Sen. Sandra Cano
Sandra Cano was born in Medellin, Colombia, and moved to the United States with her family in 2000. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Economics at Bryant University in 2007. She completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of Rhode Island in 2012 then went to Harvard Kennedy School where she completed executive leadership programs in 2016.
Sandra is the Director of Commerce of the City of Pawtucket in the state of Rhode Island; she is the former Assistant VP Community Development at Navigant Credit Union where she was responsible for developing strategic business sector and community based partnerships and developing financial education campaigns for the emerging markets. Additionally, Sandra has developed a strong track record of volunteerism and community engagement. Sandra was awarded the “Credit Union Rising Start” recognition in 2012 by Center Point Magazine for being an outstanding employee and business leader, also for making a notable impact on her credit union and within the industry.
Sandra was elected a member of the City of Pawtucket school committee in 2012 being the top vote getter and the first Latina ever elected in the whole city; she was then elected as the first Latina Pawtucket City Councilor in November of 2014 and reelected in 2016. Sandra won a special election for Senate District 8 in April of 2017.
Sandra focused her city legislative efforts on economic development and supporting the small business community creating initiatives for economic growth such as her monthly Crash Pawtucket and Restaurant Week. Sandra is a co-founding member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and has been the co-chair of the emerging markets committee for the SBA Economic Summit the past three years. She also serves on the Broad Steet Regeneration committee and is the co-chair of the Pawtucket 2020 group.
She is the Chairwoman of the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Education and a member of the Committee on Finance.
Sandra was recognized with the mission award 2012 by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; she received the collaborator of the year award 2013 by the Central Falls Community Collaborative and has been recognized by her community involvement and positive impact for her work to improve the lives of the underserved communities in Rhode Island. Sandra was chosen as one of 14 people in Rhode Island who made a difference in 2014 by Golocal Prov. She was nominated as a CU Hero 2015 and was recognized as one of the three CU Heroes by The Credit Union National Association and the Credit Union Magazine. Sandra was awarded the 2015 Financial Services Champion Award by the US Small Business Administration, the 2015 Extraordinary Women Award by the Women Development Institute, The 2015 John Coen Award for Community Service and Social Justice from the Pawtucket and Central Falls Development Corporation and the 2015 Paul E. Moura Leadership Award by the Institute for Labor Studies and Research of Rhode Island. Sandra was nominated to be the Next Top Credit Union Executive 2017 a program for emerging credit union leaders. She was voted one of the top 15 at the national level and was recognized as 9 Influencers to watch in 2017 by 990 WBOB Radio.
Sandra Cano lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.