Andrew Slack, GIS Specialist II

Where were you born (and raised, if different)?

I was born in Washington, North Carolina. My family moved to Castlewood, Virginia about two years later.

When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?

I moved to Charlottesville in 2003 to start working for Albemarle County. Before I moved here the most time I spent in Charlottesville or Albemarle County was in the car traveling through to various locations.

What neighborhood do you live in now?

Currently I live in Crozet. Crozet is pretty nice.

Family (spouse, kids, etc.)?

I’m not married. I don’t have any children. I do have a pretty awesome girlfriend though, and some goofy cats.

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

I attended Radford University and graduated in 1999 with a degree in Geography.

What were you doing before you came to work for the county?

I worked for the Stafford County Department of Public Utilities; but specifically I showered, dressed, ate breakfast, and drove to the COB for work. That routine hasn’t changed much since I have been working here. Occasionally I skip the breakfast part. Having Bodo’s so close by makes it a little tempting to skip breakfast at home sometimes.

Your job title is GIS Specialist II – what, in your own words, would you say you do?

Specifically, I work on addressing and road naming in Albemarle County. That sounds terribly boring though, so let’s say that I work on finding the most enjoyment possible in crafting maps that accurately display the physical features in Albemarle. That sounds a lot more interesting.

What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?

The best part of my job would be receiving custom map requests. Having the opportunity to get creative with the colors displaying various features in different ways; to just get weird is delightful with all the options. The most difficult part is trying to give people news that they aren’t going to like but not make them hate it. It’s a tricky line to walk.

How does your job most directly impact the average person?

Probably by making sure that roads are mapped correctly so Emergency Services has accurate maps to locate residents when they dial 911. I think that is a pretty direct impact.

What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the county?

I honestly can’t think of any specific projects that are more or less interesting than any other project. I guess the most interesting is trying to learn a computer language and applying that with current applications around the office.

What is a little-known fact about you?

I tend to choose difficult hobbies. I like challenging myself. Plus it’s easier to laugh at yourself when you mess up if you are trying something that isn’t easy.

What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc.?

I like snowboarding, biking, reading, playing guitar, remaking the statues found on Easter Island with mashed potatoes (it’s harder than you think), playing chess, recording things my mother says for future bits of wisdom (e.g. “Andy are you coloring your hair. You look like a mafia.” I’m still trying to find the wisdom in that one.), gardening, live music, experimenting in the kitchen, and following in the footsteps of Pinky and Brain by trying to take over the world. Just like every other adult in the world.