By Kelli Martin, Communications Intern
Sara Anderson of Cedar Haven Real Estate was named The Open Door’s new Board President in April 2022. She is also a member of The Open Door’s Communications Committee, where she provides mentorship and guidance for the events and communications team.
Sara first heard about the organization when Executive Director Jason Viana spoke at her church, Eastern Lutheran in Eagan, about five years ago. As a former teacher, Sara had seen firsthand how many people, especially children, lack access to fresh, healthy food.
“I think people tend to look at the south metro and think it’s a fairly affluent area, but the truth is, there’s a lot of need here in Dakota County. So, finding out that The Open Door was actively trying to do something about that was really appealing to me,” Sara said.
Sara is proud of everything The Open Door accomplished during the pandemic, despite having to come up with new ways to provide the same services throughout a period of uncertainty. She is also proud of being a co-founder of the Communications Committee, which she and former board member Jen Joly started in early 2020.
“I feel like that committee has really helped guide The Open Door through the pandemic, and hopefully beyond,” Sara said. “We helped get the word out so that we could reach these larger numbers of people that were in need.”
Sara is excited to take on her new role as Board President and see how both the programming and communications efforts grow at The Open Door. With a wider audience than ever before, she is confident that the organization will have an even bigger impact on hunger relief in Dakota County. According to Sara, what really pulls at her heartstrings is the Mobile Lunchbox program and the large-scale food distributions that The Open Door is well-known for.
“That was one of the biggest things we did to get food in front of people,” Sara said, referring to the large-scale distributions. These programs are what Sara loves most about The Open Door, as well as the staff and volunteers who help make them possible – whether at the Eagan Pantry, at drive-through distributions, garden plots, or one of the 30+ mobile sites.
“We are just in the beginning,” Sara said. “I think over time, The Open Door is going to be a household name. My goal is that everyone in Dakota County knows The Open Door.”
In her free time, Sara enjoys eating sushi (despite her previous aversion to raw fish), drinking coffee, and going for walks with her dogs, her kids, and her husband. She also loves her work as a realtor with Cedar Haven Real Estate Group as a Keller Williams agent.
We are so thankful for Sara’s creativity and her passion for our mission.