Sande Updegraph – Brunswick

Sande standing in an orange room

Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

40 Stories for 40 Years – Profilee 32

Sande’s strong suit is making connections. She’s done it for a long time – and done it well. In Fall 2018, she took that skill to the next level in her bid for a seat on Brunswick’s Town Council. “For me, it’s finding opportunities to build collaborations. It’s so satisfying putting people, ideas, and businesses together,” she shares.  Sande is a Graduate of New Ventures Maine’s Venturing Forth class and an Ambassador in the Midcoast region.

Now in retirement, Sande has held many professional roles over the years. She began her career in the hospitality industry and more recently was the Executive Director of the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce. She has also served on her hometown’s zoning and planning boards.

Community service has always been a strong undercurrent for Sande. Only recently, she recognized it as a life passion.  “In the past, job opportunities guided my choices. I’ve discovered that the things I love doing center around business and public policy,” she says.

Sande sittingSande planned to develop her own business after completing the Venturing Forth class. That changed with her decision to run for office.  She explains, “I was so proud to be a Graduate of the training. But I felt compelled to put my skills and energies in a different direction.”

She credits the class with helping to fine-tune her focus as a candidate. “I refined my organizational skills and approached my candidacy like a business. The same business skills applied to a political campaign. I set a plan, a timeline, and a budget, she shares.

Sande says, “Give yourself credit for taking that first step.  If you think you have no skills, think again. There are always skills you can nurture. You have to make your own opportunities.”