The hardest thing in life is to live well.
The hardest thing in life is to live well.
Senior QA Engineer
Luxury Hotel Valet
Man of Virtue
The following is a brief biography written in 3rd person. For those interested in the more relevant stuff - please see the CV.
Andrei was born in the beautiful Saxon city of Sibiu (Hermannstadt) a year after the fall of communism in Romania. He was left fatherless at 3 months old and raised by his mother, the bravest woman he's ever known. In 1998 by mere luck, Andrei and his mother were selected by the Diversity Immigrant Visa program and received an invitation to become permanent residents in the United States. Lucica (Andrei's mother) sold her car, apartment, and left her trauma nursing job that paid $50/month to move to a foreign land with her 7 year old son. She did this so he could have a better future. To this day it is the single greatest act of love and compassion he has ever experienced.
Andrei learned English in 3 months by watching cartoons. He attended high school in the Portland area and studied Philosophy in the Analytic discipline at Portland State University. Having held a wide assortment of jobs from age 14 - ranging from server, to valet, to computer repair technician - Andrei settled into his first career as a QA engineer at a national healthcare provider (the company designed its own proprietary software). He quickly absorbed information and gained invaluable skills which made him a central part of the software development program at this company. He become a Senior QA Engineer within a few short years and began working on complex, enterprise-level projects both as QA lead and consultant.
At the same time as his QA career was developing, Andrei was also training as a strongman athlete at a local gym known called the Kabuki Strength Lab. Here he developed friendships with the owners and coaches, and worked with them on several projects - the most important being a very successful subscription-based portal for housing educational content created by the coaches at Kabuki Strength. It is here, at Kabuki Strength, where his passion and skills started to mix - digital marketing and strength sports.
Andrei was invited by the owners of Kabuki Strength to quit his career in software and work as a Creative Director for the quickly growing startup. He accepted the position as the new company’s first salaried employee, having his whole life dreamed of a job that did not feel like a job and very excited to take on the challenge of building a brand from the ground up. Working at Kabuki Strength, Andrei has the freedom to work independently and apply his skills and creativity in an industry which is near and dear to his heart - strength and performance sports. During his first year at the company, Andrei implemented numerous processes' and started turning the gears of a complex brand-building machine. These actions and the brilliant work of a few dedicated employees resulted in tremendous growth across the board. Today, Kabuki Strength employs 15 people and does almost $3 million a year in sales.
Kabuki Strength is a multi-faceted company that engineers and manufactures innovative equipment and tools, creates educational content for specific populations, and provides virtual coaching services to athletes. As Creative Director, Andrei is responsible for facilitating the growth of the company, branding, marketing, all creative elements, and the development of original content in all contemporary mediums. He works hand-in-hand with a talented group of individuals who are all on the same mission of growing the brand and pushing the industry forward. The company slogan and mission statement is "Making the world a better place through strength" Kabuki Strength’s 4 pillars are Education, Equipment, Coaching, and Charity. Andrei is most proud of having pushed and developed a philanthropic arm of the business that routinely partners with charity organizations to raise money and awareness for their cause. So far Kabuki Strength has had the privilege of working with the HomeBuilders Foundation of Metro Portland, Special Olympics Oregon, Alex’s Lemonade Stand (children’s cancer research), and others.
Andrei lives with his warrior-kitty Theodora in Sellwood, a old and quiet Portland suburb. Theodora loves boxes and Andrei regularly collects boxes of different sizes for her to enjoy.
Andrei is madly in love with an incredible woman named Christina Vieru. She is a clinical student finishing up her Physicians Assistant master’s program, and the two of them are engaged to be married!
Together, they have two cats - Theodora and Mittens.
my best friend
my best friend
1015 pounds (photo)
Bodyweight + Girlfriend for 3x3 (video)
5'10" | 200-220 pounds
Final Cut Pro X
Facebook Ad Manager
Andrei started competing in strength sports in 2012 after successfully losing 60 pounds and becoming a walking 130lb skeleton (his height is 5'10"). He started lifting weights and researching how to do so correctly and safely, as anyone experimenting with their own health and body should. After a period in which he gained substantial strength and muscle mass, he decided he would need goals to motivate and guide him to keep working and improving. He signed up for a local powerlifting meet, and then two more after that. The two organizers of the local meets were Rudy Kadlub and Chris Duffin, both renowned strength coaches and athletes. They invited him to come train with them but he was too intimidated and insecure to train with people who to him seemed larger and stronger than life itself.
After it became clear that he could no longer train safely and effectively alone, he went against every intuition and joined the hardcore underground gym then known as "Elite Performance Center". Here over the past 5 years he has developed life-long friendship and has had what was previously a passion turn into a career as the Creative Director of Kabuki Strength.
Andrei started competing in strongman in 2014 where he placed 2nd in his first open contest (he never competed as a novice nor does he believe novice contests should exist in the sport). That year and the next Andrei qualified for, and competed at the North American Strongman (NAS) National Championships, improving from almost dead last place to placing in the top 25 in 2015. NAS Nationals is a contest with 400 of the strongest amateur men and women in the world competing for a title and recognition as a professional strongman (MW and HW Men only).
Andrei took a break from competing in 2016 to focus on his career as well as other endeavors, and only competed in 2 local contests. His 2017 goals are to qualify for and compete at NAS Nationals, placing in the top 15.
Andrei's best strongman events are carrying events such as farmers walk and conan's carry, or static strength deadlift events. His overhead pressing strength is lacking, and will be a focus of future training cycles as he chases a 300lb axle and log press.
Creatively, Andrei enjoys working with video and experimenting with branding and other creative elements in today's digital world. He is currently in the early research phase of developing a creative brand consultancy for the 21st century.