August 1st is National Andrew Day! RENEW sat down with our Andrew for the occasion.

Q: Hey, Andrew, when do you first hear about August 1 being ‘National Andrew Day’?

A: Just now, when you told me. 

Q: Now that you know, what do you think?

A: I’m a bit perplexed that I hadn’t heard about it before, to be honest. But mostly just stoked to be part of something bigger than me.

Q: So, you work on energy policy with RENEW Wisconsin. What’s that like?

A: Every day, I’m hustling for renewable energy in Wisconsin; it’s great! We educate, collaborate, and advocate – all good things. It’s something I’m passionate about, so it has been very fulfilling work. I also get to bring my dog, Mocha, into the office, and that makes everything better.

Specifically, I’m very proud of my collaborative work on our Zero Carbon Cost Benefit Analysis Report and Wisconsin’s Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 Report. 

Q: Tell us more about you, though; what it’s like to be an Andrew?

A: Oh, you know, ups and downs, strikes and gutters, little of this, little of that. Probably not much different from being a George or Tom or whatever. 

Q: Do you go by Andrew, Drew, Andy, or what’s your preference?

A: Whatever’s clever, I guess. By default, I say Andrew. Andy is cool, though. I went by Andy as a kid, but there’s a whole story there.

Q: Go on…

A: Well, my birthname was Andrew, but my folks called me Andy, which I think makes sense. You don’t want to patronize your son by calling him Andrew right out of the womb. You might as well adopt a British accent and say, ‘Does Sir Andrew want two lumps of sugar with his tea, or just one?’ So yeah, Andy made sense for the time and place. And I probably would have wanted three lumps because I was a baby, and tea is bitter.

Fast forward to middle school, and everyone started calling me by my surname, Kell, that is. Through high school and college I was pretty much just known as “Kell.” When I went to college, several high school friends went to the same college as me, and that trend just continued, for better or worse. A few professors called me Andy, but everyone else was like, ‘Kelldawg, what’s up?’ 

I’m not gonna bore you any further, but I think I bucked the whole ‘Kell’ thing sometime after college. Instead of introducing myself as Andy, I went with Andrew. Sounds a bit more sophisticated, right? I mean, I was now the holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, But that’s all ancient history now, and I’m ok with Andy or Andrew. I wouldn’t mind a Drew here and there, either. Maybe I should start introducing myself as Drew just for funsies.

Q: Well, ok, wow, that’s fascinating. Anyway, have you met many other Andrews in your time on this great planet of ours?

A: Yes, a ton. You know, I never came across that many until I moved to Madison. And now it’s like you can’t throw a stone without hitting an Andrew. 

When I worked at the PSC, I think they had an Andrew quota or something. There was like five to ten Andrews at any given moment when I was there. I labeled affectionately myself ‘Andrew #9’. I tried to adopt the ‘nanu-nanu’ greeting from Mork and Mindy as the official Andrew greeting while I was there, but I don’t think any of the other Andrews were as enthusiastic as I was.

Anyway, maybe I can find a pub full of Andrews on Aug 1 and kick-start that greeting nationwide this year. That’s my hope, at least. Just happy to be part of something bigger than me.

Q: Any parting words of wisdom?

A: Yeah, if you see me out on August 1, buy me a drink! I promise to tell a tale of one of my great Andrew adventures, and the words of wisdom I’m sure will flow. You won’t be disappointed.

Oh, and if a petition comes across your desk to make this an ‘International Andrew Day,’ please sign on that dotted line. 

With proper planning and policies in place, Wisconsin can follow this roadmap and reap the benefits of a zero-carbon future. This is just the start of a dialog on how Wisconsin can get to zero carbon emissions. 

Andrew Kell

Policy Director, RENEW Wisconsin