Sande Sez- Dear Women, International Women’s Day

Dear Women, 

To all of the women that have been by my side as I travel this journey, thank you. To the women who have supported me publicly or privately, thank you. This is for you. 

To Brooke, 

You have been my rock since I stepped foot into a TV compound my first event working remote for MLB Network. I can only imagine your thoughts when you saw this platinum blonde; wide-eyed girl step into your trailer at the 2012 World Series. I knew I wanted to prove to you that I belong. You never made me feel like I didn’t, you kept the show together, and I was always in awe. I kept my distance during that first event working for you. I wanted to show you I could do this, and my way of thanking you for allowing me to be part of your crew as a runner was by doing the best job I could do.

I remember I was just released for lunch and had just gotten to Subway and finally sat down to eat, and my phone rang. A producer needed help, and I was the runner that had been with him all day. Well, in the garbage, my sandwich went, and I ran back to the trailer as fast I could to help out. That was the beginning. I knew I was in love with this job and the Network. This was my first World Series with you all, so for this one, I was staying in some very sketchy motel far from AT&T stadium. You let me bombard you with emails asking you to work more and more events with you. I was like a gnat, but you always made me feel loved. You groomed me into the worker and woman that I am today.

You are surrounded by men 99% of the time, and you handle it with class, grace, and strength. I have learned so much from you. You are the reason I am so strong and confident now in what I do. Staying in that sketchy hotel that year was one of the last events I had to stay alone because you selflessly opened up your hotel rooms to me the next years on year’s worth of events. You sacrificed having alone downtime after long, long days to help me and be there for me. You are the sister I never had. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for allowing me into your circle without any judgment. Even when I cry in your hotel room about the cows that are being murdered every day for food, you just let me cry and didn’t judge.. although I am sure inside you were like, “what is going on?!”..  But that is why I love you. You let me be me. Thank you. 

To Lacey, 

The smiling, always-happy helper! I have loved watching you grow into your own at the Network. You and Brooke have taught me so much about this industry but also myself. You have shown me what it’s like to be happy and to always see the good in every situation and person, even in myself. You are so patient and want to help everyone, so when I sometimes get upset or impatient, I think of you and how loving you are to people in their moments of panic. You always stay cool, calm, and collected.

There were times I would think, “ how the heck is she handling this?!” but you always did. After a few days of 16+ hours of work, sometimes the exhaustion would get the best of me and make me emotional, and when you would find me crying for no real reason in front of the trailer, you would calm me down, speak truths back into me and get me back into a place where I needed to be. I could not have gotten through so many events without you.

I’ll never forget when we had gotten back into our hotel, and we were in the elevator, and it stopped on your floor, you got out, you turned back, and you said, “Sande, you have to do what is best for you.”… There weren’t a lot of moments where you would say things like that because you always stayed neutral and just loving, so I knew at that moment it was a big deal; you saw what was going on, and I needed to stick up for myself. I thank you for that moment. For being the voice, I needed in that. Thank you for allowing me to bombard you with emails when I first started as a PA begging to work events like the All-Star Game and World Series. For trusting me and letting me be me. 

To Susan, 

You are the rock that holds it all together. Thank you for taking a chance on me. I will never forget when all the ladies pulled me into the trailer office to talk to me and tell me that you all were going to help me. I was too scared to ask for help with work, and you all took it upon yourselves and offered to help. I cried… I was so overwhelmed with all of the love. 

 All of the women came together with love to support another woman. That has been the only thing I have known at MLBN, support. I have looked up to you, respected you, and been in awe since day one of you being my boss. You have always treated me as an equal and never once treated me differently with any of the roles I have taken on with MLBN. You went to bat for me sending my resume around, and you continue to encourage me. I will never forget your pep talk at the All-Star Game a few years ago. You have always believed in me, and I can’t thank you enough.

