President and CEO
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maryland
For the past five years, Sandy Pagnotti has been busy on two fronts as president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maryland. She was immersed in the day-to-day details of operating a small nonprofit group and overseeing the construction of the new Ronald McDonald House for the State of Maryland in the Jonestown neighborhood of Baltimore.
On May 14, the $34 million, 60,000-square-foot facility held its grand opening. It almost doubled the organization’s capacity for families, with Pagnotti expecting it to serve 2,400 families this year. The Ronald McDonald House has served more than 40,000 families since it opened in 1982, but it also had a waiting list every night of as many as 35 families.
The new facility can host up to 54 families a night, up from 34 in 2018. There are 10,000 volunteers that provide meals, transportation and fellowship.
“The reality was that the need for our house far exceeded what we were able to deliver,” she said. “Seeing the new Ronald McDonald House to completion ensures that Baltimore pediatric medical facilities continue to offer not only the best pediatric care, but the most available, effective and compassionate family-centered care in the world.”
The day after the new house opened, Pagnotti began looking ahead. “It’s my responsibility to get out there and keep looking, keep learning, keep growing so that as we grow as an organization. We are not in a vacuum and we are not just solving our own challenges, but are a vibrant and vital contributor in addressing the needs of our community.”