La Salle University provides a transformative and holistic education for every Explorer who steps on campus. Students from across the spectrum of locations, cultures and experiences venture to La Salle in search of development that will propel them towards a successful future. Sandra Garby, MBA ’91, is the epitome of growth through a Lasallian education. Sandra, the President and VP of Operations at Vizinex RFID, began her education at La Salle in the MBA program following a career in ceramic engineering. Unbeknownst to Sandra at the time, her Lasallian journey would establish her as a leader in her industry.
There was no doubt that Sandra Garby was meant to be an engineer. “It was just a natural fit for me,” recalls Garby. Sandra describes her way of thinking from a young age as “pure techie,” and that mindset was the bedrock of her aspirations through high school. Her love of creating, building and operating naturally led her to a life as an engineer. Sandra’s analytical and curious mind formed the basis for her upcoming career.
Sandra enrolled in Alfred University for a BS in Ceramic Engineering and received extensive engineering training. “In my program there were maybe only five non-engineering classes that we could take.” She was quickly working in her field upon graduating. Sandra took a job out of college in Conshohocken, PA, at Heraues, Inc. as an Applications Engineer. Working in new product approval with primarily microelectronic applications, Sandra found that she was meeting with customers consistently. “I really enjoyed the interactions with customers. I discovered that I wanted to do more with customers, business deals and how business decisions are made.” With new goals developing as she moved her career forward, Sandra realized that her purely technical mindset needed to be expanded. Eyeing a new career trajectory, Sandra found La Salle’s MBA program.
La Salle offered a supportive program that allowed Sandra to expand her education in business applications. Sandra’s classes at La Salle unlocked a new way of thinking for her. “It is definitely different. Working in technical services you are constantly working on specific problems…it’s a very focused problem,” states Garby. “Moving into business management, every decision has further influences that are beyond a focused problem.” La Salle exposed Garby to overall business management. La Salle turned accounting, finance and marketing into tools for Sandra to use as she began looking towards building her own business. Sandra left La Salle with her MBA and the knowledge necessary to make her mark on the engineering landscape.
Sandra graduated from La Salle and became a Business Manager of Electronic Materials at Engelhard Corporation in 1992. She used the skills that she learned in her MBA program to make calculated business decisions within the company. “I had Product Development, Sales and Research and Development under me. Every decision, all of a sudden as a manager, instead of focusing on one aspect, we had to look at what all goes into every decision. Marketing budget, costs and benefits, expected sales, ROI, etc. It’s all connected.” Sandra was able to find success by blending her “pure techie” instincts with her newfound business management techniques. The more experience she gained, the more she pushed herself. Her skills in calculating risks measured against probabilities of success culminated in the eventual co-founding of her current company Vizinex RFID.
Vizinex RFID is one of the industry leaders in RFID tracking technology. Working with clients in the medical device field, film industry, oil refineries and more, Vizinex RFID is able to track businesses’ equipment through their own patented RFID technology. Sandra now sits as co-founder and President of Vizinex RFID. Utilizing discipline, strategy and a little risk taking, Sandra has maximized her expertise and passion to create her own success. She consistently advises the next generation of female engineers on how they can find the same success. “You know what you’re doing. You’ve studied and done the work. Now all [you need to do] is make sure that other people know that you know what you’re doing. Do your job and do it well, and do not be afraid to state your opinion,” she advises. Sandra welcomes the opportunity to share her experiences with young women engineers and help them shape their own success in a field that she loves.
Sandra Garby has become a fixture of the engineering field that continues to push her company and the entire industry forward. She sites La Salle University as the place that had a direct impact on her career trajectory. “The interaction with my professors gave me the ability to explore different things. La Salle opened my eyes to the business world that I hadn’t seen before. If I hadn’t been at La Salle I would not have been as eager to jump into this.” There are still paths ahead for Sandra Garby, MBA ’92, as Vizinex RFID continues to grow. “I’m an engineer. I can do it as well as anybody next to me.” With that mindset, there are only more accomplishment ahead.
-Tom England, ’16