Senior Manager, Campaign Processing & Collections
Metro United Way
Louisville, KY, USA
How long have you been working for your organization?
Since February 2004. I just celebrated my 15 yrs. in 2019!
What’s a typical day in your role like?
During campaign, as anyone who has lived through one can attest is some way, it is very hectic, going from one issue/problem to the next. Many times, putting out several fires all at the same time. Non-campaign, while still busy, is when I review our processes, procedures, clean-up, follow-ups, interdepartmental meetings... all the things needed to get ready for the next campaign. To sum it up — always busy.
What motivates you to come to work every day?
When I first came to (Metro) United Way, I only knew of the organization as something I donated weekly to via my previous employer and payroll deductions. I soon came to realize; however, just how important United Way is to the community, all communities, and how much of an impact the organization makes to those in need.
I get to come to work knowing what I do makes a difference in people's lives every day, and not many people have jobs that give them that satisfaction! I feel very blessed!
Above: A selfie of Sandra sporting her LIVE UNITED shirt at a Metro United Way meeting.
What’s your favourite aspect of your job?
Figuring it out, whatever “it” is, and getting it right. My team and I have pins and posters stating, “I am Sherlocked.” Anyone familiar with the great detective series knows how much Sherlock Holmes puts into solving his cases and finding “whodunnit” and we put that much into finding — and applying — the money correctly. Several times it takes a lot of sleuthing to identify payments and where they really belong — as anyone in any United Way processing payments, and sometimes pledges, can attest. It is all in the details, and if you just take the time to find and go through the paperwork, you WILL find the answer(s).
Above: Sandra and friends celebrating Metro United Way's 100th Birthday.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
The flow of information between departments in a United Way the size of Metro United Way can be the biggest challenge. And, as we move to make ourselves more relevant in the quickly changing landscape of the United Way non-profit world, that information is constantly changing as well, making it even more challenging.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Can you tell us why?
Amy Hess. As a working Mother and now the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director out of the Washington DC office of the FBI, Amy Hess would be my top choice as a mentor.
Ms. Hess rose in the ranks of a male-dominated field through a lot of hard work and began at the bureau in a time (1991) when it is well-known women were not welcome in that field; she no doubt faced many hurtles her male counterparts did not. Yet, she persevered and rose to the top. As a single Mother myself, and recently encountering setbacks in what I thought would be my career path, I would benefit greatly to learn from her how she maneuvered the difficulties she encountered along the way to achieving her successes!
What’s your personal mantra?
“I can’t control what people say or do, but I can control how I react to it.”
I have always lived by this mantra, and it has served me well, and I have taught it to my children. If you let someone make you mad or make you sad, you are giving them control of your life, and then you have lost. It is your life, live it and don’t let anyone control how you go about it, least of all how you feel!
Do you have hobbies outside of work? What are they?
My hobby used to be school (for four years). I just recently finished my BSM in April and have begun to see what I can get into. I’ve signed up for photography classes and although I’m considering a cooking class and getting involved locally with a couple of civic organizations that have reached out to me — I am making sure to relax a bit and enjoy my summer by the pool — as I may start on my Master’s in the new year.
Above: Sandra in her graduation cap and gown.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
It wouldn’t be a guilty pleasure if I shared it, now would it?
Caring in Common is a spotlight series that showcases different nonprofit professionals on the last Friday of each month. The goal is to highlight Andar Software customers from all walks of life, levels of experience, and areas of expertise. Their answers will inspire you, give you insight about the nonprofit industry, and motivate you on both a professional and personal level.