has to offer, and she certainly loves getting to help the company grow.
She also enjoys getting to meet new people (and famous people at that) on a daily basis.
“I love the variety of work and experiences I get at Rock Lititz,” Shirk said. “I started when it was a small start-up and got to experience an entrepreneurial environment and was able to help put the processes and tools in place to run the company as we grew.
“In my role, I get a balance of strategic and operational work, and every day looks different. The multiple types of businesses and projects have kept it so I am constantly learning new things and developing new skills, perspectives and being exposed to new experiences.”
Shirk has gone from a trusted employee who could either make or break a startup company to the person who helps run the entire business. No matter how tough times may have become, she stuck with it and kept her head high.
And along the way, she has accomplished many things. From helping create visions and strategies for Rock Lititz to helping create a “culture of care and an incredible team focused on collaboration, support and exceptional customer experiences,” Shirk has a lot to be proud of.
She is the main reason why her team is full of hard workers who also enjoy work as well, and she says she is thankful for them.
“I work well with my team because they know I have their back, I work hard and I treat everyone as important team members,” Shirk said. “I value everyone’s role and impact and treat all with respect and kindness. I set high expectations for those I work with, but am adaptable to meeting people where they need to. I make thoughtful strategic decisions to build trust with my team and provide open communication on how those decisions were made.”
Plus, Shirk is a very hands-on boss. She is not going to just sit in the wings telling other people what to do, but instead she is one to help out and get her hands dirty.
Overall, Shirk is a boss of integrity and one who wants what is best for her employees. She loves what she does, and she hopes her employees love working for her.
And the best part about her is Shirk does not live and breathe work 24/7. She knows how to kick back and relax and spend time with her family too, and that is yet another reason why people enjoy working with and for her.
“I love watching my kids play sports, escaping the chaos and going to our family home on the Chesapeake Bay, and being outdoors jet skiing, hiking or hanging by a fire,” Shirk said.
Work-life balance is important, and when you work as hard as Shirk does, you deserve to have your relaxation time too.