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Community Manager
Community Manager

Pledge 1%'s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way. 


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Sara Stender Delaney 

Founding CEO, Sarilla

Asheville, NC USA

What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences. 


I lead our company's brand development, community partnerships and Ask for Sarilla campaign. I invest in our farmer partnerships and help to create a new paradigm of conscious commerce.


What’s the best part of your job? What do you enjoy the most?


I love team building, and sharing time with people who really get what we are doing.


We’ve all faced personal and professional challenges these past two years - what motivates you to keep going?


My purpose for being overpowers the challenges I face on a daily basis. I almost lost my life in my early twenties and it was a wake up call, so since then I have learned healthy coping tools to manage stress, social anxiety, and overwhelm. My time in Rwanda taught me that we are never alone, that someone else is going through what we are feeling too, and that it is really hard to heal in isolation. The importance of having a community support network is the topic of my last Ted Talk.


What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? 


Move a muscle, move a thought.


What does generosity mean to you? 


Being kind to ourselves and bringing warm energy to a room. Offering time to someone in need. Holding the mindset that there is plenty to go around and to be free with information and resources.


How do you feel businesses can play a larger role in solving today’s biggest challenges? Do you have any specific stories or examples from your work or colleagues you can share? 


The big issues we are tackling include mental health, gender-based violence, poverty, climate change. It can be hard to focus on one thing since there are so many needs today, but our impact is greater when we do focus on what we know and which areas we can really effect change. For me that is ending sexual violence. We are tacking this with the Ask for Sarilla campaign, becoming the go-to alcohol-free social drink, and partnering with community organizations that help prevent alcohol-induced violence and assist women who have a history of trauma. We must look at the root cause of problems, and I believe that social enterprises are the future in terms of global change.


If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why? 


Resilient. I have overcome some experiences that others might say is their worst nightmare. I took it one step at a time and had help along the way. I have learned that it is important to share my story because it may help someone else, and today it is my mission to show others that no matter what you were born into, there are no excuses for staying stuck in a life that does not inspire you.


If you could pick a song to guide you through 2022, which song would it be? 


Hall of Fame


What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?


I'm excited to travel back to Rwanda soon! I always get new inspiration and a sense of fullness when I spend time there and I miss the people. This year we are launching into a new channel and with a new brand look so I can't wait to unveil that when the time is right.


Is there anything else you’d like to share?


Sarilla is currently accepting interest from social impact investors. Please contact me if you would like to review our deck.