Andrea Dello Russo is the owner of Andrea’s Auto on Martha’s Vineyard. She is the first woman to own an auto repair shop on the island. Andrea grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, and left to attend Norwich University where she was commissioned as a United States Naval Officer upon graduation. While serving aboard the USS Kearsarge one Senior Chief recognized her desire to learn and offered to teach her the systems on a smaller scale (i.e. cars) when they were on shore, and somewhere in Virginia in the Chief’s one-car garage the desire to wrench was born in trade for a bottle of Crown.
When Andrea returned to Martha’s Vineyard after her service she continued to pick up a wrench whenever and wherever the opportunity presented itself, tinkering on her old Dodge Ram in a long lost shop on Chappy under the tutelage of the late Gerry Jeffers. She decided to make the leap and dirty her hands with grease instead of soil in 2009, after running the farmstand at Morning Glory Farm, and cultivating the fields at Whipoorwill Farm. Andrea worked at McIntosh Motors for nearly ten years when she was presented with the offer of buying the business and making it her own. She teaches basic auto and motorcycle maintenance classes for other women and is working hard to break the stereotypes of untrustworthy mechanics who take advantage of those less versed in the ways of the wrench.