As a public official, businesswoman and mom of three, Andria McClellan has the experience and the ideas we need to make sure Virginia’s economy and people emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger than ever.
Andria learned the values of resilience and hard work at an early age. She was raised in Virginia Beach by her single mom, who juggled multiple jobs to make ends meet. With the help of amazing public school teachers who mentored her and encouraged her to excel in academics and leadership, Andria graduated top of her class from Green Run High School. At the University of Virginia, she worked her way through college with a combination of Pell grants and work-study jobs, fueling her passion for expanding access to higher education in Virginia.
Andria began her career working for two Fortune 500 companies in industrial marketing and sales and attended the two-year Wharton Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She then played a leading role in two start-up ventures, one in manufacturing and another in technology, where she learned firsthand the challenges facing small businesses. Andria understands that small business owners put everything they have into their work and is committed to helping them launch, grow, and survive the pandemic.
Andria’s involvement in the local business community and her innovative leadership brought her to the attention of Governor Mark Warner, who appointed her chair of the Virginia Small Business Advisory Board. Additionally, she served on the board of the Hampton Roads Technology Council and formed Tidewater Venture Mentors – an organization to support budding entrepreneurs. She is a founding and current board member of the Democratic Business Alliance of South Hampton Roads, and currently serves on the boards of 757 Angels and 757 Accelerate, through which she actively mentors startup companies. Andria’s determination and her collaborative leadership style resulted in her being named “Top 40 Under 40” and “Outstanding Woman in Business” by Inside Business; a “Woman of Distinction” by the YMCA; and, Bank Of America’s “Local Hero.”
Andria and her husband Mike are so proud of their three boys and are loving parents to their two pups, Molly and Johnnie. As mom to a high school sophomore, Andria knows the struggles so many families face while both working and managing at-home learning due to COVID. For years, Andria has dedicated her time to improving the lives of children, families, and those in crisis through civic engagement. Reflecting on the challenges her own mother faced as a working mom, Andria used her business skills to help raise money for women and families in need and it was through her service on several charitable boards and commissions that Andria realized she could be a powerful voice for those in need. Her experience on the boards of Samaritan House, The Up Center, and Virginia’s Family and Children’s Trust Fund has played a key role in her motivation to run for elected office.
In 2008, Andria dove into politics locally as a precinct captain, canvassing and phone banking for Barack Obama, while learning the ropes of local, state and national politics. She has supported candidates at every segment of the political spectrum and served as Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia from 2014-2015. In 2016, Andria ran a successful race for Norfolk City Council against a 16-year incumbent. Andria credits her upset win to the “A-Team” who knocked on over 13,000 doors, the tenacity of raising the incumbent dollar for dollar, and her message of bringing people together, giving voice to those who don’t have one, and implementing innovative new ideas to grow the economy. She was re-elected again in May 2020 to serve her superward of 125,000 Virginia residents because her constituents know she is a problem solver who listens and acts, finding resources and solutions to problems big and small, for any person throughout the city.
Public service life
Andria has been a fierce advocate for flood mitigation, broadband access, education, public transit, civic engagement, and growing economic opportunity for all. She created the region’s first Climate Action Plan to address climate change mitigation in Norfolk, is a member of the Workforce Development Committee for the statewide Off Shore Wind Task Force, was named to the Virginia Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding by the Virginia Senate and to the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Local Government Advisory Committee as Vice Chair of the Virginia Delegation.
Andria led the effort to create a five-city 110-mile broadband fiber ring that will create access to the fastest internet speeds on the east coast, increase competition and lower internet prices for our citizens, institutions and businesses. She has also been focused on creating thousands of new supply-chain jobs in conjunction with the burgeoning new off shore wind industry developing off the coast of Virginia. And, she stood up Engage Norfolk, an annual civic engagement event that brings more than 1000 residents and organizations together to turn civic passion into action that helps our communities in need.
Looking beyond the city’s boundaries, Andria has worked hard to improve the region and the Commonwealth. Recently, she was named Vice Chair of the Hampton Roads Transportation District Commission (HRT), where she is working to create the region’s smart city infrastructure and expanding the use of all-electric buses, and she was elected to serve as Board Chair of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, where she leads elected leaders from 17 municipalities representing 1.7 million people. Andria is motivated to build coalitions that create results, increase internet access, improve our environment, grow our economy and help Virginians recover from the COVID-19 crisis.