When Andy Cagle turned 11 his parents gave him a new BMX bike.
“I had been bugging my dad about this bike for a year,” he said. “On our birthday, he took my twin brother and me down to this little auto parts store and we got to pick out the color we wanted. I can’t say I’ve ever been as excited about a gift in my life.”
But the day after, there was a caveat: the new bicycle came with a job, a daily paper route to be completed on said bike. He calls it his first job in communications. After a couple years throwing newspapers after school everyday, he convinced the sports editor to let him start covering high school sports.
“I had my first byline at 13 and got hooked on telling stories,” he said. “I continued working in newspapers until I went to college. I filled in for everyone from the managing editor to the press operator at times.”
Prior to working at LSQ, Andy Cagle had a career journey that took him from public education to nuclear power to NASCAR.
He says he never considered journalism or communications as a career when thinking about his career plans. After an unsuccessful attempt at engineering school at North Carolina State University, he landed in the history department and became a teacher after graduation. “I started teaching at my hometown high school,” he said. “But trying to support a family on a teacher’s salary wasn’t easy.”
Which landed him back at the local newspaper where he covered sports, local politics, and cops on nights, weekends, and summers. “I kind of fell back into it and grew to love telling those stories again,” he said.
Oddly enough, one part of his sports coverage was NASCAR and it became a niche for him as he covered events at the North Carolina Speedway, which was in his hometown.
“I grew up near the track and went to most races, but it wasn’t something I was overly interested in,” he said. “Then I started covering it and fell in love with the people and the spectacle. I ended up working in the sport in various capacities for a number of years and got to work with some really great people.”
Andy eventually began working as the public relations and communications director for a public school district, then a college as the marketing director before spending time at a nuclear power plant doing internal and external communications.
“It was a strange, strange journey from newspaper to teaching to NASCAR to public education communications to a nuclear power plant,” he said. “But throughout it, there was a common theme: storytelling. Everything I did, even teaching, was about telling a story. It meant you had to understand your audience, meet them where they were, and effectively communicate information and a point of view to them.”
From nuclear power, he moved into the technology industry working at a couple platform-as-a-service companies and IBM, but found most company cultures to be stifling and lacking acceptance of new ideas or ways of doing things.
When not working, Andy enjoys working on his old motorcycles, spending time outdoors, and traveling with his family.
“I found myself jumping around more than I would have liked to because I just felt like I couldn’t get anything done due bureaucracy or company politics,” Andy said. “Being a reporter and then working in small organizations, I had a lot of freedom to create new programs, have my voice heard, and be entrepreneurial. I didn’t find that in a lot of places in tech. I had worked for a guy once who randomly let me be on a NASCAR pit crew just because I asked. I know it’s an extreme example, but I like being somewhere that allows you to try new things and gives you ownership of your work.”
And that’s what attracted him to LSQ to be the company’s content marketing director.
“When I was looking for my next career move, I had a good idea of what I was looking for,” Andy said. “It was important to have an opportunity that allowed me to drive a content and communications program and tell the story of a brand I truly believed in. And that’s what I found at LSQ.
“From the CEO down, everyone here is welcoming of new ideas and new ways of doing things. Beyond that, LSQ is serving a greater purpose; when leadership says we are helping businesses grow and thrive by giving them access to working capital, they mean it. It has gone beyond words, they have put the mission into action.”