Issaquah CEO hosts a radio show with moxie

November 30, 2010

By Laura Geggel

During her radio interview on “Chat with Women,” Andrea Heuston so impressed the show’s hosts that they offered her a radio show of her own.

At first Heuston, a Snoqualmie resident and Issaquah businesswoman, declined, saying she was too busy with her business, Artitudes Design, and her family. But “Chat with Women” co-owners and hosts Pam Gray and Rochelle Alhadeff insisted they needed her, calling her every week until she agreed to join their team.

On her new radio show, “Artful Moxie,” Heuston interviews successful women, and asks them to share their stories with her listeners.

“‘Artful Moxie’ is about learning from others’ experiences — how to push past our boundaries, those speed bumps on the road on our journey to success,” she said on her first show, Nov. 8, when she interviewed her friend, Bellevue romance novelist Gerri Russell.

“She brings something kind of fresh to the airwaves,” Russell said. “A different perspective on what it’s like to be artistic and some of the challenges you face.”

Heuston, who grew up in Renton, has never hosted a radio program until now. She freely admits she’s a control freak, and much of her success is likely owed to that fact.

Andrea Heuston

After studying communications at the University of Washington, Heuston worked for an engineering firm. When the firm changed hands, she was fired and then immediately rehired. The experience taught her that she couldn’t live with her life’s work entrusted in the hands of a superior.

“The day they hired me back, I filed for my business license,” she said, explaining that she worked for the firm and for herself until she was ready to make the leap and work solely for Artitudes Design, a graphics design firm.

Since she founded Artitudes Design in 1995, Heuston’s business has skyrocketed, allowing her to brand companies including Microsoft, Starbucks Coffee, Avanade and Big Fish Games.

Every Monday, she and her employees work on art projects as a team, designing macaroni animals on construction paper or gluing magazine pictures together in monochromatic collages. They take their art into elementary schools through an art docent program called Artitudes in Action, which won the company an international Stevie Award for Community Involvement Program of the Year.

On the home front, Heuston and her husband adopted two boys, and Heuston began serving as a board member with Olive Crest, a foster parent and adoption nonprofit organization.

But then, something happened beyond her control. In 2008, Heuston became very sick and was hospitalized. Following surgery, she went into a three-week coma. When she awoke, the director of Evergreen Hospital Medical Center told her, “I never thought I’d get a chance to meet you.”

After that, she changed her work mantra. Instead of meeting with every single client, she learned triage and concentrated on her company’s strategy.

This summer, Women Business Owners named Heuston as one of five finalists for the 2010 Nellie Cashman Award, an honor given to women who own at least 51 percent of their business, gross more than $1 million annually and have three or more employees. “Chat with Women,” a media sponsor of the award, interviewed all five finalists and awarded two of them — Heuston and Barbara Bollinger — their own radio shows.

Heuston has no shortage of powerful women to interview for her show. She has won the 2009 Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award, serves on the boards of NW Next Leaders Council and Olive Crest, and is a member of Rotary Club of Seattle.

If her radio show takes off, Heuston said she would like to take her story on the speaker circuit, inspiring women everywhere.

When she named her show “Artful Moxie,” Heuston said she hoped to draw in creative guests and listeners interested in self-growth.

“It’s about moxie,” she said. “My whole attitude is there is no failure. A failure is a chance to learn something and move forward.”

What to know

‘Artful Moxie’ is broadcast every second Monday of the month from 8-9 a.m. on KKNW 1150-AM and streamed live at www.chatwithwomen.com.

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