It’s hard to put Sarah O’Brien into a conventional box — don’t even try. (If you must try...it would be easier with a chainsaw.) Her visionary problem-solving skills, ability to connect and inspire action, and her imaginative yet simple creative strategic solutions are what make her so successful. She believes in helping communities thrive by empowering transformational change and collective impact at the organizational and personal level.
A lover of authenticity, human experiences, and placemaking, Sarah is a community catalyst and industry mentor- she knows when to retreat from battle and when to lead a revolution. She is an expert in her field who leads with creativity, courage and compassion.
"I love your passion for life and your passion for service and to see communities and others succeed. You are a force to be reckoned with.
I hope I have half of your courage and tenacity when I grow up."
-Taylor Hoffpauir, President & CEO Brady Chamber of Commerce
2021 International World Championship Brady Goat Cook Off
Sarah has seen first-hand that the biggest needs and the greatest challenges in communities and the public sector require collaboration, shared vision, communication, and collective action to move the status quo needle. Sarah "Main Street O'Brien" is uniquely positioned to inspire action, create change, and innovate processes through her passionate focus and purpose-driven commitment to neighborhoods and communities of all shapes and sizes. By highlighting and capitalizing on existing assets, identifying the elephants in the room, and re-imagining the way we've always done things, she helps communities to do more with what they already have.
Sarah is a keen reader of people, places, and the culture of organizations. She thrives in dynamic and challenging environments and can take the “dys” out of dysfunction. A pragmatist who can do imaginary back-bends between the tactical and strategic, Sarah is always ON and always ALL IN. She takes ownership, delivers results, and looks for innovative strategies that align with whatever mission she is on or goal she has set. She believes in the critical importance of empowerment and inspiration at all levels and conditions.
2020 Downtown Elgin
"Creativity, focus, drive and determination - that’s Sarah. When you work with her you get it all plus a healthy dose of realism because at the end of the day we’re all about getting things done."
-Amy Miller, City of Elgin
Director of Community Services