Retired staff member Andrea “Andi” Beach, who served campus for 26 years, passed away August 25. She was 71.
Born July 29, 1949, in Red Bluff, she graduated from Chico High School and was hired by Chico Unified School District, where she began as a secretary at Chapman Elementary and later worked at the district office.
Beach was hired at Chico State in 1983 as a clerical assistant, a role she served in for seven years before she became a payroll technician. In 2000, she was promoted to director of Payroll, Benefits, and Human Resources Information Systems, a position she enjoyed until her retirement in 2009.
In her role as director, she provided leadership and guidance to many, both on and off campus. Beyond her own responsibilities, she created an environment where others could be successful. One of Beach’s legacies is the lasting partnerships and friendships she fostered for many people by introducing them to others across the CSU system, said Becky Cagle, director of payroll services, noting that was certainly the case for her.
“Andi was one of my first bosses at Chico State and was my direct supervisor for many years. She was a mentor to me, helping me network and foster relationships with people that could help me be successful in my position,” Cagle said. “Andi challenged me to ask thoughtful questions, to think outside the box and to trust myself. She was one of my strongest and loudest cheerleaders. Andi supported those around her and their efforts to grow personally or professionally. As a major supporter when I was thinking of returning going to graduate school, I knew she was incredibly proud when I finished.”
With a fine eye for details and commitment to following rules and laws, Beach was a well-respected expert in the field of CSU payroll and benefits, and often called upon by the Office of the Chancellor to provide input on new legislation or programs.
“Something not many people are aware of is how hard Andi fought for CSU, Chico faculty and staff when there were issues with the state personnel office about a faculty or staff salary,” said Jackie McClain, former vice chancellor of human resources for the entire CSU system. “I have seen her do hours of gathering documents and numerous calls to resolve a single issue in favor of a Chico individual. She was a hard worker, outstanding in what she did, and fiercely committed to serving faculty and staff.”
Beach experienced many changes on campus and enjoyed reminiscing about the days of arena registration on the Kendall Hall Lawn and other earlier methods in HR. During her tenure, Beach also served on Staff Council and was part of the committee that set up PeopleSoft as the University’s HR system in 2002.
“Andi was a very dedicated employee of CSU, Chico for many years and was my supervisor for most of my career there,” recalls Susan Long, a former staff member in Benefits, Leaves, and Compensation. “We shared a love of crafting and enjoyed many trips to other campuses together while Payroll was getting PeopleSoft up and running.”
Beach cared deeply for the people with whom she worked, and with a sense of humor and contagious smile, she offered a listening ear and often shared stories of her life, her family, and friends. She not only demonstrated a healthy work-life balance but encouraged her colleagues to practice one as well.
She loved her family deeply and traveling together to vacation in Brookings, Oregon. In retirement, she enjoyed fairy gardens and spending time with her loved ones, especially her grandson and his wife.
She is survived by her husband, David Beach; daughter Angela Corral; grandson Andrew Corral; sister Debi Soares; brother Vernon James; many beloved nieces and nephews, and other extended family.
A private family service will be held. Donations may be made in her name to the Enloe Cancer Center. We will lower the University flag Wednesday, September 2, in her honor.