Woman of Influence:
Meet Sandy Levy. Our inaugural Woman of INFLUENCE. Sandy is one of San Antonio's premiere public relations professionals, known for raising large sums of money for very worthy causes, and for successfully spinning companies out of controversial public crisis's. Also a skilled broadcast producer, INFLUENCE met with Sandy to talk about her rise to the top.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Sandy Levy, and I am a media/public relations specialist living and working in San Antonio. Although I was born in the Alamo City, from the age of four to the age of twenty, I was raised in the north and south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.
Describe what you do.
I am passionate about all things related to communications. Communications as a whole fascinates me, and I have had the pleasure of being able to work in a public relations setting that keeps me involved in radio, television, print, and digital aspects of the business.
How long have you been doing this?
For more than twenty years now, and I have loved every moment of it. Highlights include coordination of press for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. I am also a huge sports fan and have had the pleasure of interviewing the great Michael Jordan.
What made you decide on this career path?
I had no idea that I would be working in media/public relations. I started my career as a sports program segment reporter and then a talk show producer. While producing talk radio, I was constantly bombarded by public relations account executives pitching their clients. I noticed that they were always happy and that NONE of them were as stressed as I was producing morning and afternoon drive programming. However, almost every meeting with a PR person had me reciting the same words, “How is this (your client) newsworthy? Why is this important to my listener? Make it timely and newsworthy, and I will get your client on the air. Until then, I’m sorry.” What I didn’t know then was that those same words would help me garner coverage for so many clients later when I made the jump from producing to PR.
How does your work benefit San Antonio?
From the start of my career to the present, I have specialized in promoting nonprofit organizations in the San Antonio area. Promoting nonprofits, from the American Heart Association to grassroots organizations, provides me the opportunity to raise awareness of health, political, and social issues that the general public may need in their personal lives or for their families.
Who are your mentors?
I have a few, and they change constantly. I have learned a great deal about news from local professionals like Jim Forsyth at WOAI News 1200 and so many others that I worked with while at WOAI as a talk show producer. However, I have several other mentors whom I learned from through books. Both Molly Ivins and Ann Richards were tremendous mentors on how I learned to fight for my own convictions without apologies or regrets.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I run A LOT, and I ride my bike A LOT. Running and riding take up most of my free time and keep me fit. I also enjoy spending time with my niece and nephews, who keep me smiling. My life is also set to a soundtrack of eclectic music that ranges from The Roots to Rage Against the Machine to Lowrider Oldies and Bebop Jazz. So, I spend too much time attached to iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora!
What's on your nightstand—what book are you currently reading?
I am in the middle of reading Ché Guevara, A Revolutionary Life, and it’s wonderful. My youngest brother was named after Guevara, and his life has always been an interest.
What's next for you career wise?
I am always interested in learning more. In the upcoming years, I would like to go back to producing either television or radio. With the digital world becoming an enhanced reach for viewers and listeners, I feel that it is a completely different world in comparison to the years I worked within it. The world of “instant media” captivates me!
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