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Sarah Athanas (’17) is the Founder of Groundwork, the SouthCoast’s first and only coworking space for remote professionals, entrepreneurs, and non-profits. Groundwork offers its members a shared workspace, meeting room facilities, and a full calendar of programming that includes educational workshops, and social and cultural events. When you walk through the doors of Groundwork, you can immediately feel the sense of community that has been created as a result of Sarah’s vision and leadership. You can take our word for it! LSC has been a proud member of Groundwork since 2017.

How are you involved in the community?

I mentor local entrepreneurs with EforAll, a nonprofit that has been a strong partner of Groundwork in building our South Coast entrepreneurial ecosystem. I’m a volunteer surf instructor with Gnome Surf in the summer, and I also run a donation-based Zen sitting group that meets Sunday mornings at Groundwork.

What did you find most valuable about participating in LSC?

LSC gave me a deeper understanding of how the different sectors of our society are interconnected: for example, a strong education system feeds into economic development and vice versa. We can’t successfully lift up one area without attending to the others. As leaders we need to understand this in order to create sustainable change. 

How are you leading during the COVID-19 crisis? What leadership advice would you offer the LSC network?  

This crisis can feel very disorienting! I’m finding it helpful to return over and over again to my mission and values as a leader, and adjust my execution based on the current needs of my community. Our country is lacking strong leadership at the federal level, so it’s more important than ever for us to step up as local leaders with consistency and authenticity. 

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