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Forging Ahead: The Ironstone Story


Founder/CEO, Ironstone

Andrea Lopez-Schlapia began her career in banking, then rose through the ranks of global investment firms like Dreyfus, Prudential and Deutsche Bank. In 2008, she launched Ironstone, which specializes in helping financial advisors.

From Idaho to Ironstone

 I grew up on a 10-acre farm in Nampa, Idaho, about 20 miles west of Boise. My father was an Army veteran-turned-local-postmaster, my mother was a homemaker who cared for me and my two older sisters. When I was six, we lost Dad. It was a beautiful summer day. I was on the porch swing with my big sister when the police car arrived. Two people got out and knocked on the door of our house.

That day changed everything.

My Mom was a true Southern belle, but suddenly, she was a single mother with just a high school education and a family to support. So she went to college, got her bachelor and master’s degrees as a Special Education teacher, and furthered her career to became a reading specialist. When I was in third grade, Mom sent me to school in a cab because she had to get to class, too. I joke that I’m the first person who ever “Ubered.” She knew first-hand that a high school diploma wasn’t enough, and made it clear to me and my sisters, “You will go to college.” It was an order – not an option.

After graduating from Northwest Nazarene University, I worked in banking in Boise and Salt Lake City. Several years later, I was living in Atlanta, but commuting to Connecticut every week for my job. I remember sitting on my bed at the Marriott Courtyard, eating yet another room service burger and fries for dinner while watching a movie on TV when I thought, “How can I use my background in financial services and my experience as an executive coach to help people and businesses succeed?

At that moment, the idea for Ironstone was born.

Ironstone emerged from Andrea’s driving passion: to bring out the best in everyone she meets.

It’s Not Just a Job. It’s a Calling.   

 Early in my career, a mentor gave me the opportunity to train advisors at our bank. That’s when I fell in love with the idea of helping people discover and tap their natural strengths and talents. Sometimes, a small change can have a huge impact on performance. Watching human beings thrive? That’s euphoria for me. I want to help owners grow their businesses, hire the right candidates for every job, work as a team. I love connecting with people, forging their talents and changing their mindsets.

Relationship-building is Andrea’s superpower – and the most gratifying part of what she does.

Business With a Personal Touch

The other day, I was on the phone with a group of prospective clients. At the end of the call, I said, “I’m going to send you some information that I think may help your business, regardless of whether we move forward.” It wasn’t something they had to pay for. It was something I was happy to provide because it makes me feel good and gives me a sense of purpose.

Andrea works hard. Laughs often. And never loses sight of her core values.

 Spoiler Alert: The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things

 I’ve always wanted my work to have meaning beyond material rewards. In my personal life, I don’t want more “stuff.” I want lifelong memories – goosebump memories and experiences, not hot new gadgets or trendy toys. For me, what matters most are the people I spend time with, sharing conversations and collaborations. Now more than ever, I value opportunities to have a positive impact on others, whether they’re colleagues, friends or family.

Two Fun Facts

Growing up, I was a tomboy and competitive equestrian who took part in 4-H, rodeo and horse shows. In fact, I was Miss High School Rodeo Idaho, then Miss Rodeo Idaho, and was the first-runner up at Miss Rodeo America. Needless to say, there was a lot of big hair involved!

Ironstone is based outside Atlanta in Roswell, Georgia. But as often as we can, my husband Bill and I work out of our second home in North Stratford, New Hampshire. Some dear friends retired there about 10 years ago, and when we visited them, we fell in love with the mountains and woodlands, which remind me of Idaho. Last year, I planted 1,500 tulips! Every spring, we can’t wait to drive up there.

 The A-List

Business owner. Educator. Speaker. Coach. Andrea offers every Ironstone client a high-energy blend of professional expertise and personal warmth. She holds designations as a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC™), a Human Capital Strategist (HCS), a Strategic HR Business Partner (sHRBP), and Certified Administrator of PXT Select and Myers-Briggs assessments. Andrea’s work as a practice management specialist and true change agent has been featured in multiple industry publications, podcasts and speaking engagements. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys travel, gardening, classic films and breaking a sweat on her Peloton bike.