To Heidi, 

You continue to be a solid female in my life, and I am so grateful. When I was going through so much. I was at my lowest and you stopped everything and met me for coffee for hours so I could talk about it. You supported me and loved me in that time and listened and offered help. You understand what I went through, and you didn’t judge. Even at the All-Star Game a few years ago, you let me be upset and show my true self and didn’t judge. You listened and offered advice, and to this day, I still hear your voice in my head helping me along the way. I am so thankful for you. 

To Alanna, 

I would not be here without your love and guidance. When I called, you panicked and crying; you told me to come over. I loved our dinner together, getting to vent and chat. You have always helped and supported me years ago when I was crazy and was in a pageant! You exude professionalism and have always loved me regardless. You have taken me under your wing and guided me. You stop to talk about me and my life, and you really care… it’s not just the surface “how are you”- stuff…You have paved a path for women, and you continue to do so. I am so thankful to have your guidance.

To Lauren, 

Your random “I am proud of you texts” mean the world to me. You continually support and love from afar, but I know at any moment if I need, that I can pick up the phone, and you would be there in a heartbeat. 

To Erin and Sarah, 

Girls! Where do I even start? Thank you for loving me and letting me be me. This past year has done a number on my mental health, and you guys have held me together. You have supported and loved me even if you don’t agree with everything I think or do. You encourage me and each other, and that is what this is all about. Erin, thank you for opening your home so we can have ladies ‘ nights all together.. where we can laugh and be ourselves.  I am so glad that sports brought us all together. 

To Mary, 

Thank you for always having my back, for believing in me, for pushing me, and for trusting me.  The lunches and dinners we have shared have meant the world to me. Thank you for inviting me and always thinking of me when there is a woman in baseball lunch or get-together. Come February and March; those were always my favorite days and things I looked forward to most. Thank you for showing me how to be confident and own who I am through watching you during the Promo shoots. I’ll never forget working at the Rockies for 30/30, and as I walked through the PR’s offices, I saw a handwritten note to the staff, and it was from you. It always stuck with you. You always go the extra mile to make sure everyone feels appreciated. Hosting for MLB and YouTube was a dream come true. I can’t thank you enough for that opportunity, and again it’s because you believe in me. Thank you. 

To Katie, 

You took me under your wing at Fox Sports and made me feel like part of the family. You always saw the best in those you were working with, which always made me feel more confident and inspired me always to do my best.  Thank you for taking me under your wing and making me feel like an actual part of your family when I had nobody out in LA with me. To be able to spend time with you and your family meant the world to me. I could not have gotten through my last year in LA without you all. 

To Kaci, 

I don’t even know where to start because you are the ultimate hype woman. I am SO glad Prep Spotlight brought you into my life.. the moment I met you, we were doomed.. in the best way.  You are the hardest working, most talented person I have met in this industry to date. You inspire me and push me to be better. You are constantly challenging yourself and those around you to be better, and I love you for it… I love our coffee dates, brunch dates, and photoshoots. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and allowing me to be me with no judgments. You are a young rising star, and I can not wait to see where you go!!

To Abbey,

I could not have gotten through some tough moments in LA without you. You are so passionate about your job and those that you love. I am so fortunate to know you and be able to call you a friend. I will never forget our girl’s night out… You are the best wing woman!

Lastly, 

To the woman who has held it all together for me. Who has been my rock, my inspiration, my number one cheerleader, my mom. She has been through hell and back and never let it waiver her faith or positive attitude. She is the one person in my life who continues to support and believe in me no matter how bad or scary things get in this industry. She answers my 1000 calls, she lets me cry, she lets me laugh, and at times, she lets me get angry. She listens and then, in a motherly way, guides and offers what only a godly mother can, love, support, and faith-based advice. She leads a godly life and has set the bar pretty dang high…

I do not know how I got so lucky to have such amazing women in my life, helping me, pushing me, and supporting me, but I am forever grateful. I love you all. Cheers to you all, and see you all at the top! 

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!