Dean Mitzi Montoya, right, lauds Shari Sands at the finance and accounting manager's retirement party.
Dean Mitzi Montoya, right, lauds Shari Sands at the finance and accounting manager’s retirement party.

Shari Sands, finance and accounting manager with the Business and Engineering Business Center, is officially retiring Nov. 30. We say “officially” because she’ll continue on a post-retirement, part-time basis through 2016.

Sands, a former Army personnel specialist who grew up in Klamath Falls, started at the College of Business in August 2001 as the director of budgets and faculty services and became finance and accounting manager eight years later. She calls the COB “definitely the best place I’ve ever worked.”

In retirement Sands plans to get even more involved in genealogy – she’s traced her roots to the one person known to have been both at Jamestown and on the Mayflower – as well as become a Master Gardener and spend time with her 23-year-old son, Tyler. But we still have some time to reap the benefits of Sands’ considerable expertise and enjoy her personality before she leaves Austin Hall for good, so allow us to introduce her to you via our latest installment of the REAL People of the College of Business.

In her words:

“Before I came here I’d been working for Motorola, and I took a year off to regroup. I’d been working in Scottsdale (Ariz.) for six years, and I’d just had enough, so I sold my house, moved back to Klamath Falls, rented a house out on Lakeshore Drive and spent a year doing yoga and feeding the birds and the deer.

“After I’d gotten out of the Army, I’d gone to OIT (Oregon Institute of Technology) for a few years, studying accounting, and then I moved to Los Angeles and went to UCLA. I’d always wanted to live in Los Angeles, because of the Beach Boys. I loved the Beach Boys, so I went to the beach. I worked for the VA, put myself through school and got a degree in sociology. I wanted to get my master’s in social welfare, but I couldn’t afford that much more school, and a nurse I worked with had a husband who worked with a defense contractor, Northrop, that had an opening for an auditor. I only needed one class to have a degree in accounting, so I took that job and audited at Northrop for five years.

“Eventually my boss left and went to KPMG, and I followed him there. Then I went to work for TRW, and then Motorola. I loved LA, but I had to get out of LA – my son was born in 1992, and after the (Rodney King) riots and the (Northridge) earthquake, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I loved LA, but I don’t anymore. Now I love Corvallis.

“I feel like I’ve led a blessed life. Everything I wanted to do, I did it, and it worked out. And I’m so lucky I ended up here.”

Sands shares a laugh with instructor Chuck Toombs.
Sands shares a laugh with instructor Chuck Toombs.

 

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