Cheers, Ando!

Surfing The Nations bids farewell to a gem this month! We are so sad to say “see you later” to our beloved graphic designer and Marketing Director, Kirstin “Ando” Anderson – easily the best-dressed individual on STN’s campus at any given moment. 🙂

Since her internship in Summer 2012, Kirstin has gone from a Floridian Sorority Sister to a Hawaiian Free-Spirit. While Kirstin was working on “rebranding” herself, she was a major player in helping STN discover its own branding niche. Nearly everything you’ve seen regarding STN – from flyers, t-shirts, to Instagram and websites (yes plural) – has had her Midas touch.


A quick, round-the-office poll on “a few words that describe Kirstin”, rendered the following descriptions:

Passionate, committed, a breath of fresh air, expressive in her creativity, spunky, spicy, driven, dedicated, sassy, breathes life into dreams, genuine, all-in, friendly, light-hearted, helpful, talented, will do any job that needs being done, hard worker, a thermostat, go-getter, inspiring, inspired, sensitive, a creative mastermind, world changer, kind, emotional-in-a-good-way, free-spirited, likes breaking barriers!


We asked Kirstin what some of her favorite creations for STN were, and here’s what she had to say.

“The International Outreach Flyers 😉  I loved how it would always feel like such an accomplishment when that Next Day Flyers box would show up in the office, with brand new shiny flyers. J But I also always loved working on Surf Art & The Surfer. To see it go from Charis’ idea for a theme to now a 4th (this year 5th!) annual event that is so much bigger than “just a kids” art show; to see it grow to an event that reaches out to communities across the island, amazing.  In general, there is subtle satisfaction that comes when you stare and tweak a project for weeks, and then finally see it come to life as something you can hold in your hands or wear on your person. I do have a passion for design, but I was mostly fueled by seeing the “big picture” of Surfing The Nations, how, although “small”, our department was responsible for telling the stories of what STN was doing, and inspiring others to join us or do the same in their communities. Realistically, how many other jobs not only let you take weeks and months off at a time to travel on outreach trips (and with your best friends who after a trip feel more like family), but actually encourage you to go! Then, you come back to the office refreshed and excited to tell those stories via photos and videos and editorials… etc!

STN gave me confidence in the skills and passions God gave me, developed ones I never knew I had, taught me what my true identity is and gave me the encouragement to be THAT person, no one else. I don’t feel like I’ve left even STN, but rather that I’m taking its culture to new places, but my roots will always be there. And hasn’t that always been STN’s goal? To be a greenhouse for growth and a platform to take it beyond Wahiawa. Leaving STN was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I know it was God calling me to take the “training wheels” off and bring the culture of STN to the next place. I’m stoked to now be working for Cobian, an organization that also sees the “big picture”, supports STN and my passions. My job role here is Project Manager & Marketing Assistant – something I would have never felt qualified for without the amazing experience I gained from Surfing The Nations. This is not goodbye to Hawaii, but simply a hui hou. “

Kirstin! You’ve made your mark on STN with your beautiful sense of creativity as well as on our lives with your sincere friendship and joyful spirit. Yes, let’s call this a hui hou, not goodbye!

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