Her suit fits just right, she knows everyone in the room, and you can just tell she’s got it going on!  You wish you could be her or simply wish you knew her secret to success. WOTV 4 Women wants to give you a deeper look at the many power women who are helping make West Michigan a thriving place for women at work.  We’re having them dish the details on everything from work life to home life and what has led to their career success.

25 Questions with Sandra Gaddy

Meet Sandra Gaddy the CEO of the Women’s Resource Center in Grand Rapids! This West Michigan power women and her team are helping transform employment outcomes for women.  The Women’s Resource Center offers programs and services to educate and empower women to workplace success.  They are also the driving force behind the Pillar Awards happening March 14, 2019.  Read on to find out more about this West Michigan power woman and her career.

Question 1: Describe your job and why you love it.

I get to serve alongside a team of dedicated staff members, a supportive network of volunteers and community partners that help Women’s Resource Center offer services that assist local women and their families achieve better tomorrows. I love that we serve women from all different backgrounds, experiences and circumstances. Each woman’s journey is uniquely hers and each has her own definition of success. Our goal is to help her identify and set goals to achieve her full potential.

Question 2: Dig through your purse and tell us three must have items you found and 1 item you were surprised to find.

My Burt’s Bee’s lip balm, 5 Peppermint gum, business cards of course :-); I was to surprised and excited to find one of my missing necklace’s, I’ve missing it for months.

Question 3: When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a modern/jazz dance like two of my favorite dancers/choreographer: Debbie Allen and late great Alvin Ailey.

Question 4: What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Speak up and don’t allow the fear of rejection or a possible wrong answer silence my voice.

Question 5: What’s the job you’ve had (in your lifetime) that still gives you nightmares?

I do not eat pork, and I haven’t since I was 7 or 8 years old. During college, I worked at ham store packaging and selling hams. Although I hated it, it was work and I was able to purchase books for my next semester.

Question 6: What’s the best thing you’ve done to advance your career?

Taking risk.

Question 7: Flats or heels?


Question 8: Crying at work? Okay or not okay?

Would you ask this question to a man?

Question 9: Work/life balance? How do you make it work? What time do you “clock out”?

As I have taken on more responsibility with each new position, more time is required. That said, I believe self-care is critical. I had to incorporate a cut-off time when bringing work home. I had to incorporate time to unplug from work a bit before starting on a project or finishing a report. I can’t always protect my weekends (Friday & Saturday’s), but I do protect my Sunday’s, it is my day of worship and time with family and close friends.

Question 10: Eating lunch at your desk? A do or a don’t?

I do eat lunch at my desk from time-to-time, but I prefer to eat lunch in our staff dining area or in the warmer months outside.

Question 11: What makes you grateful?

People who are willing to help with nothing in return.

Question 12: What was your biggest blunder in a job interview? What did it teach you?

It was actually after the interview, I did not send a thank you card or note. This was mid-career and it was an oversight that could have cost me the job. I am thankful that my new manager shared this with me and used this as a learning opportunity. I have never made that misstep again.

Question 13: Describe your morning routine.

I like to arrive to the office before 8am, to check voicemail, emails and start major task list items. Of course with a tall cup of Pike Place coffee.

Question 14: Proudest career moment to date.

Becoming CEO of Women’s Resource Center.

Question 15: What’s the most important thing in your life right now?

Faith & Family.

Question 16: What time did you wake up today?


Question 17: What’s the first thing you notice when you meet someone?

Their ability to connect.

Question 18: What are you reading right now?

‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama

Question 19: In a typical day how many emails do you answer?

I receive a lot of emails, but I try to answer at least 50%.

Question 20: What’s your favorite TV show?

Game of Thrones & Family Feud

Question 21: What’s your favorite spot for a meeting in West Michigan?

City Built Brewing Co., – I love the Blanco Chili (White chicken chili).

Question 22: What’s your favorite app?

Sworkit-Workout plans app

Question 23: What experience in life made you the most nervous?


Question 24: What’s one question you always ask in an interview?

What excites you most about this position?

Question 25: What’s the best part of your job?

Seeing the women we serve overcome multiple barriers to their employment and begin to thrive personally and professionally.


***Do you know a West Michigan Power woman who deserves to be featured in our series?  Email us her name/business and contact info!