Meet Sandy Dennis
Sandy places her love of nature as central to her being and that’s made Vancouver the perfect spot to call home. This vibrant coastal city lets her stay close to the outdoors while working as a senior consultant, in the firm’s interim management & executive search practice. As she explains it, “I may be in the city, but my North Vancouver home is as close to nature as possible.” For Sandy, being in nature means being active in it. The warmer months are for hiking, biking, and kayaking, while the snow brings cross-country and downhill skiing as well as snowshoeing on trails near the mountains—and away from the crowds. “Even my condo is on the ground floor because I get energy from having my feet on the earth and from the vegetation close by.”
When she describes her passion for exploring, it’s the real thing—think Harriet Chalmers Adams of National Geographic fame. “I’m into leading an intentional life and it’s all about exploring,” she explains. Sandy seems able to combine nature with adventure and culture. She’s taken several sabbaticals over the years, including nine months of backpacking in Africa and numerous trips to Europe, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. That still leaves many places to discover and the goal, as always, is to work physical activity into the equation. For Nepal, that will likely mean trekking; and for Croatia, sailing and cycling. She loves the wild, but also the quaint little towns. “I always look for the unique,” she confesses. Asked if there’s a fictional place she’d like to visit, it would be the lush world of Pandora in the movie Avatar, hands down. “That place looks amazing—it speaks to me because it’s magical, organic, and unspoiled.”
Living on the Edge
There’s a risk-seeking side of Sandy that emerges when she gets talking about her quest for adventure. “I’m a very passionate person and I love living on the edge. I actually do embrace a bit of danger.” Apparently, that applies to everything from high speeds (downhill skiing) to wind and waves (white water kayaking) and even her choice of travel destinations (she was once robbed at knifepoint in a not-so-nice section of Namibia).
A Life with Balance
Success for Sandy is about living a life of balance and happiness. “For me, that’s balancing the professional and the personal. I get rewards from both equally.” It’s led her to pursue so many activities that she considers herself a “Jill of all trades, but a master of none.” She cites music as an example. “I would love to be a musician. I played some guitar in my late teens and tried again recently but I just got distracted with all my other interests.”
Key to maintaining balance is the importance she attaches to relationship building. That includes staying connected with a large number of relatives and keeping close ties with many old and new friends and being involved with the Little Sisters program where she has been a mentor for 10 years. “I enjoy my depth of friendships,” she says, which she describes as “non-generational,” including kids and seniors. “My friends inspire me,” she admits.
Taking Search to the West
Sandy joined B. Riley Farber in February 2017, extending the firm’s executive search practice to the west coast. “What attracts me to B. Riley Farber is the emphasis on professionalism and ethics. We aren’t driven by the transaction, but for the betterment of the client. We look at creating long-term partnerships that are customized and flexible,” she shares. As you can see, the west coast has been an ideal landing spot for this self-professed relationship builder and adventure seeker—the perfect match.
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