Sandy S. Broughton is a leader in her community and a role model and a champion for women in business. Today she shares with us her career story and journey to career success.
Currently, Sandy S. Broughton is the Community Development Officer of Investor Bank’s New Jersey branches. In this role she works to support and connect the bank’s NJ branches in the nonprofit space, overseeing the development of community relation activities and creating business development and expansion strategies of nonprofit organizations.
Additionally, Sandy plans and hosts the banks’ Annual Not-for-Profit Conference in New Jersey and serves on the Investors Bank Foundation Vetting Committee. She is also the co-chair of the Community Committee of the bank’s Women’s Leadership Council.
Defying expectations and navigating challenges on the road to success
Sandy has had a long and successful career thus far. With almost 30 year experience in the nonprofit sector, she has been broadly recognized for her achievements and excellence in the field and in her various leadership roles.
Among her recognitions, she is the proud recipient of the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore’s most prestigious honor – the Woman of Distinction Award, the Tri County Scholarship Fund – Woman of Achievement Award, Special Parent Advocacy Group (SPAG) – Hero Award, and last but certainly not least, the NAACP’s Community Achievement Award. Among her proudest professional accomplishments, Sandy has been recognized in the Investors Bank “Circle of Excellence – Best of the Best” four times during her tenure with the bank.
Sandy’s career success was not achieved alone or overnight and she realizes that she stands on the shoulders of many amazing women who came before her and who helped her along her journey become who she is today.
Born on a farm in North Carolina, Sandy moved to Paterson, NJ at an early age. Her family did not have a lot of money but getting an education was always stressed by her parents and college wasn’t an option.
Sandy attended THE Eastside High School in Paterson, you know the movie, Lean on Me, and graduated in the top 20 of her class of over 650 students. She expressed to her guidance counselor she wanted to attend Rutgers University, and was told she wasn’t ready for such a big school and that she wouldn’t get accepted. She instead was encouraged to go to the community college.
“Don’t get me wrong – community colleges are amazing, but I wanted the whole campus experience. I applied anyway and got accepted and couldn’t wait to tell her! When I did – she responded, ‘Let’s see how long you stay there.’ Those words could have ended my vision of that on-campus experience. However, I used it as a challenge,” says Sandy. “That fall, I went to Rutgers and I worked hard. I surrounded myself with people who were hungry for a degree – just as I was. Not only did I want my family to be proud, but I had to prove that guidance counselor wrong and send her a copy of my Rutgers degree – AND I DID!”
Motivated by this challenge, Sandy went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey – Douglass College. She then continued her education and earned a Master of Administrative Science degree, with a concentration in Leadership and Non-Profit Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). She completed her final coursework at the Wroxton Campus of FDU in Oxfordshire, England, northwest of London.
Achieving career success: “If I can do it – so can you!”
Sandy reflects back on that story about her high school guidance counselor’s discouragement and lack of faith in her and the impact one person can have on your life. Perspective is everything. Sandy could have accepted her guidance counselor’s low expectations and gone down a different path. However, she instead followed her dreams and did not let others stand in her way in achieving what she knew was possible for herself.
“One person or one decision can totally change the course of your life. So, it doesn’t matter where you live or how much money you have – if you work hard and surround yourself with the right people, you can do whatever you put your mind to,” Sandy says to other women struggling through doubts and looking to achieve career success.
Sandy has had a long and rewarding career because she knew her potential and did not let anyone dim her light. Through her work in the nonprofit community she has served in numerous leadership roles and impacted the lives of many.
Prior to joining Investors Bank in March of 2014, she served as the Executive Director of the Ocean County College Foundation for 11 years where she raised millions of dollars to support the student scholarship program, as well as special projects and programs of Ocean County College. Sandy also spent nine years at the Girl Scouts in North Jersey in various capacities, culminating in the position of Director leading the fundraising, public relations, community development initiatives, and special events. Additionally she has held positions at the United Way of Passaic Valley, the Urban League of Bergen County, and Hackensack Medical Center.
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Currently, she serves on the Board of Trustees of RWJ Barnabas Health Systems – Community Medical Center Campus; Ocean County College Foundation; NJ ACE Women’s Network; and the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in addition to serving on various committees including, but not limited to, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore’s Resource Development Committee, and the Boy Scouts/Jersey Shore Advisory Board.
Sandy also volunteers with the Caregivers of Ocean County Alzheimer’s Respite Program and is also a member of New Beginnings Agape Christian Center in Freehold, NJ, where she serves in the Usher’s Ministry.
Her numerous positions and leadership roles within the community is an inspiration to women everywhere that each of us are capable of achieving great career success in our personal and professional lives and inspiring others with our work. Sandy’s story shows us the importance in believing in yourself and your own potential. One person can change the course of your life, for the good or the bad — you get to decide!
“If I can do it – so can you! If my work can make a difference – so can yours,” says Sandy. “You get what you work for – NOT what you wish for.”