As Executive Director of the Broward County affiliate of Rebuilding Together, the nations largest nonprofit bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners, Sandra Einhorn is responsible for the day to day operations including programming, fundraising, marketing, finance, volunteer management, event planning and all corporate communications. Sandra is also a non-voting member of the organization’s Board of Directors, to which she reports to. Under her leadership Rebuilding Together Broward has grown tremendously and created a recognizable and well respected brand in the housing industry.
Prior to joining Rebuilding Together, Sandra served in various management roles with US Capital Holdings Group and Y&S Equity Group. With over a decade of experience with nonprofits, Sandra has also worked with the Make A Wish Foundation, Jewish Federation of Broward County, the Humane Society and several other charities. Sandra is also graduate of Leadership Fort Lauderdale. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Community Land Trust, and I’m Dense, Are You? Foundation, Mission United Advisory committee, serves as President of the Broward Housing & Community Development Task Force, and is the past Chair of the Young Professionals Initiative and Housing committee for Broward Days. Sandra lives in Hollywood, Florida where she grew up with her husband, Grant and daughters Eva and Brooke.
Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment?
Having two children 13 months apart and still being able to manage the day to day operations of RTBC.
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
Being able to engage volunteers in meaningful community service.
Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input?
I have relied on several people whom I know I can count on to give advice and guide me. Some of these people include Traci Miller and Fran Esposito.
You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met?
What program with your organization do you get the most excited about?
Veteran Housing. I love that my board supported my decision to make veterans a targeted population back in 2010.
How did you determine which charitable organizations you would support?
Since I know how hard it is to make an ask for donations I rarely turn down anyone who asks me for support. Even if it’s a small donation I try to contribute. That said, I have a few organizations which I support each year proactively.
Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year?
Lipstick Lounge (Glam A Thon), National Rebuilding Day (Rebuilding Together)
How have things changed for you through the years?
Since I started at RTBC I have purchased my first home, got married, had two children, completed a major house renovation and went through two ugly and highly publicized court battles with my neighbors. I have matured and gained quite a bit of perspective!
What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization?
I would like to think that my strengths are in my ability to be innovative, aggressive, ambitious and genuine.
What is your greatest challenge at this time?
People not caring about old people and therefore not funding organizations that cater to this population! Also, struggling to fundraise when there are other, better known organizations that people assume are similar to RT (even though they are not).
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
For myself, spending time with my family is perfect happiness. For the world I think perfect happiness would be people focusing on the good and positive in the world and not negative.
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years?
That one person CAN make a difference, on so many levels, for so many people.
How do you relax?
I run a non-profit and have two small children. I don’t relax!!! J If I had time to relax I would probably read a biography or spend time with my husband.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Los Angeles. It is where I was born and still have my best friend of over 30 years living there!
What do you wish you could have a never-ending supply of?
Does anyone ever answer anything other than money?!?! After that I would say, good health for me and my family.
If you found a treasure chest – and you could keep it, what would you want to be in it?
Money and artifacts about my family and the holocaust.
How can we reach out to other people in the world?
Depends on what the message is. I think we have to be aware and respectful of the fact that some people and tribes do not want to be “reached”. For those who want to be reached I think that messaging needs to be specific to the audience you are trying to reach and the goals/objectives you are hoping to gain.
Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others?
Alonzo Mourning’s book Resilience: Faith, Focus, Triumph
The Power of Half- Kevin and Hannah Salwen
What can make you laugh?
Just about anything. It doesn’t take much to make me laugh. At the top of the list would be most things that my 2.5 year old daughter says, reruns of Seinfeld and the Big Bang Theory and my mother’s reaction to questions I ask her/statements I make.
What can make you cry?
Happy cry when I get a call/note from a homeowner we served or I think about all of the things in life I have to be thankful for.
Sad cry when I hear about some of the awful things going on in the world that are being broadcasted by the media.
Are you where you hoped you would be at this point in your life?
What do you still hope to accomplish?
I hope to raise two healthy, smart and independent daughters and make an impact in the community through working in the non-profit world.
Is there a fond childhood memory you can share with us?
I moved from LA to Florida when I was 9. I left behind my best friend, Vanessa. She and I met in nursery school, when we were 3 years old. I remember growing up that we would write letter to one another and call each other on our parent’s house phones every Sunday. Over our 30 years of friendship we have seen how much the world has changed. I remember when we got our “own phone line” in our bedrooms. I remember when we got pagers and when we got our first cell phones. Now we are both married with two children each.
When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
What is your vision and hope for the future?
A world where my daughters can play like children while they are young and grow up to be leaders in the community when they grow up, doing what they love. I hope that the world becomes a place where people are eager to be involved in the community and make a difference.
What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today?
Children being born into a world they are not wanted with parents who are unprepared and unwilling to do what is right by them. All over the world children are living in substandard, dangerous conditions facing disturbing situations. It is heartbreaking.
How do you want to be remembered by future generations?
