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April Monthly Member Spotlight!

Updated: Jun 3

Enjoy this interview with our April member spotlight, Sandy Altherr

How long have you been a member? I just officially joined ILEA this year but have attended a few ILEA events over the past couple of years. Very much looking forward to getting more involved and meeting other local chapter members!

What company or organization do you work at right now? I am the Events Manager for Oakland University. We handle presidential, donor, alumni, stewardship and some student and unit events.

What do you like most about being a member? Being new this year, I haven't been able to fully take advantage of my membership yet but I very much look forward to networking with other local chapter members, collaborating with local vendors for our events and picking the amazing brains of ILEA members locally and out of state to assist with any event challenges, suggestions or creative ideas!

What career advice do you live by? Who gave it to you? The woman who hired me in events at Oakland University was a fantastic mentor to me - She told me to always have a Plan B, C and D and to be smiling and calm in front of guests at the event. Attendees do not have fun at an event when the events team is frazzled or unhappy. Go in the back, solve the issues, cry in the bathroom if you need to but be smiling and calm in front of the guests. The other advice that I live by professionally and personally is "Control what you can control". My mom said this to me long ago and it's often hard to do but we can get so overwhelmed with the "What ifs" and the unexpected that it can snowball into real anxiety. Sometimes we just need to refocus on what we can do to make the situation better, more organized, more enjoyable, more successful, etc. Sometimes you can control it and sometimes you cannot. It can be powerful and freeing to let something go if you cannot control it and that can make you a better person in and out of the workplace.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? Why? This one really has me stumped. I actually cannot think of the specific WHO but I can tell you WHY. I love to collaborate with someone who has great vision, positivity, open minded to other ideas and is a wonderful partner. I love working with people who communicate well, have professional flexibility and believe in "work hard, play hard" because life is too short. I admire people like Jay Shetty, Simone Biles and Dave Grohl who consistently inspire others with their talents, overcome personal & professional challenges and are passionate about what they do.

What excites you the most right now? The Detroit Lions. The ability to be trusted and not micromanaged with my creativity and event processes. Our new puppy Lucy who is a rescued Golden Retriever/Shepherd mix. Also our President, Dr. Ora Pescovitz, who is a truly inspiring, passionate and hardworking Jewish female. I'm proud to work with her and for her as she advocates for DEI, education, respect and innovation.

What are you reading or listening to? I am voracious in my book reading- I cannot be without a book to read! Right now, I am reading the book "Take My Hand" by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. It is fantastic, inspired by true events & I highly recommend it. It was the winner of the 2023 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction. I listen to the podcast "Smartless" often as well as Jay Shetty's podcast. I also listen to Spotify religiously at work and at home for my enormous variety and love of music!

Describe what a perfect day outside of work would look like for you? Sleep in a bit and have a good hair day, ha ha! Have great quality time together with my husband, our 2 kids (they are 24 & 21 years old so time together is special and one lives out of state) and our puppy Lucy. The day & night are full of delicious food, amazing drinks and sun on my face. The night ends with an outdoor music concert of an artist that I love with great seats. It would be a day that ends with me thanking God for my blessed life and for our happiness and good health.


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