Meet Sandra Andrade: Agent, Rotarian and ballroom dancer


Home and family: “I was born and raised in Bristol, I graduated from Bristol High School, and I married a Bristolian, Joe Andrade, in 1985. We didn’t have a particular moment that I recall meeting for the very first time – you know how it is in Bristol, we all know each other a bit through friends and family ...”

Past careers: “I attended Bryant College as well as Johnson and Wales, where I studied court reporting. After school, I took a temporary summer administrative job at Rhode Island Hospital, and ended up staying on full time, and eventually became the administrative assistant to the director of the Department of Emergency Medicine. At the same time, I also served as the secretary for the Bristol Zoning Board – I took notes with a steno machine.”

Why real estate? “My father was in the business, on several levels. He was a real estate broker, as well as an appraiser, and he also sold insurance. He worked out of our home, and when I was in high school I worked for him, typing his contracts. We used to talk about going into business together. That never happened because by the time I got into the business he had moved on to other ventures. But that’s how it started for me.

“After 13 years at Rhode Island Hospital, they were going through some big changes and I felt it was time to look into another profession. I started working for Carey, Richmond & Viking here in Bristol, and after a little more than a year we became Harper, Ramos & Sheridan. For 22 years I worked with that fantastic team. I had the very best time learning from and working for them. They taught me everything I know about this business and I can’t say enough good things about them.”

Spare time: “I love to ballroom dance, and I go nearly every weekend. The dances are held at regular spots in Cranston, North Providence, and Newport. It’s all ages, the colleges send their dance teams, and everyone dresses up. It’s fun, good exercise, and I have met lots of different people and made some great friends.

“I like to be outside, to walk and ride my bike. I live close to the bike path and routinely bike to work. I also enjoy entertaining and cooking for friends and family.”

Volunteer: “I have been very active with the Bristol Rotary for the past 10 years. I will be serving on the board for about another six months and recently co-chaired the Champagne Gala, one of our biggest events. This year, I’m working towards getting the Mt. Hope Interact group, which is an introduction to Rotary at the high school level, off the ground. Rotary is a great organization that helps people locally and globally, on issues from clean water and women’s resources to the eradication of polio in the developing world.”

Why I love my job: “I really enjoy people, and bringing buyers and sellers together.  Real estate puts you in the center of a community, which is especially gratifying when the community you are serving is your own hometown. Former clients — who are now friends — stay in touch, and call me for advice on local resources. I love hearing from them and am so grateful for their repeat business, which I often get.

“Real estate is the perfect fit for me, for the same reason stenography was wrong. I needed a profession that allowed me to talk — a lot — and interact with people. As a court stenographer, talking was absolutely forbidden. I had to sit quietly in the courtroom and listen and record every word, when all I wanted to do was jump up and yell ‘you did WHAT?!’ ”


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.