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2014 Alumni Achievement Award:
Honors those who have achieved exceptional distinction in their professional field.

Sandy Fiechtner
Click to watch biography video
1978 B.S. home economics, NDSU
1987 M.A. human resources and industrial relations, University of Minnesota
1995 Executive Education Certification, Columbia University

Founder, Sandy Fiechtner Human Resources Consulting and Coaching
Former human resources executive with Pfizer Inc and consultant with Hess Corporation

“Most outstanding in Sandy… was her unparalleled dedication and commitment…great operational and strategic acumen… judgment in difficult situations…compassion for colleagues and depth of international experience and cross-cultural adaptability.”
~David Simmons, former president/general manager, Pfizer Inc

Sandy grew up in Wishek, N.D., the youngest of three daughters; they were the first in her family to earn university degrees. She followed her oldest sister, Vicki, to NDSU with an aspiration to join the track team. Sandy chose a home economics major noting that “it seemed like a good bet” as there were multiple career tracks possible in the newly expanded College of Human Development and Education under the visionary leadership of Dean Katherine Burgum.

As a student, Sandy was active in Kappa Delta sorority, track, cheerleading and was a resident assistant in Burgum hall. Through these opportunities, Sandy groomed herself for the leadership roles that would follow. She describes her time at NDSU as an “ocean of opportunity” with the priceless bonus of making lifelong friends.

A myriad of part time jobs were held to finance Sandy's College and by far the most valuable was a summer internship with the ND Wheat Commission where nutritionist Judi Adams became a long-term mentor.

Sandy’s first decade out of NDSU was spent in ND in a variety of roles including teaching home economics; promoting nutrition and dairy products for the ND Dairy Council; and selling media time for the Meyer Broadcasting Company.

Sandy converted her career to business after earning a master’s degree in human resources at the Carlson School of Management and University of Minnesota.

That step led to Sandy’s worldwide journey through international business, private and non-governmental organizations. For 21 years, she played an important leadership role with a Fortune 50 corporation – Pfizer Inc. She joined their team in 1987 as an HR Associate and her career grew as the company tripled in size from 40,000 employees to the worlds #1 global pharmaceutical company with 120,000 employees.

In 1995, she took an assignment in Brussels, Belgium which would chart the beginning of an international career during which she held various HR leadership roles dedicated to growing Pfizer’s Europe business across 25 countries into $2.5 billion in revenue and over 4000 colleagues.

Highlights included helping establish HR organizations in Russia and the emerging Eastern European markets while focusing on attracting top talent, developing future leaders and empowering and retaining female leadership.

Sandy then turned her sights to the non-profit world and was named a Pfizer Global Health Fellow based in Ukraine and Russia for the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Fellows are charged with upholding Pfizer’s mission to improve healthcare in developing countries.

In 2008, Sandy retired from Pfizer and has since served as a consultant with such diverse organizations as Generation Schools (non profit urban education reform) and Grameen America (non profit micro-finance) in New York, NY and Hess Corporation (oil and gas) in Minot, ND.

Sandy Fiechtner’s start at NDSU in home economics provided the foundation for an enterprising career and she is “ever grateful and grounded by the solid, authentic values gained in North Dakota.”

Sandy divides her time between New York City and the great state of North Dakota.

If you’d like to send a note of congratulations to Sandy, please email it to
and we’ll include it in her guestbook.

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