July 24, 2013
After a 20-year career in real estate, Texas Tech University alumna Andrea Hance had a change of heart. (She is not related to Chancellor Kent Hance.)
A 1992 graduate of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Hance and her husband started a shrimp business in 2008. Four years later, she recently was named executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association.
“My husband's family has been in the shrimping business for more than 30 years, so we decided to purchase our first fishing vessel in 2008,” said Hance. “Needless to say, everyone thought we were crazy as the gulf shrimping industry has been steadily declining since 2001.”
This leap of faith now has Hance overseeing the Texas Wild-Caught shrimp industry. In her role, she works with the Texas Shrimp Association developing strategies to educate consumers, lawmakers, press, environmental groups and the public about the importance of protecting and growing wild-caught gulf shrimp.
“This position allows me a platform to educate consumers on the difference between wild-caught and imported farm-raised shrimp,” Hance said. “Not specifically the taste of the shrimp, but the overall economic impact of the gulf shrimp industry and what effect it has on the Gulf Coast.”
Texas Wild-Caught shrimp
Since she and her husband entered the shrimp industry, they have been through many obstacles such as record-high fuel prices, a spike in imported shrimp, which dropped prices to a 40-year low, and an oil spill. However, Hance said shrimp prices currently are up approximately 30 to 40 percent and she is optimistic about the future.
Along with her success in the shrimp industry, Hance said her biggest accomplishment is finding balance in her life. Not only did she drastically change her career, but she also reached new heights in her field of work.
“I am married to a wonderful man and together we have successfully managed our real estate investments, cattle operation and are currently expanding our shrimp business,” Hance said. “We are parents to three beautiful dogs and take time to travel and see the world.”
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Why did you choose Texas Tech?
My older brother is a Texas Tech alumnus. I remember visiting him while in school and I instantly fell in love with the town, the friendly people and the beautiful campus. I visited several other state universities, but Lubbock is where I felt at home.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
The Student Recreation Center. I couldn't wait to show it to my nieces, one of whom will be an incoming as a freshman. I was shocked to see that it had completely doubled since I was a student.
What is your favorite Texas Tech Tradition?
The Masked Rider. I tried out for the Masked Rider in 1990 and was blessed to have the opportunity to ride Double T during tryouts.
What do you love most about being a Red Raider?
The memories and friends I made while in Lubbock are invaluable. Just being a part of Texas Tech's traditions and still enjoying those traditions 20 years after graduating is amazing. I can't imagine my life without experiencing those four years in Lubbock. My degree is the first thing I hung on my office wall.
What is one word to describe yourself?
Open minded. I never form an opinion about anything until I am fully aware of all the variables.
What is your favorite Texas Tech memorabilia or article of clothing?
As a die-hard football fan, I would have to say is my Kliff Kingsbury football jersey that I still wear during every Texas Tech football game.
What advice would you give to current Texas Tech students?
Make yourself aware of all organizations, clubs and affiliations Texas Tech offers. Be involved, but most of all enjoy and treasure the time spent in college.