Sandra has been the Executive Director of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce since 1985 and has created innovative projects that have been used as models for other cities looking to develop tourism programs, business development projects and cooperative community relationships. She regularly consults with other communities and has been a speaker at state and regional conferences on business development, tourism marketing and research. She has internationally given presentations in Mexico and Canada. Sandra began at the Chamber in 1979 having graduated with a Business Administration and Marketing Degree from California State University Long Beach.
Sandra has been honored as the Oregon Chamber Executive of the Year, and by Soroptimist International of Ashland for their Women of Distinction Award. She was a founding member of the Southern Oregon Visitors Association and served twice as its President. She has and continues to serve on numerous local, regional and state boards of directors and associations and is Past President of the Southern Oregon Historical Society, Past President of the SOU Regional Advisory Board and Past President of the SOU President’s Advisory Council and has served on the SOU Foundation. She is Past President of the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation and received the Outstanding Board Service Award for 2012 and the 2014 Distinguished Service Award for outstanding leadership. She was elected and now serves a second term on the Asante Governing Board of Directors.
The Ashland Chamber was recognized by Oregon Business Magazine for the innovative application of cluster strategy and the nationally award-winning Living & Doing Business in Ashland Guide as well as for the creation of the Ashland Business Resource Portal. The Oregon Economic Development Association has awarded high recognition to the Chamber for the creation and development of the Global Conference on Business & Culture. The Chamber has received numerous times the Best Publication in the State of Oregon for the Living & Doing Business Guide and for the same publication in 2009 the highest award for Communications Excellence in the nation from the American Association of Chambers of Commerce. She believes deeply in strong community partnerships and collaboration as the key to the success of the Chamber. The relationships the Chamber has with the City of Ashland, Ashland Fire & Rescue, Southern Oregon University, Asante Ashland Community Hospital, the Ashland School District as well as local, regional, state and federal collaboration that has expanded the reach and success of all the programs of the Chamber and businesses. Sandra states “We are all in this together – tackling our problems to find creative, sustainable solutions that benefit our community and society is what drives us and creates success”.
While she isn’t busy working on community projects to support the Ashland economy and community, she enjoys cooking, gardening, reading and traveling with her husband, Dennis, a professor of business and accounting at Southern Oregon University who also serves as and elected member of the Ashland City Council.