Junior Past President / Nomination Leadership Development
Volunteerism has been a large part of my life growing up to the point that I had a 10-year career in non-profit volunteer management. In 2010, I joined Sandpipers with the intention of giving back to my own community and meeting some new friends. As an organization that is 100% volunteer driven, I am continually impressed by the personal stories and the impact we have been able to make in the lives of the deserving families and individuals right here in the South Bay community. Most recently, I was brought to tears seeing the joy on the faces of our newest scholarship recipients and their families as they participated in our Drive-By Celebration. These deserving students are model citizens who not only excel in the classroom but take on various leadership roles in their school and volunteer in their community. And they do so while persevering through adversity. I was left awestruck by their achievements and was proud that Sandpipers could play a role (albeit small but mighty!) in setting them up for their 4-year college experience.
The culture in Sandpipers is one that is positive, professional, compassionate, and fun. Through a myriad of backgrounds among the women of Sandpipers, we are able to capitalize on each person’s strengths, skills, and interests to propel the mission of Sandpipers and produce the maximum results for our community. It gives me great pride to be involved with an organization that has deep roots and traditions (being that we were founded in 1931!) that also evolves and grows with our changing membership needs. Since joining Sandpipers, I served in various roles and was most recently our 88th President. It’s truly an honor and privilege to give back next to such high caliber women on our Board and in our organization.
Senior Past Co-President / Scholarship
As I begin my last year on the Board, it is hard not to reflect on my Sandpiper journey that began in 2004. While I joined Sandpipers to serve my community and meet new people, I couldn’t have anticipated how that decision to join would so deeply impact my life. I have made lifelong friends and learned various skill sets that have helped me – both personally and professionally. Embracing several leadership roles has given me the opportunity to work alongside so many diverse women, community partners, and local businesses who support us with our mission.
As Senior Past Co-President, I am honored and thrilled to chair Sandpiper’s largest philanthropic program, the Scholarship Committee. Having assisted a few Senior Past Presidents, I feel I have been privileged to work with so many other hardworking, kind women, and being able to first-hand witness the profound impacts our funding and efforts has had on our recipients is an experience that will always remain close in my heart. I am so lucky to have such a supportive and loving family, as they have seen how passionate I am about Sandpipers and its Scholarship Program, and I am excited to share that we have set up an additional scholarship fund in our name. Like me, they believe that the greatest opportunity one can give someone is access to a good education. I am looking forward to leading the program this year, and I am so proud to be a part of making our recipients’ college dreams come true.
Senior Past Co-President / Scholarship
I am honored to be able to serve in this incredible organization that gives back so much to its membership and its community. When I joined the Sandpipers in 2009, I had no idea what an enormous impact the organization would have on my life. Being a member and serving on the Board of Directors has afforded me incredible opportunities to grow in my leadership abilities alongside such accomplished women who I respect and admire. Sandpipers plays a large part in why I was able to move into a leadership position as a principal of a middle school. Sandpipers allowed me to spread my leadership wings and practice my public speaking in a safe and supportive environment. I truly believe that without it, I would not be in the position I am today.
The Sandpipers organization has continued to thrive for the past 88 years due to the commitment of its membership and willingness of its leadership to reflect and evolve to meet the needs of its stakeholders. I am grateful to continue my work with Sandpipers alongside the lifelong friends I have made. Together through friendship and philanthropy, we raise over $600,000 each year to give back to the South Bay Community. For this, I am proud beyond measure.
Steering Committee Chair
I joined Sandpipers in 2008 after learning about the organization from my mother-in-law, Donna Moody, a Sandpiper Associate. Through her everyday actions and interactions, she demonstrates what it means to be generous of heart and philanthropic of mind. Like her, I can strive to do the same, and this organization has provided me the perfect opportunity to volunteer in our community while meeting some amazing, like-minded women.
As Steering Committee Chair, my job is a combination of oversight and management of Sandpipers’ Endowment Fund. In typical years, our endowment fund expands the breadth and depth of our programs like college scholarships. And, in years like 2020, with our ability to fundraise at risk due to the global pandemic, the endowment ensures the continuation of our core programs that are vital to the well-being of our community. To date, our endowment fund has distributed $1.2 million towards Sandpipers programs.
This is my twelfth year as a Sandpiper and my fifth as the Steering Committee Chair for the Sandpipers South Bay Community Fund. If you ask me, I have the best job in Sandpipers. Want to talk about Sandpipers, the endowment, or make a donation? Get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sandpipers of the Year
I joined Sandpipers in 1988 after meeting several members in my daughter’s preschool class. As a new mom, I was eager to get involved in my community and make new friends after our move to Palos Verdes. We were east coast transplants after my husband Jim, accepted a business transfer from New York City to Los Angeles. I had resigned my position at a Wall Street Consulting firm with the thought that we might return to the east coast to be closer to family in the Boston area, but we were in love with the sun and the surf. And, all those flights home for the holidays convinced us to put down roots here.
I was delighted with the mission of Sandpiper’s, as well as the exuberant and talented group of women I had met, who immediately made me feel I was “home.” Many of those early friends are still my dearest friends all these years. Additionally, thanks to the existence of the Sandpiper Associates I have been able to continue my commitment to Sandpipers, as I make new friends and renew old acquaintances.
After 32 years of joyfully contributing time and treasure, I have many fond memories. I have worn various hats in a multitude of committees, back stage creative brain-storming sessions, and experienced my fair share of partying. I worked on various boards now part of Sandpiper history and folklore: Design House, Golf Tournament and the Fashion Show when we were the models. Some of the crazy ideas to raise funds were some of the most fun, like talking top chefs to cater gourmet meals poolside after Design House touring hours were over; making fantasy gingerbread house centerpieces for Founders Day tables, and turning the California Yacht Club into a holiday boutique and an armory into a 1950’s Sock Hop Dance.
In later years my kids got involved, with Sugarplum Trees, Holiday Baskets and a caroling choir debut at Holiday Homes Tour. In resent years I have enjoyed meeting the people behind the agencies and grant requests we fund with our philanthropy dollars and sharing my passion for roses and and tea time with friends, both at my home and at the Huntington Botanical Gardens.
This year is an unusual year to sort out and plan due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It has posed quite a challenge but we shall not be deterred. We have much to contribute to our community and we have an amazing group of women who can meet any challenge. There is an old saying passed down from my grandmother that says, “proceed as the way opens.” and that is what we shall do this year. We’ll be communicating in various ways along the way. In the meantime, stay safe and well.
Each year Sandpipers nominates an Associate member in recognition of her contributions to Sandpipers above and beyond her active years of membership. Constance McBirney is the recipient for 2020-2021 of the highest honor we confer, Sandpiper of the Year.