The Core team is the small team of individuals behind The Sandbox.
Many people are surprised to know that we only have just one full-time employee. The other individuals are a freelance contractor and a part-time volunteer!
With the support of two committed groups of volunteers: The Sandbox Leadership Board and The Sandbox Go-Getters, we are able to serve our families at the level we do.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
In her leadership role with The Sandbox, Mara combines more than 25 years of professional marketing experience with a passion for generating innovative ideas that alleviate degrees of suffering for families in critical situations. Before founding The Sandbox, Mara has been a sought-after marketing and management consultant, serving as a Partner for MC2 and The BarFly Group. She provided firms throughout several industries tools to increase their branding strength, develop clarity of message and increase their bottom lines. She also provided direction relating to strategic planning, leadership and product development. She’s the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including: 50 Most Influential Woman, Mecklenburg Times; Most Philanthropic Woman, Woman With Know-How; Godiva Chocolate Inspirational Woman Program, Godiva Chocolate.
Director of Operations
Wendy’s precise attention to detail and true appreciation for processes and order make her an ideal fit as the Director of Operations of The Sandbox. With her background in teaching, specifically serving students with disabilities and special needs, Wendy has helped to facilitate community-based educational programs to help her students excel throughout their educational careers. Her desire to advocate for her students seamlessly translates to her role where she works to secure and fulfill the unique needs of honorees of The Sandbox, as well as efficiently manage the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Andrea is a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development & Family Studies and a minor in Sociology. Andrea has a diverse background in corporate support roles. Her love of language and words led her to become the founder and owner of an editorial service company, A.C. Jasmin Proofreading.
In her role at The Sandbox, Andrea uses her gift as an editorial professional to support the work we do for families through written communication and as a liason. She also works with The Sandbox Ordinary Angels Award program in a variety of ways. Her ability to easily connect with people and her commitment to The Sandbox brand makes her a wonderful fit for all things editorial and interpersonal in The Sandbox.
Kathy’s compassionate heart and unwavering commitment to serve families as a volunteer in The Sandbox makes her an ideal fit as our CARRE Coordinator. Kathy graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies and a minor in psychology. She worked as a Certified Child Life Specialist at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio for 15 years, with a major focus on pediatric oncology and children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. There, she was a recipient of the hospital’s Board of Trustees Excellence in Patient Care Award. She served on the board of the founding chapter of Flashes of Hope in Cleveland.
Kathy is married and the mother of four children and has spent this season of her life committed to raising them and volunteering in various roles at their schools. Her background and passion for the mission of The Sandbox make her an invaluable member of the CARRE Team.