Sarah Sannes, Marketing Analyst, SCHEELS

Written by: Brady Drake

Tell us about yourself.

I am blessed to hold many titles: wife, mom to three, daughter, sister and friend. My favorite days are lake days and family game nights. With positivity as my mantra, there will always be a bright side to every situation. I feel most energized after time with our extended family, church family and naps.

I have worked in the SCHEELS Marketing Office for eight years. I am fortunate to work for a company that recognizes the value of giving back; SCHEELS donates between eight to ten percent of profits annually to organizations in our local communities, in addition to encouraging associates to give time and energy. We have the mantra that it takes everyone in the community to work together to create a brighter future. We take pride in being able to improve the lives of others. It is an honor to work for a company with a culture that strives to make a difference in our community.

Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why?

I am truly blessed with my support system. My husband and I are a team, and we strive to be our best for each other. I was also raised in a family that has been instrumental in my journey. My parents, brothers and in-laws have a deep faith that leads their way. Not only do we have fun family conversations, but the conversations often include sermon/ podcast recommendations, inspirational books and open conversations about current life challenges.

What drives you?

The greatest drivers in my life are my faith and my children. My relationship with Jesus is a huge driver, and Philippians 4:13 provides the reminder, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Additionally, knowing the daily influence I have with my children encourages me to try my best. My six-year-old daughter is already imitating my actions, and if that isn’t motivation, then I don’t know what is.

What are some important lessons you have learned in your lifetime?

Everyone has a story; everyone is going through something. It is easy to be critical without acknowledging the “why” in people’s lives; however, it is imperative to remember everyone’s story is different. If we keep the “why” in mind, it allows for stronger conversations, deeper motivation and sometimes a little grace.

What are some of your favorite things to do in our community?

Cross-country skiing on the local trails, attending Trollwood musicals and enjoying local eateries with friends are just a few of my favorite community things. My children’s activities have also opened my eyes to the incredible extracurriculars available in our community. Most recently, I am spending my Saturdays cheering for my daughter at the Upward basketball games.

What is your dream job and why?

I would be a fantastic candy taste-tester. Unfortunately, that type of job means I would then have to work out way more, so I better stick with marketing.

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

I have participated twice in the book study “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” by Lois Frankel. It’s an easy read, and although I don’t agree with every statement in the book, it has encouraged me to evaluate how some of my natural tendencies can be perceived by others. I also thoroughly enjoy fiction, and I read seven of Donna VanLiere’s Christmas books throughout the month of December. They are the book version of a Hallmark movie!

What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?

I hope to grow both professionally and personally. I am excited to network with 34 amazing and influential women. I am striving to gain skills and a mindset that will influence both my career and my family, and I want to do everything I can to be the best version of myself. What do you think can be improved in our community? Our community is truly amazing. There will always be opportunities to improve, but we live in a community that continues to seek out those opportunities, and we are better for it!

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.