Sandra (pronounced “Son·dra”) “Sandi” Schneller cares about serving people to ensure they have equitable opportunities and live prosperous lives. At an early age, she volunteered with a charitable organization to feed the homeless delivering home cooked fish and spaghetti meals prepared by her mother and grandmother. She also sold homemade ice cream and snow cones with proceeds going to the church to feed the hungry. Later, she volunteered at Rainbow Push’s International Trade Bureau, serving on its business committee. She worked on several political campaigns. Sandra mentored high school girls and introduced them to the world of business. She also helped a non-profit organization to raise funds to benefit women business owners in third world countries. Today, her service extends to domestic violence, community safety, animal rights, and helping elevate the lifestyle of women.
Sandra grew up on Chicago’s Near Northside and was raised by her father after the death of her mother at age 12. She had a taste for living on the Westside and Southside, but was able to quickly discern inequitable resources in the communities. As a progressive and independent thinker, she determined that her efforts would one day help to command equal access for all. As a pescatarian with a workout routine of six days a week, Sandra knows the importance of healthy food availability and the convenience of fitness amenities. She is a proponent of minimizing food deserts in underserved areas and creating an environment where everyone has access to healthier eating choices and local parks designed to include walk and bike trails/tennis courts/outdoor activities that resemble the Lincoln Park, Streeterville, and Hyde Park communities. Her mission is to increase government assistance for redevelopment without displacement of longtime homeowners. She opposes constant rising property taxes to offset misappropriation of budget funds and uprooting residents from redeveloped areas in Chicago’s 77 communities. Sandra strongly believes mainstay residents should benefit from redevelopment and have a permanent voice in the community. No one residing in our One Chicago should feel they only deserve or receive “less than” amenities and other resources based on substandard economic conditions.
Sandra’s experience tracks corporate, academia and healthcare. She has accomplished trailblazing successes. As an entrepreneur, she was the only woman business owner of executive conference room rentals and corporate training operations located in the Chicago Loop. Her business received the New Venture Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She utilized the Webinar software to engage business-to-business services on a national scale. It earned her honors as Women Business Owner of the Year (NAWBO), a Medal of Distinction from a congressional committee, and as dinner guest with a U.S. President. Sandra has taught in Chicago CICS schools and the university. She has managed multi-specialty physician groups and is currently a strategist and organizational consultant. Her primary skillset includes business development, strategic planning, change management, operations, and relationship management.
Sandra champions advancement through education. She is a graduate of Lincoln Park High School and holds a BA in Political Science, MA in American Politics and Public Affairs from Northeastern Illinois University and MS in Management and Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University. She was honorary chair for the Illinois Business Advisory, and was featured and/or acknowledged in Crain’s Chicago Business, Today’s Chicago Woman, Black Enterprise, Minority Business, Business Ledger, and NAWBO eBulletin. Sandra resides in the Near Northside community and is a proud mother of a son and a granddaughter.