2014 Honoree

Sandra Lee

Emmy and Gracie TV Chef, author, philanthropist

“Life becomes shorter by the moment and you have to appreciate every precious second.”

Who inspires you the most?

I am inspired every single day by women who have too much to do and too little time to do it in. The pull of family life and professional life, is something that has been challenging for women always. The person I saw who managed it the best and inspired me to be better everyday is my Grandma, Lorraine. She was a perfect example of prioritizing, organizing, and getting everything completed with grace and patience.

What do you now know about yourself that you wish you knew ten/fifteen/twenty years ago?

That as fast as time went then, the days go by even faster now. Life becomes shorter by the moment and you have to appreciate and enjoy every precious second whether you are working or playing or just dreaming. Every single moment matters.

Fill in the blank: You can never have enough _______.

You will never have enough time in your life and sweet moments with the people that you love, so take every single opportunity to tell them that you love them.

What City best describes your personality?

Well, in New York State, and of course, I must keep it in New York State…I would say Lake Placid.

What gets you through even the toughest days and what are you most grateful for?

What gets me through my toughest days now is remembering that these are far better than the toughest days I have lived through and I am most grateful that my family is in wonderful health. Everybody is doing well and that God gave us all the most wonderful gift and that is each other and our lives.

What socio-political women’s issue do you care about the most? Do you feel that women are typically presented fairly in the media? Why or why not?

That is incredibly hard for me. I think equality is probably the one at the very top of my list. Regarding media, I think it depends on the outlet.

Despite separation between Church & State, religion still seems to govern decisions regarding women – abortions, birth control, etc. How do we shift power over women’s bodies to women?

The shift of power will come when it is required which demands us to all stand up together and make it so, regardless of whether it’s a glass ceiling or a woman’s right to choose. We have the power to make anything happen, we just have to work a little harder right now and demand it.

What is your best read? Favorite character you would most like to be?

My favorite read this year is Arianna Huffington’s, “THRIVE.” I purchased multiple copies for all of my friends for the holiday season and Arianna was kind enough to sign them for me.

What will it take for women to be viewed as equal to men?

Determination, persistence, unwavering focus, and a few good men.

What was your best decision to date? Worst decision?

My best decision was to stay true to who I am and where I come from, to always remember that my family and friends come first, not to take everything so seriously, and to always see the bright side. If you can’t find that…look for the funny side. My worst decisions were anything to do with self-doubt and not listening to my gut and my heart. Life is so short and there is nothing we cannot do, no matter who we are or where we came from.

Social media has exploded. How can women use it to market themselves without seeming narcissistic?

Carefully, sweetly, thoughtfully, and with a lot of interesting content that is not directly related to yourself, but helps and focuses on your fans interests.

Write a fortune you’d like for all women to receive in a fortune cookie.

Your days will be lovely and sweet, filled with luck and good fortune!

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

A combination of a shield and a healer.

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