Meet Sandra P. Eberhard, the President, and CEO of the WBEC Metro NY & WBEC Greater DMV Inc. two of the 14 regional affiliates of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses and third-party certification organization.
Sandra P. Eberhard started her professional career as a mathematics teacher. The problem-solving techniques she designed for her students, along with project manager certification, prepared Sandra for her move to the corporate world. Before joining WPEO-DC in 2011, Sandra worked as an Asset Manager for a major healthcare company’s northeast region, she managed all leased and owned facilities and administrative sales shared service operations in the northeast. Sandra approved and arranged for financing of capital spending plans, consistent with financial objectives, in addition to developing programs for efficiency gains and delivering them nationwide. Additionally, Sandra was also responsible for the fulfilment of member collateral, working with marketing, sales, and external vendors to deliver materials just in time to the homes of all insured in the northeast market. Sandra has also received the Chairman Award for performance excellence during the crisis of 9/11.
Sandra has always been an advocate of women’s issues and she is a trained Crisis Intervention Counsellor. She was a member, then President of the New York Women’s Agenda—a coalition of women’s organizations affiliated with over 100 organizations dedicated to improving the lives of women and their families in New York City.
It is this experience with local businesses, years of corporate operational efficiencies, and passion to support women that led Sandra P. Eberhard to WBEC Metro NY and Greater DMV Inc., 2 regional affiliates of WBENC the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses and third-party certification.
During her tenure as Executive Director, her organization has seen more than 157% growth in the number of certified businesses. The firm has developed and delivered tools, resources, information, and connections for high growth and impact to women-owned businesses of all ethnicities.
Helping Women-Owned Businesses
As an affiliate organization of WBENC, Sandra’s organization’s core offering is certifying women-owned businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by women so they can contract with Fortune 1000 corporations.
These businesses must not only remain open but scale and grow their capabilities to meet corporate needs as well as provide employment to their local communities.
Sandra P. Eberhard and her colleagues offer business development programs with curriculums that help them achieve that growth and scale.
Program content and connections are facilitated at the local and national levels and delivered by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the corporate and business arena. The organization also nurtures alliances of community experts that can support businesses at the appropriate time in the life cycle.
Most importantly, Sandra P. Eberhard and her team deliver all their programs through a cultural lens. They embrace the diversity of the women in their network and present tools, resources, and information to them as it meets their demographic and psychographics.
The Greatest Accomplishment
As a lifelong learner and believer in adapting to new thoughts, Sandra is still working towards that “greatest accomplishment”. She does know it will be a combination of her definition of success in life and career, and when she will be able to answer the question, “Does Hope Rise when I walk into a room” with an affirmative response.
Tackling Biggest Failures
While starting, Sandra thought that it was all up to her to win or lose. There were times when she could have utilized her teams in better ways. She has learned that she doesn’t have to have all the answers and can depend on her team to meet goals.
Sandra P. Eberhard has also realized that allowing compensation to drive career choices and personal goals rather than purpose and meaning don’t lead to happiness. It took her a while, but she is finally in a place professionally where she has both drive and passion for the work.
What Success Looks Like
Sandra P. Eberhard believes, as the leader of the organization, success means being the premier facilitator in empowering women-owned businesses by creating an environment, which is inclusive, trusted, and ever-evolving to better serve its audiences.
Specifically, success means being the thought-leader and the real-life catalyst in areas like social capital, human capital, infrastructure, finance, culture, and policy awareness and increasing the visibility of these women business owners locally and nationally.
Implementing New Ideas
Sandra P. Eberhard would like to work closely with schools and universities in her organization’s territory to introduce and support entrepreneurship, respectively, and provide help to students who want to start their businesses. Also, utilize these students to support women-owned businesses, providing students with real work experience before they enter the workforce.
In recent years, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) have been non-financial factors that play an ever-increasing part in the analysis of businesses’ material risks and growth potential. Sandra would like to create a program, that takes businesses from the basics to comprehensive sustainability, not only giving them a competitive advantage but, increasing their impact on the local economy.
Promoting community-based business to visibility where others will use their services and/or products which will help growth and economic impact.