The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Sandra T. Aromando on Wednesday at its annual Salute to Working Women.
Aromando, an Ocean City resident, has been owner and president of Euro Line Designe for 24 years. The custom cabinetry and kitchen design company has a showroom on Bay Avenue in Somers Point.
In tributes to the 2015 honoree, friends and family said Aromando shares the attributes of many successful business owners: talent, perseverance, adaptation, luck and, as her husband, Tom, put it, “a lot of coffee and not much sleep.”
But perhaps like few others, Aromando says she measures her fortune in a different sort of way.
“I didn’t come to talk to you about success at work,” Aromando said.
She said her career has allowed her to take the time to make somebody smile, and she urged others to do the same.
A supporter of the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA), Aromando has sponsored a rural Kenyan woman, Joyce Wethaya Thige, for 15 years, and had the opportunity to meet her on a mission trip in 1999.
She has made four mission trips to the Dominican Republic with her son, Matthew, to build houses for the needy, and she also made a recent trip to Costa Rica to help build a sustainable farm.
Tom Aromando said his wife’s greatest triumph is “being a cheerful giver.”
Tom and Sandy both spoke at a luncheon Wednesday at the Ocean City Yacht Club attended by a couple hundred Chamber members.
The keynote speaker was Casey McDonald, an IBM Enterprise client systems manager and shore native “with sand in her shoes.”
McDonald held up a smartphone and said, “Who would think that this phone would dominate and control our lives.”
But she urged women to take advantage of the technology that allows employees to work remotely as they try to balance work and home lives.
In her own remarks, Aromando echoed the same themes, saying she designs kitchens on the beach or late at night to make sure she has some time to see her son, Matt, catch a wave or to walk the dogs on the beach.
As a recent graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in interior design, Aromando said she was fired from her first job in Marmora. Her second job, designing kitchens, ended with the owner going out of business.
But even without a paycheck, Aromando said she took it upon herself to fulfill obligations to existing customers at that job, and she ultimately took over the business.
“I was very lucky in being connected with great architects and designers,” Aromando said.
She said she worked with Robert Johnson, John Olivieri and others who began to give her referrals as she made a name for herself.
“What are the chances of a goofy 20-year-old working with them,” she said.
But three of them died in a short period of time, and Aromando said she had to adapt and find new sources of customers.
She worked out of her home for 10 years before launching her showroom in Somers Point in 2001. Euro Line is located in a century-old structure in Somers Point’s historic district.
Aromando is on the St. Peter’s United Methodist Church Council and the board of Community Art Projects in Ocean City. She is a member of the Ocean City Swim Club and the Ocean City Yacht Club. She’s a former member of the Ocean City Ecumenical Council and the Ocean City Arts Center board.
Wednesday’s “Salute” also paid tribute to Joann Cioeta, who will retire next month as Ocean City’s director of human resources.