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Board Member Spotlight Sarah Buchanan

Board Spotlight: Sarah Buchanan


San Diego Housing Federation

Job Title

Executive Vice President

Years of Board Service


Tell us a bit about yourself

Sarah Buchanan has over 15 years of experience navigating deadlines, orchestrating complex event schedules, and developing strong and lasting relationships with colleagues, donors, and elected officials. In her work as Director of Philanthropy and Marketing for MFRG-ICON Construction, she is able to showcase her knowledge of service, fund management, and social impact.

An adept problem solver, Sarah possesses the ability to quickly change course and acclimate seamlessly to new environments and responsibilities. She is able to see the big picture without losing sight of the details and excels at translating our members’ creative needs into action. Working with the CEOs, Presidents, and Vice Presidents of organizations such as the San Diego Housing Federation, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), and Creative Group, Inc. her role played a large part in keeping the companies on track during hectic times.

Awarded San Diego Metro’s Woman of Influence and 40 Under 40 in 2020, and a finalist for San Diego Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2022, she exemplifies what it means to go above and beyond in her work and life. Known for her dedication and how hard she works to achieve goals, Sarah tackles challenges with positive energy and solutions. She is an active member of the event industry and believes in giving back to the community and industry through volunteering, sponsorship and creating standards of excellence, and raising the bar of professionalism.

Giving back is a priority for Sarah. She enjoys taking time to serve the community through volunteerism, curating fundraising events for nonprofit organizations, and music instruction for youth in the foster care system. Sarah has cultivated relationships with nonprofit organizations across the country and curated more than 200 opportunities for the MFRG-ICON team to give back through donations, volunteerism, and grant-making.

Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Native American Studies from the University of Oklahoma. She is passionate about all things creative and loves supporting others in their creative endeavors.

Awards and recognition
  • San Diego Business Journal’s – 40 Under 40 Finalist in 2022
  • San Diego Housing Federation's Ruby Awards – Hearth Stone Award Finalist 2022
  • Bring the Music Initiative’s – Mentor of the year 2021
  • San Diego Metro’s – 40 Under 40 Award for 2020
  • San Diego Metro’s – Woman of Influence for 2020
  • Women of Influence – Woman to Watch Finalist 2020
Why did you decide to join the Circulate San Diego board of directors?

I am invested in creating a community that is safe and gives access to all of those who live and work in the area. I believe that ease of mobility, affordable housing, access to opportunity, and safety are vital to the community and we can work together to help the region thrive.

What’s your ideal day off in San Diego look like?

An ideal day would start with taking my dog, Lola, for a walk-through Presidio Park, then meeting my best friend for a neighborhood stroll, perfect for window shopping and lunch, followed by drinks and dinner overlooking the ocean while the sun sets.

Learn more about Circulate San Diego's Board of Directors, on our Board Page.