Getting To Know ... Sandra Strauss

Getting To Know ... Sandra Strauss


<bt>Oakton resident Sandra Strauss is a published author and an advocate for the empowerment of teens. Strauss is this week's People Profile.

Number of years in the community. We’ve lived in Northern VA since 1979, first in Fairfax, then since 1984 in Oakton.

Family. Husband, Rick; Daughters: Stephanie Strauss, 22, who will be graduating from James Madison University in May with a double major in Media Arts & Design and Spanish; Stacy Strauss, 19, a freshman at Virginia Tech majoring in Hospitality; and my mom, Marge Conrad, who lives in Fairfax.

Education. Bachelor of arts degree in family studies and consumer sciences from San Diego State University.

Career. President of Dynamic Options Inc., specializing in working with organizations for creating positive impressions and quality connections in all vital arenas of professional and personal influence. I'm also a partner in The Guts, Grace & Gusto Group LLC, which presents programs and educational events targeted for women.


* Co-author of "Get Along with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere — 8 Keys to Creating Enduring Connections with Customers, Co-workers ... Even Kids!" My co-author, Arnold Sanow, is a Vienna resident and together we also created Charisma Cards — 50 Irresistible Ways to Energize Your Personal Magnetism.

* Founder of Success Champions, events for teaching the attitudes and actions of excellence and putting passion into personal and professional performance.

* Author of "Building a Successful Life," a success education training manual, which offers modules focused on self-esteem and the attitudes and actions of positive living.

Activities/interests/hobbies. Enjoying my “cappuccino connections,” getting together with family and friends sharing our life journeys. Writer and voracious reader on personal development topics; cooking (author of "Fancy Fruits and Extraordinary Vegetables"); entertaining; and international travel

My community concerns. It’s vital to provide more classes/workshops teaching our youth about success strategies for how to create positive and productive lives. This is fundamental to their well-being now and in their future. When people gain an awareness of their power of choice and how every action and attitude creates their experiences, it gives them a new perspective on the power of personal responsibility. The foundation for communities of excellence is built upon guiding youth to become caring and competent citizens of character through their understanding of personal excellence.

Hidden treasure in community. Terra Christa on Church Street for books, CDs, jewelry and special gifts. My Home Shop (next to Betty’s Azalea Ranch) for furniture repair. When you walk into their shop, it’s like taking a step back into doing business the old-fashioned way. It’s a joy to see them working at their craft.

Favorite restaurant or place in community. I’m a foodie so I enjoy exploring many of our local restaurants. Favorite places: our parks and trails.

Personal goals. A few of my top priorities involve putting my energy into two vital target audiences:

* Securing sponsors for our Guts, Grace & Gusto! programs for women to energize excellence at work and offer strategies to sustain them in all their multi-tasking roles. For our forthcoming book, we’re currently seeking stories about how women have revved up the winning spirit to handle life’s many challenges

* Since success skills are learned, another goal is to secure funding for more Success Champions events, offering teens a chance to explore their natural strengths and talents, develop skills for building positive relationships, gain life-long awareness of how attitudes impact their own experiences, and recognize their awesome power to direct their destinies. We’ve conducted them in our community and teens tell us they’d like to attend more of our lively and fun learning environments about success fundamentals.

Know someone who should be recognized for his or her contributions to the community? Send profile nominations to Nina M. Dry at or call 703-917-6422.