Andrea Cherney

My day job is director of digital development at Slipstream.

I’m lucky to work with smart, caring people who are dedicated to researching and developing energy-saving solutions and providing access to financing for those in need.

My role is to make sure our customers have the tools, data, and online education they need to make their homes and buildings more comfortable and energy efficient. As a librarian-turned-digital strategist, it’s been a fun ride since I joined the organization 26 years ago, back when we stocked our library with actual books and dialed up a modem to check our one email account—that’s how far back I go!  

I became a librarian because I love digging for the truth and connecting people to it. And as information technology has evolved, I’ve really enjoyed learning new skills like website development and video production.  

One thing I’m incredibly passionate about is usability and accessibility so that nobody is left behind. We’re working to ensure that all of our online resources adhere to ADA requirements and that other staff know how to meet these standards in their documents, too.

I’m also a big fan of a fun company culture. I’ve been known to do a lot of sneaky things like waffle days, Halloween clown hauntings, and other pranks. I also lead Slipstream’s house band, Turbulence (and, yes, there are YouTube videos out there!). I play violin and sing, but my most important role is to stock the beer fridge for practices. My bandmates and I love joining forces to make music for other staff.

At Slipstream, the issues we’re working to solve are serious, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously!

My most memorable caffeine was the precious morning cup I had in an Arby’s in Moriarty, New Mexico.

My husband and I were taking a road trip from Madison to Arizona and got caught in a freak blizzard. We ended up spending the night stranded in our car on I-40. A semi had jack-knifed, causing a traffic backup for several miles, and the road was full of cars.

We spent the night taking turns holding our only handwarmer. And I put my phone, camera, and laptop under my clothes so they wouldn’t freeze.

In the morning, our Wisconsin snow tires allowed us to inch our way past the stranded cars. The next town was Moriarty, and we had that wonderful cup of coffee to warm us up.

My current caffeine of choice is a brand of coffee called Shock. It’s hyper-caffeinated but super smooth and robust. Their tagline is “Sleep is overrated.” It’s surprisingly delicious.

My favorite place for caffeine is my kitchen (where Shock is always on hand) and it was even before COVID. My husband and I would have a cup of coffee before work and we still do now that work is just up the stairs.

The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Jon Stewart. I love his humor, political brilliance, and social commentary, and have been a fan since he hosted an early Comedy Central show called Short Attention Span Theater. One thing that really resonated was after 9-11. I was watching the Daily Show, and he had a monologue that was so raw and poignant that it has stuck with me forever. I’d love to talk to him about that.

I used to drive around with a “Jon Stewart for President” bumper sticker for many years. And I recently had a very strange, vivid dream that I woke up laughing from—I had baked a giant lasagna and served him a piece with a snow shovel.

If we met, I wouldn’t want to overwhelm him with my obsessive fandom, so I’d probably have a decaf.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: I try to remember that taking a small action can make a big difference. It’s a combination of what I’ve learned from my work at Slipstream and the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I’ve thought about some of the unexpected joys that my husband and I experienced during the past few months at home, besides the opportunity to drink a lot more coffee together.

We entertained family and friends with a series of pointless infomercial videos featuring stuff we found in the garage. We rescued several chairs from neighborhood curbs to surround our firepit. We witnessed the birth of four baby robins, keeping the nest safe from chipmunks, then saw them fly off to adulthood. And finally, we mastered the compost bin and planted tomato vines—also found on the curb.  

There’s something very special about tending to your little corner of the world. And we are grateful for the opportunity to appreciate it more.