Columbus Day: Sandra Tornberg named Woman of the Year

Sep 11, 2018 2616

Sandra Tornberg, the 2018 Columbus Day Woman of the Year, is a first generation Italian of Abruzzese descent.  She holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Michigan.  She is married to Donald Tornberg and they have a daughter Samantha.  Sandra retired from GM after 30 years, having held positions in various facets of Global Supply Chain, including Purchasing, Information Technology, and Logistics. 

Upon her retirement, she became more involved in the Federazione Abruzzese del Michigan by serving as a director, membership chairperson, and as education chairperson, a position she still holds.  Sandra is extremely proud to be Abruzzese, a people known for being “forte e gentile”, strong and gentle. 

She served on the Board of Directors of the Italian American Cultural Society for eight years.  She was the treasurer in 2015, and was elected the first female president in the sixty-year history of the IACS.  Sandra served as president in 2016 and 2017.  Under her leadership, the IACS saw a period of financial growth, promotion of the Italian language program, a wide variety of cultural activities, and initiatives to include the entire Italian-American community.   In 2017 she was one of the representatives of the Italian- American community to lead the protest against the elimination of the Columbus Day holiday in the city of Detroit. 

Recognizing that the current IACS location was no longer meeting the needs of the Society or banquet operations, Sandra began to express the necessity for a new building to house the classrooms, which could also serve as meeting rooms, a members’ room, and a library.  The library would house the extensive collection of books, important documents and artifacts that have been in storage since the IACS moved from Warren to its current facility. The current building would house the banquet operations, and modifications could be made to create a bride’s room and other needed enhancements to compete with the other halls.  Under her guidance a building fund was started. With the support of her Executive Committee, the first steps were taken to determine the feasibility of such a project. 

Sandra was recently voted President-elect of the American Italian Professional and Business Women’s Club (AMIT).  She is looking forward to working with current president Pamela Baker White, the Board of Directors and members to ensure the continued success of this long-standing club. 

Tornberg is extremely grateful for the honor bestowed on her by the Columbus Day Celebration Committee in recognition of her contributions to the Italian-American community.  She is looking forward to participating in all of the events.

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