Who are YLPers? Why, all of us who call Yosemite Lakes Park our home. We’re more than an HOA, we are a community of people who love where we live!
More than just a place of majestic mountain views, YLP is people — individuals of all backgrounds and interests. In this series of periodic profiles, we hope to introduce you to many of these folks — to YLOA board members, to managers, to employees, to our valued volunteers and notable neighbors who share our 21 square miles of Sierra foothills. We hope you enjoy learning about these YLPers.
Today’s profile: Sandy Eigenman, current YLOA Board of Directors president. “Hippy” grandma, quilt maker, dog trainer, volunteer, retired securities, banking and insurance compliance officer. She’s proud of the progress YLP has made in the past two years and has tough-love advice for those who want to be future YLP leaders.
Excerpts from the interview
Her background and experience
Sandy was born in Burbank, lived in Sacramento and then Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. She joined State Farm Insurance in 1976, and worked her way up to compliance, becoming a licensed securities principal.
“We traveled the state all the time visiting with agents to confirm that the agents were in compliance with laws and regulations…. It’s a very interesting business….”
Her volunteer work
Besides being elected to the YLOA board in 2019 and then chosen president a year ago, she’s also been a board member of Ladies of the Lakes. She’s also a volunteer at an assisted living facility in Fresno and volunteer puppy raiser for the organization Canine Companions for Independence, based in Santa Rosa. She’s an avid quilter with a home quilting studio.
Why did you run for the board?
“I was interested in and regularly attended board meetings. I became more interested in actually how things work. Not just you know, like what we were hearing as a member sitting in the audience of a board meeting. I was more interested in how the decisions are made.”
What’s been your most satisfying moment on the board?
“Just a sense of giving back to the community. It’s not that there is any one thing necessarily that shines above the rest, but that I feel like I’m making a difference.”
How much time do you put in as president?
“Many weeks are 30 hours, it’s a lot. It depends on how much effort you want to put into it. It’s not just board work. It’s committee work as well. And that’s what also ramps it up to many more hours a week than you would anticipate just being on the board because board members are expected to chair committees and that committee work involves quite a bit of time as well… Be prepared to work a lot of hours if you really care.”
You’ve emphasized the importance of YLOA committees. Why?
“One of my priorities is to get the committees motivated, get them working on projects and things that are a value to the association.”
“You know, board members are not experts in every single thing and by having committees and having our association members join in on those committees, that pulls in more expertise than any one board could possibly provide. That has been a big priority for me.”
You have also been quite involved with the Environmental Control committee.
“A priority for me has been… a bigger focus on educating the residents about the rules and why we have them and the importance of following them.”
Another recommendation is going to be that “we be more proactive with safety issues… you know anything that really presents a hazard or a potential issue for the association as a whole.”
She believes ECC has made progress in following up on ECC-approved homeowner projects: “We’ve got a process so after somebody’s given permission for something that the inspector goes back to confirm that it’s done the way it was approved.”
What’s been the biggest surprise since you joined the board?
“I would just say that the scope, what it takes to run this organization. Being on the board brings you to a different level of understanding of what it really takes… You’re running a little city here and the board is responsible for that.”
She also wants members to know that board service is not easy: “Our general manager isn’t just making decisions for no reason and the board is not making decisions for no reason. It takes a lot of educating yourself and research and reading and ultimately understanding before you make the decisions.”
What would you like to see happen in the months and years ahead?
“The general manager came to us highly qualified with some great ideas and plans which the board approved and we have made great strides.”
“We’re in year two of that plan. I would like to see the plan go forward and the improvements should bring, I would hope, more pride in our community… We’ve seen home values go up recently. People want to live here. They’re coming here….We are financially strong.”
What do you like most about YLP?
“YLP is very much like where I grew up in Geyserville. It’s a country atmosphere with proximity to medical care.These are the reasons we moved here. It brought us back to the landscape that we grew up. It’s pretty quiet….As we’ve always said, you know, you’re below the fog and above the smog.”
She and her husband, Bill, have been together 34 years. Bill is an active golfer at the YLP course.
And what about that “hippy grandma” stuff? She doesn’t mind talking about her “hippie” past as a California teen in the ‘60s, someone who even made her own clothes. “I wanted to go to Woodstock so bad. I mean to the point I was going to run away.”
“But yeah, my granddaughter starts conversations with, ‘Bama when you were a hippie….’ She cracks me up.”