Vivian Andrews approaches life with a joyful enthusiasm, and approaches people with an honest, caring warmth.
Some of that may come from her decades as a human resource professional.
She dedicated 36 years to American Electric Power, becoming the first African-American manager at SWEPCO.
Andrews strongly believes in using her gifts to help others.
“I get a joy when I give back to the community and I’ve been afforded a lot of opportunities to do that,” Andrews said.
Some of her favorites include Sci-Port, United Way, ARC of Caddo-Bossier and the YWCA.
She’s an advocate of pay equity, providing opportunities for women and encouraging others through sisterhood.
“And we need to support each other in the good and the bad. We need to grab each other and be real with each other and be willing to accept that realness whether good or bad,” Andrews said.
A decade ago… Andrews had to accept her reality. Even though she built a strong marriage and family, along with a career full of achievements and accolades, she had one more goal to accomplish. She wanted to lose weight.
“I had been over weight all my life,” Andrews said.
In 2009, she decided to take it off for good, through determination and an organization called “Take Off Pounds Sensibly” (TOPS).
“I’ve lost over 90 pounds with TOPS and all together I’ve lost 140 pounds,” Andrews said, adding she’s “been able to keep it off, and hopefully lose a little bit more.”
Now retired, Andrews is using her weight-loss experience to inspire others world-wide. As a spokesperson for TOPS, she’s traveled internationally, and been featured in local newspapers and national magazines.
“I feel very strongly that we’ve all been created to do something special,” Andrews said. “But to do that, you’ve got to love yourself and feel like you deserve to be successful. (And in) being successful, you need to be able to give back… share the success with somebody else.”