Meet a Member: Sandy Michel Nance

Affiliate presidents are valued leaders in our organization. One of our outstanding affiliate presidents is Sandy Michel Nance of Colorado. She is a long-time leader in her affiliate and another outstanding NFPW member. She is a dedicated professional and a fun person to be around. Meet another unique and unbelievable NFPW member.

Name:  Sandy Michel Nance

City and State:  Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Sandy Michel Nance

Sandy Michel Nance

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Colorado Press Women, currently president. Was also president of CPW in 2004. Have also run contest and arranged programs.

Years a member of NFPW:  38 years

Tell us a little about you.

Journalism is where my heart is, but I only used my journalism degree for four wild years in Wyoming — at UPI and the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune — before going to work in the corporate public relations office of Mountain Bell. I spent 25 years with that company (aka, US West when I left), working in employee communications, media relations, community/education relations and marketing before beginning a string of assignments as PR counsel on the staff of several vice presidents and one subsidiary president. I preached ethics and earning the trust of employees and communities. I also was the first elected president of Women in Management, a feminist networking organization recognized as a MB employee resource group that rapidly spread from Colorado to form chapters in all seven states — which some thought was why I didn’t get any more promotions.

After an involuntary early retirement, I earned a master’s degree and began teaching PR classes for adult students at Regis University for 10 years and for a short time at Metro State College. (Adjunct pay sucks!) Thanks to Press Women contacts, I got a part time job at American Water Works Association that eventually became full time as a managing editor-publications to members. I loved learning about the water industry, writing features and regulatory-legislative news.  I retired from there in 2011 to have brain surgery on a small benign tumor. I am pleased to have made a terrific recovery and am delighted to active in Press Women again.

My husband John and I enjoy keeping up with the kids and grandkids and took our first trip overseas last fall.

Any career advice you would give?

Ask for what you want. And don’t jump at the first salary offered. I learned that by accident when I switched to PR from journalism. The initial salary offered was 30% higher than I had been making and I was speechless. The guy took that as hesitancy and immediately hiked the offer another 6%.

Sandy Michel Nance

Sandy Michel Nance

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to be a blues & jazz singer. I mean, I can sing but not scat and am lousy at memorizing lyrics.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’m a native of this little western suburb of Denver and am quite happy here. However, I wouldn’t mind having a second home in the mountains. Telluride is my favorite.

What book are you reading?

Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works  by Jay Newton-Small  and Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

You can also call me Commissioner because I’m on the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission (along with Gay Porter DeNileon).

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

These are my peeps — my Press Women friends are the women who are most like me, and every new person I meet at an NFPW conference turns out to be the same.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Facebook — Sandy Michel Nance. I also post occasionally on Colorado Press Women’s Facebook page.  I’m hoping to post more often on Twitter — @smnance  CPW just got a Twitter account:  @COPressWomen

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