Sandy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Human and Social Services from Mesa State College emphasizing in Recreation Therapy, Cultural Arts, Outdoor Leadership and Recreation Administration. He began his government and public service career in 1977.
In 1980 Sandy began his career as a Recreation Therapist at the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical center in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was instrumental in the development of the Powderhorn Adaptive ski Program in Mesa, Colorado, utilizing the concept of adaptive skiing and winter sport as a form of rehabilitation. Through his leadership and assistance, The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic was developed. The clinic continues to instill in disabled veterans that despite their ability level they can still lead a healthy and rewarding lifestyle.
A leader in the field of Recreation Therapy, Sandy has received numerous awards including: the 1988 Air Force Association’s VA employee of the year, the 1990 Colorado Lieutenant Governor’s Award, in 1991 he was inducted into the National Healthy American Fitness Leaders Association and 1994 he was awarded the Department of Veterans Affairs Olen E. Teague Award.
In 2005 Sandy was the recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service – the highest honorary awards that the Department of Defense can bestow to a private citizen.
Sandy volunteers his time training adaptive ski instructors, volunteers for Partners, Inc. and is a guest lecturer at Mesa State College where he is a distinguished alumnus.