Andrea Mestrovic

Forty Under 40 Winner 2017: Vice-president, brand strategy, Very Polite Agency, Age 37

Although Andrea Mestrovic has had exceptional business success as a brand marketer and public relations specialist, she said her biggest accomplishment has been raising more than $1 million for various charities during the past decade.

Her fundraising has included being the event manager for Slurp & Swirl, which was an annual charity gala that raised more than $500,000 for the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. Other work included being the creator and executor of Goldfish Pacific Kitchen’s Summer Splash annual charity event, which raised enough money for the Vancouver Native Health Society to build a new kitchen.

She and husband Tony Mestrovic have two children including a two-month-old newborn, who arrived after a pregnancy that saw Mestrovic take very little time off her work as a partner at Very Polite Agency.

“My husband is taking time off in the new year but I’m not planning to take time off,” Mestrovic told Business in Vancouver before her second child was born. “I’ll have a flexible schedule.”

Mestrovic immigrated to Canada at age 13 with her parents. After graduating from University Hill Secondary School and obtaining a BA from Simon Fraser University, she established her own company, Style Dome.

Outside of that company, she held jobs as an account manager at Shared Vision magazine and as a marketing manager at International Cellars Inc.

She advanced to become director of marketing and corporate sales for Kanke Enterprises Inc. back when that company owned restaurants such as Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House and Goldfish Pacific Kitchen.

There was also a stint at Oak Bay Marine Group, for which she oversaw a substantial marketing budget as vice-president of marketing and sales.

Her big break, however, came in December 2014, when she joined fashion house Kit and Ace as one of that company’s first 25 hires. Mestrovic left the company in late 2016, and, after a short stint as vice-president of marketing for the Mark Anthony Group, she joined three other former marketers and brand management specialists at Kit and Ace to found Very Polite Agency.

Birthplace: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Where you live now: Yaletown, Vancouver

Highest level of education: BA, major in communications

Currently reading: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Currently listening to: 4:44 by Jay-Z

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Dentist

Profession you would most like to try: Physicist. My husband has a PhD in medical physics; it’d be nice to be him for a day

Toughest business or professional decision: Picking the right challenge, even if it is not the most exciting step forward. The wrong challenge forces you into misaligned, fear-focused decisions, and the result is lost time and energy

Advice you would give the younger you: Take (calculated) risks. Embrace change – it always results in new learnings and growth. Set goals often and write them down every time

What’s left to do: It’s a long list. I’ll give you the first three that pop into my head: live in France for a short stint with my family, write a book and launch Very Polite Agency’s Hong Kong office

Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit