Three Questions With an Alum: Sarah Okin ’99, Entrepreneur
What kind of impact has Greenhills had on your academic and professional life?
I remember my new friends in college being fairly shocked by the level of academic rigor and autonomy I had experienced since 6th grade. Greenhills was an excellent foundation for my undergraduate studies and MBA. I’m committed to investing in small businesses because I genuinely believe it makes a meaningful difference and want our local community to be awesome.
When did you first become interested in business and entrepreneurship?
I created my first business at Emerson School in the fifth grade. I would fund my older sister, Rebecca Coudron ’98, who was already at Greenhills, to purchase candy from the Gryphon den and I would turn around and sell it to my friends at Emerson. I see opportunities and just do, and working for myself has always made sense. Creative entrepreneurship is exactly what I want to be doing: helping businesses grow and scale through exceptional people practices.
What does a typical weekend look like for you?
Relaxed but busy. It generally revolves around family, close friends, and good food and drink. We typically visit the Ann Arbor Farmers Market and treat our kids to donuts or cinnamon rolls, and we always have kid-related activities to attend. We always stop at YORK to help, or just check on the status of things. It’s amazing to see it when it’s busy – we’ve worked so hard to create a special space for the community and we love seeing people enjoy it. Evenings are spent cooking and hosting friends, playing games, and drinking something delicious together.
Sarah Okin is a partner at YORK, a lively gathering place devoted to artisanal food and wine, as well as a business consultant, coach, and community leader. She and her husband, Elan Ruggill, also a YORK partner, live with their three young children in Ann Arbor.