Joy Andrews is the deputy county administrator, a role she has held in St. Johns County since 2015. She moved to the U.S. from China in 2002 and enjoys the opportunity she gets on a daily basis to protect the well-being of the county’s residents, both current and future.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in China, in the city of Suzhou. In 2002, I graduated from Nanjing University School of Law, where I studied International Commerce and Trade Law.
While completing my degree, I actively served at the university's legal aid center, where I developed a passion for helping people of different backgrounds and perspectives. After graduating, I worked at a private practice until moving to America.
I came to the United States in the summer of 2002 to attend Kansas State University Graduate School of Political Science. I received a master’s in public administration with a concentration in public finance.
In 2006, I joined St. Johns County and began my career as a budget analyst for the office of management and budget.
Subsequently, I served as the director of health and human services before accepting the role of deputy county administrator in 2015.
I've been married to my husband Dave for 16 years, and we have two boys, Gavin (5) and Garrett (8).
What led you to get involved with St. Johns County?
I moved to Jacksonville to be close to a family member, and it’s where I met my now-husband, Dave.
He proposed on the Mathews Bridge three months after we first met. Sixteen years later, we feel fortunate to be raising our two boys in one of the best communities in Florida.
What are the most rewarding parts of being deputy county administrator?
This job allows me to grow personally (with my family) and professionally with the county.
I have the amazing opportunity to be in touch with our community and residents' needs, whether for their livelihood or the well-being of their children, protecting our beaches and collaborative planning for future generations.
More often than not, I feel incredibly blessed and humbled to be allowed to play a small part in ensuring all residents have a positive quality of life.
What are some of the challenges that you face with your job?
We live in such a beautiful county with exceptional growth because of the quality of life it provides.
As a member of this county, I'm tasked with carrying out the community's vision, which can be challenging when striving to fulfill that vision strategically at the highest level every time.
What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?
I enjoy our beautiful beaches, the rich Intracoastal’s natural resources, and most of all, the wonderful people who make up this special community.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Dave and I spend most of our free time with our two boys.
We enjoy exploring our local area by showing them what Northeast Florida has to offer: beaches, trails, parks and sporting events. We also love traveling together to various places around the world.
When I get a moment to myself (which is a luxury), I enjoy a good fitness combat class, running, reading or playing the piano.