Master of Accountancy from University of South Carolina (Graduate Student of the Year) – 1991
Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University (minor in Behavior Sciences) – 1984
Previous Licenses and memberships held include:
CPA License – State of South Carolina
Series 7 and Series 63 Licenses
Member – AICPA
Sandy began her accounting career working for Price Waterhouse. Upon leaving public accounting 3 years later with her CPA license, Sandy worked in the mortgage banking industry for over 14 years, progressing from Accounting Manager to Chief Financial Officer within 10 years. Within this industry, Sandy has worked for large publicly held companies such as Resource Bancshares Mortgage Group, Inc. (“RBMG”, which later became NetBank), Aurora Loan Services, Inc. (a deconsolidated subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, Inc.) and HomeAmerican Mortgage (mortgage branch of Richmond American Homes, Inc.) as well as small privately held, entrepreneurial firms (WJ Bradley Merchant Partners, LLC). Sandy’s primary responsibilities centered on the compliant operations of Finance and Accounting, delivering accurate and timely financial statements and reports to executive and Board audiences as well as hiring, training and mentoring team of up to 25 staff members and supporting up to 5 branch locations across the country. Sandy also provided oversight to other operational areas including Human Resources, Treasury, Warehouse Lending and Facilities. During her years in this field, Sandy held positions outside of finance for short periods of time at the request of executive management. These positions included Vice President of Business Analysis (RBMG), Compliance Officer (HomeAmerican Mortgage) and Vice President of Finance (Builder division of Richmond America Homes).
In 2007, Sandy shifted her career to the Proprietary Higher Education arena and joined Alta Colleges, Inc. as the Divisional CFO for the Westwood College brand of ground campuses (17 schools in 6 states). Although Sandy directly reported to the System CFO, her principle supervisor was the President of Westwood Colleges (ground division). In this role, Sandy oversaw the annual budgeting process for all 17 campuses with over $250M in revenue, created and oversaw the monthly forecasting and reported operational key metrics and financial results to executive and Board audiences.
Sandy’s role expanded to Senior Vice President – Operational Finance when 3 divisions were merged together and now included financial oversight of Westwood College Online, Redstone College (cumulative revenue of over $400M) and over 20 Central Administration overhead departments, partnering primarily with the COO. Throughout her tenure, Sandy was an active member or team lead of several internal operational projects such a process improvement vetting team, centralizing student financial aid operations, and the enhancing and improvement of controls for census date cut-off and proper billing of students. She also was responsible for the vendor selection process and implementation of a system-wide Virtual Bookstore solution. Sandy worked closely with the System CFO to provide 5 Year Planning models, budgets and financial statement reports to outside partners such as investors, banks, Board of Directors and was a regular attendee of executive meetings and strategic planning sessions.
In 2012, Sandy made the personal and professional decision to leave Alta Colleges to open a consulting firm, SA®GE Advisors, LLC, with the goal of helping higher educational institutions through operational, financial or compliance projects to better their opportunities for success. Some key consulting projects included working directly with the Department of Education and outside compliance auditors in large Program Reviews, perfecting and monitoring the Heightened Cash Monitoring II process for timely and compliant cash funding, and overseeing audits in both Finance and Financial Aid. Most recently, Sandy was hired to assist in a complete system rebuild of Student Accounts Receivable database and to manage a 100% file review of financial aid recipients over two award years in order to identify, correct and report any noncompliance of funding eligibility caused by the system failure.