Sarah Lieb may not be a self-described super-woman, but the scientist turned events and marketing professional is not only an agent of change in her own community, she’s doing so as a very active mother of two spirited sons.
And it has nothing to do with sharing the same fourth-grade class and a few playdates with the woman who today is actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie.
As special events manager at The Wakeman Agency, Sarah helps clients conceptualize and execute events that drive revenue for social causes. Though her days are dynamic and unscripted – meeting the various needs of major organizational players in the nonprofit sphere – Sarah has embraced a routine that equips her for a day in the life of a job that is anything but ordinary.
“I’m a creature of habit. Every day, I walk in and go to the café in the lobby of our building, and buy a large coffee and a banana,” she says. “It may sound simple and uneventful, but that practice kickstarts my day and fuels the passion I have for my work. I feel truly inspired and grateful to be working on and supporting meaningful projects that reinforce such worthy causes and events that make a difference in our society.”
Sarah’s dedication to community involvement permeates her personal life, too. Serving as Board vice president of her children’s elementary school PTA, she focuses her energies on the nutrition and physical activity committee. Also leading communications outreach for the association, Sarah lends a deep-rooted sense of agency to her own individual brand of activism.
“I believe that education is one of the most important factors in determining a person’s success in society, and all we can do to promote this to children across all socio-economic levels is critical,” she explains.
Before joining The Wakeman Agency, Sarah – armed with a master’s degree in biology from New York University – worked at Weill Cornell Medical Center and later joined pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Berlex as account director, overseeing medical education initiatives and events. Her unlikely career transition was driven by an inward call to “make more of a difference in the world.”
“I accepted a position at the headquarters of the National Kidney Foundation in New York City as the special projects director, running large-scale events. After that, I worked at Planned Parenthood of Hudson Peconic in the development department, managing major fundraising events.”
With her boys – ages 6 and 9 – in tow, Sarah and her husband spend much of their off-the-clock time keeping them engaged and active, attending winter season wrestling tournaments and basketball games in the evenings. After “everyone is fed and clean and in bed” each night, Sarah’s sanctuary is found in books. These days, she’s reading Invisible Thread.
Her days may be busy, but it’s a small price to pay for the returns Sarah believes will be made on her investment.
“If we as individuals don’t work in this world to make it a better place, who else will? The social-change programs and events that we run make people aware of their place and responsibility in the world.”