Employee Spotlight: Andrea Mills

The delight is in the details

Get to know Andrea Mills

Many say “the devil’s in the details.” But BDI’s Andrea Mills isn’t one of them. In fact, she delights in all that is intricate, precise and specific and appreciates the small things often overlooked by others.

At home in a rural setting outside Santa Clarita, about 35 miles north of Los Angeles, Andrea lives with her 24-year-old son, Evan, a college student, and their rescue dog, Shadow.

She awakes each morning to the gentle shuffle of horses grazing nearby and cheerful bird songs from a neighboring aviary. While some in the area have long ago tuned them out, she continues to welcome the serenity they bring to her world.

Origami

As she prepares for her day, she smiles at the delicate needlework and hand-crafted wall hangings placed throughout her house – examples of her many hobbies and testaments to her love of detail. “Most of my life I’ve been interested in textiles and embroidery and weaving,” she says.

She also enjoys working with paper, a passion that’s evolved over time to include origami tessellations. “These are very intricately folded geometric designs,” she explains. “A lot of the people who create along these lines are engineers and mathematicians. I’d like to be better at those things, so I find that part of the challenge.”

Embroidery

A private person, few others besides friends and family are privy to her complex creations. But as she sits down at her computer and begins her workday, she turns her attention to the details of proofreading BDI projects – both printed and electronic – a skill that’s recognized and deeply appreciated by her many coworkers and clients.

Although her official title is proofreader, Andrea describes her position at BDI as checker of all things. “As much as it’s about checking spelling, grammar, punctuation and sources, it’s also about processes and how everything fits together,” she says. Because of the many versions one project can entail, “if we revise something in one place it has to be corrected in other places too.”

On a deeper level, she says, she is tasked with quality control. “It’s not about finding fault or mistakes, but about making things the best they can be… to communicate as clearly as possible to our clients’ donors. It’s so important and thoroughly enjoyable.”

Now a three-year veteran, Andrea views her role at BDI as the perfect combination of her talents, interests, values and education. Her first job with a publishing company inspired her love for words. Then she worked her way through college, completing a degree in English and professional writing with classes in editing, proofreading and marketing.

“And for a long time, I knew I wanted to work with nonprofits,” she shares, explaining her compassion for those who are struggling. “I’ve been in positions to help people, but I’ve also been in a position to have to ask for help, so when I read stories about the people our clients serve, they resonate with me.”

As she ends her day – all I’s dotted, every T crossed and no fact left unchecked – she’s eager to pick up where she left off on her current complex creation… a mixed-media art journal.

Because for Andrea, there are never too many details. She finds them all delightful.

You need to read this! Click here to read “What’s reMarkable About Your Mission?” from BDI’s CEO and President, Michael J. Tomlinson.

  • Debbie Freeman

    Debbie Freeman, Contributing Writer

    Throughout her 30+ year career in direct marketing and fundraising, Debbie has held positions in client service, creative management and copywriting. She’s worked for a number of organizations, including Hallmark Cards, Unity School of Christianity, Resource & Development Group and Summit Marketing, and has served nonprofit clients such as The Salvation Army and American Red Cross.

    In 2009, she turned her attention solely to nonprofit fundraising as a senior copywriter for ENEX Group, creating appeals, newsletters and marketing materials for Rescue Missions across the country. She continued in that capacity when the company merged with Brewer Direct in 2016, and today, partners with BDI as a contributing writer to pitch in whenever her talents are needed.

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