Sarah Brown is a member of a fourth-generation California pioneer family, but when her husband's job brought them to New Mexico in 1986, she quickly embraced the area's unique cultural heritage. She is perhaps best known locally as the founder and proprietor of the Gold Street Caffe, an award-winning hangout for downtown Albuquerque business leaders. After eleven years of 75-hour weeks, she retired to resume the community service work that enriches her life.
Her principal current community activities are membership on the Tamarind Institute Advisory Board and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation Board, continuing involvement with Amy Biehl Charter School as an emeritus trustee, and service as advisor to the National Flamenco Institute and the Working Classroom initiative.
Sarah's interest in education and the Spanish language led to her employment as a teacher in the Los Angeles School District. She taught newly-arrived Spanish-speaking children in a fully-contained class of first-, second-, and third-graders. She created Spanish-language materials for all subjects. Sarah's interest in education has continued with her ten-year service as a trustee of her alma mater, Mt. Vernon College in Washington, D.C. and her service as a trustee of the CNM Foundation Board in Albuquerque.
Sarah's other passion is social service, especially to organizations giving voice to disadvantaged children. In San Francisco, she chaired a Citizen's Oversight Committee for the implementation of innovative child welfare legislation. This initiative later went national. That role led to her being chosen for the pilot phase of service as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for children. She also chaired the Chinatown Afterschool Program and served as Chair of the Board of Children's Home Society, the nation's second-largest child welfare agency.
Sarah has a BA in history and Spanish from the University of Southern California and spent semesters studying at the Universidad de Madrid and the Universidad Nacional, D.F. in Mexico City. To maintain her fluency in Spanish, Sarah has participated in El Grupo discussions and Los Paisanos Toastmasters Club and has taken a grammar review at the Cervantes Center.
In 1996, Sarah and her husband Douglas Brown were honored as New Mexico's Philanthropists of the Year by the American Society of Fundraising Professionals, and in 1998 they were named New Mexico's Outstanding Business Couple by the Financial Executives Association. On the personal front, Sarah has been married for 42 years, has two grown sons, and the lights of her life: grandchildren Leah and Adam.