Meet Sarah SiegelMeet Sarah Siegel
A lawyer, by trade, Sarah has had the opportunity to explore different aspects of law—from working at a law firm, to being in government, to serving as in-house general counsel. Sarah isn’t interested in retiring (“too much gas in the tank!”), but she wanted to do something that would stretch her in new ways and allow her to nurture a different skill set. She’s guided by the Winston Churchill adage, “Play for more than you can afford to lose, only then will you learn the rules of the game.”
Her new career is in local government. Sarah now serves as External Affairs Manager at the Office of County Assessor. The county assessor office values all personal property and real estate. Sarah’s job is public outreach – she manages the media, county departments, customer service (really, anything that involves the public). She educates others on the analysis used to value property and helps property-owners understand what they can do if they disagree with a valuation. (In 2019 about 6% of all valuations were challenged.)
You might be surprised to learn that our property taxes primarily go to school and fire protection districts. The County only keeps about 6% of these taxes, the rest goes to everything from the zoo to our libraries and other tax districts.
Sarah finds that good leaders are authentic, excellent listeners, inquisitive, and respectful of their peers. Good leaders problem-solve---they figure out how to motivate people and how to help them do their best.
Being a leader can present its challenges, which is why Forum is such a great organization. Sarah has been a member since 2014 and has found Forum to be a place to get support and network. One of the greatest values for Sarah has been to meet colleagues outside her area of expertise (law) and her age group. She feels like she knows her generation but gets so much value out of meeting both younger and older women who may approach business from different perspectives.
Sarah’s married, with two, grown step-children and four grandkids. She loves to work with her hands (she’s an avid knitter) and travel (soon!).
Sarah recommends “Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson which really changed her perspective and taught her a great deal. And for a fun read: “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonassorn.