Sandy Pagnotti Mayhew
President and CEO
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maryland
After 25 years in events management, Sandy Pagnotti Mayhew decided to change her career path to join the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maryland. The move was scary, Pagnotti admits, but in the years since, she’s helped build a new RMHC house and double the foundation’s ability to serve families in crisis.
“It was intimidating and humbling, but this new opportunity as the leader of a statewide nonprofit gave me a platform to affect real change in a tangible way for thousands of children and families now and long after I am gone,” says Mayhew, who has served as president and CEO of the organization since 2013.
When it comes to leadership, Mayhew credits her experience working in Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer’s office. The mayor’s creative approach to problem-solving, his “do it now” philosophy, his passion, and his love for the people of Baltimore have shaped her career into a flexible, adaptable, and compassionate manager, she says.
“Looking back, I especially appreciate that early in my professional life, I was able to be mentored by all the smart, strong, get-it-done women that he surrounded himself with,” she says.
Mayhew says she is often influenced by her daughters and hopes to be a good role model for them while also making her parents proud. She also credits those she supervises –– including the children.
“… I am influenced every day by the smallest and most vulnerable among us,” she says. “The little ones are who influence me to do and be the best I can for them.”