Someone who took all of their “jobs” seriously and passionately; mother, wife, daughter, friend and Executive Director.
What do your want your epitaph to read?
“Lived to laugh; loved to live”
Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life?
Wake up every morning with a goal to be the best you can be. Go to bed every night giving thanks for the day, appreciative for all of your accomplishments and striving to be better the next day.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met?
My husband, Grant!
What word best describes your life right now?
What charitable organizations are you involved with at this time?
Rebuilding Together, Mission United, South Florida Community Land Trust, I’m Dense, Are you?. I stepped off of all other boards when I got pregnant with my second child.
What is your proudest achievement?
Breastfeeding each of my children for over a year each while working full time and growing a little organization into a well respected resource in the community.
What is something your parents taught you that you will never forget?
To embrace culture.
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title of it be?
Life In My 20’s
Who is your hero?
My mother; H. Wayne Huizenga; Joan Rivers;
What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
Spending time with my family.
What’s been the key to the success and growth of ----------?
The key to the success and growth of RTBC has been determination!
In order to thrive and survive in the corporate workplace, we sometimes have to desensitize ourselves in order to get ahead. Not being real and authentic, isn’t that a big sacrifice to make?
Situational leadership doesn’t preclude someone from not being real or authentic. Certain situations call from specific decorum and I think that a true leader is able to adapt to their surroundings to be who they need to be in that moment to be effective.
How does one hold on to their true self in the corporate world and still become successful?
How do you stay so motivated and committed?
Every time I step into a home of a prospective homeowner I am reminded of the overwhelming opportunity and duty I have to change the life of a family. It both motivates me and keeps me committed. Very few people understand what a profound impact housing has on a family and although sometimes it feels like a “burden” to understand that, it drives me each day.
When does someone know when it’s time to move on?
What are your favorite leisure time activities or hobbies?
What is your favorite sport?
To watch- basketball; to do YOGA!
Do you feel women have made progress in their quest to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace?
I think part of the problem lies in focusing on gender. I think that as long women focus on their talents and strengths they can be treated equally. I think inequality starts when women expect something different. Ex. Maternity leave. Statistics that show that a man earns more than a woman
How does the “seasoned” woman compete in a marketplace that is focused on looking and being young?
I wish I could be “seasoned” and not young! I think seasoned women are more respected b/c they have a proven track record! Us younger ones try to get by on looks and charisma! ;-)
Are there any future trends you see in the marketplace for -------?
For corporate philanthropy I see volunteer engagement becoming more prevalent and believe that funding will be more closely tied to these volunteer initiatives.
You are evidently a very capable and talented woman/man, what other talent do you wish you had been born with?
I wish I was a better dancer (I have two left feet).
What’s the best movie you have ever seen?
Life is Beautiful; Mary Poppins; Sound of Music; Pretty Woman;
What three things are always in your refrigerator?
Eggs, fruit and cheese!
What is your most treasured possession?
My family and the charm that I wear on my necklace. It used to be a ring that my grandfather gave to my mother when my brother was born.
What is your greatest indulgence?
What is your favorite store for clothes shopping?
Most stores in the Colonnades at Sawgrass. Saks, Neiman Marcus, Theory, Kate Spade, Diane Von Furstenburg, Tahari.
What magazine do you look forward to reading each week/month?
Parents, Go Riverwalk, South Florida Business Journal
What is your favorite restaurant?
McDonald’s, Thai on the Beach, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant
What will we find you doing on a Saturday night?
Working, reading, sleeping!
What is your favorite room in your house?
The “big room”. We have an open floor plan to where the kitchen is open and the dining room, living room and kids playroom is all in the same place!
If your house was up for sale, and a potential buyer did a walk through, what would your home say about you?
That my husband has OCD and has great taste!
What is your pet peeve?
What is your greatest weakness?
What are you most disciplined about?
How I raise my children!
If there were a movie being made about your life, what actor/actress would best play you?
What is a moment you will never forget?
The moment Grant proposed; the day I became a wife; the moment my husband told me our baby was a girl (both times!); the day RTBC won a Non-Profit Academy award!
If you were going to be on a Space Shuttle for about a year, what one item would you have to take with you?
A picture of my family.
.Do you have a Fashion Addiction?
What is your favorite snack?
Cheese, fruit, “healthy” chips
What is your favorite Ice Cream flavor?
Ben & Jerry’s S’mores or Phish Food
What is your biggest fear?
What do you like the most about yourself?
That I am honest and genuine
What would you still like to learn how to do?
Knit and dance
What do you have to say to all the young women/men out there ready to take on the future?
Stay in college as long as possible and never give up your babysitting gig! The read world is much harder than you think!
How do we get our young people more interested in charitable giving and community volunteering?
Give them opportunities to make themselves feel valued, appreciated and involved.
How do you want to be remembered by future generations?
As someone who stands up for what they believe in.
What would you like to see happen in our world, let’s say, five years from now?
The news to focus on positive and not negative.