Sandy’s Bio

Sandra Gray has been a Soroptimsit since January 2004, currently sits on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of the club and is proud to call herself a DAF’er!

Sandy & husband Steve will be celebrating their 30th Anniversary in April 2009. They have 2 grown children, daughter Erin (25) who is just completing studies in interior decorating as well as planning her own wedding for next fall & son Brandon (23) who is co-owner of a busy Active Green & Ross store in Burlington.

Steve & Sandy have been co-owners of Weeks Home Hardware in Waterdown since 1987. The business itself dates back to 1823 as one of the original general mercantile stores in the area and amazingly in 185 years the business has only been in the hands of 4 different families! Having been known as ‘Weeks’ since 1925 it became part of the Home Hardware buying group in the late 1960’s. The Gray’s moved the business from its original location on Mill Street when they built the ‘new’ location in 1989 on Hamilton Street, a 25,000 sq ft store that employs over 65 people.

Sandy has sat on the Board of Directors of the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce for 5 years & was the president of that organization in 2006/07. SI DAF also happens to be an active member of the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce. She has been nominated for many awards recognizing community contributions including an Athena Award nomination & many Chamber of Commerce awards. Having won and been nominated for the FCC Community Service by an Individual Award so many times, that organization has since renamed that award in her honour.

Some of Sandy’s many past times include sharing the love motorcycles and old cars with husband Steve. They both ride their own Harley Davidson Motorcycles, she currently rides a 2008 FLHX. Sandy earned her motorcycle license way back in 1981 when seeing a women riding a motorcycle was a rare thing indeed! They also share the passion of restoring old cars having quite a collection of vehicles that they rebuilt together. Sandy is also one of the lone golfers in the SI DAF club, along with Blanca Pena. Incidentally Sandy accompanied Blanca to Cali Colombia in November of 2007 in efforts to start a Soroptimist club there!

So why did she choose Soroptimist International? Sandy is very passionate about helping others and has assisted many community organizations through her business, but she wanted to find something of her choosing that she could apply her energy to. Having always felt fortunate to never feel there were any barriers to achieving anything she wanted, she realizes that not all women have those same opportunities. To Sandy, Soroptimist International is ‘Women at their best, helping other women achieve their best’ and there is nothing better than realizing that you have truly made a positive difference in someone else’s life.

Brooke’s Bio

Brooke on her wedding day

Brooke on her wedding day

Brooke’s background is in engineering physics (BEng) and semiconductor fabrication (MASc), for which she holds a patent. Brooke chose to study engineering after her first job as a teenager assembling circuit boards by hand at her Uncle’s company. She worked there on/off for over 13 years!
The .com bubble burst just as she finished school so Brooke started a career in grant administration at McMaster University. She managed the budgets, reporting and submission of large scale grants that involved many researchers and/or other universities. After so many years of being immersed in technical details, this wasn’t just different but also a challenging learning curve in customer service – researcher’s really don’t like filling out paper work 😉

As well, Brooke holds a Master’s degree in business innovation (MEEi). Her thesis project was to develop a company in Hamilton that engaged researchers and clinicians in the field on Molecular Imaging and act as liaison with industry. The idea came to fruition thanks to the efforts of Brooke’s supervisor and a grant from the federal government for almost $15 million. Upon graduation, Brooke was co-owner of Liquidesign Inc., a web development and marketing firm in Hamilton (who generously donate hosting for this website).  She is was also a member of the Golden Horseshoe Venture Forum and Women in Nuclear, and has written for In Burlington magazine.

She currently works for the School of Graduate Studies at McMaster University as Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Administration. Prior to settling into her new career, she was on a contract with the CPDC in business development, where her role was to identify and capitalize on new markets and commercialization opportunities in the field of Molecular Imaging.
Brooke has travelled to many countries in Europe and lived in England, USA and Japan. She is married and now a resident of Waterdown.

Why Soroptimist?
Brooke attended the annual Christmas Auction in 2006 and had such a great time that when Kerry (the president that year and a good friend) asked her to join, she accepted with excited anticipation. Although Brooke truly enjoys the fun at meetings, what she loves the most is the ability to see the fruits of her labour in real, tangible ways.

Brooke has held positions on the SI-DAF Board of Directors as Secretary and President Elect. She is past Committee Chair for Public Relations and was part of the Programs of Service Committee.