MEET: Sara Gorgone Peperno, president of Greater Wilkes-Barre Association for the Blind
Sara Gorgone Peperno is the president and CEO of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Association for the Blind. Peperno, 37, is a native of Shavertown and is a graduate of Lake-Lehman High School. She is also a graduate of West Chester University, where she received a degree in literature with a minor in business and technical writing. She and her husband, Rob, have a daughter, Mia, 7. They live in Old Forge.
You worked for many years with the United Way of The Wyoming Valley. How did you get involved with the Association of The Blind? My entire career has really been focused on non-profit work. Two years ago, I just felt a calling to do more direct service, which is how I ended up with the Association for the Blind. It’s been a really wonderful experience.
What do you like about it the most? I think non-profit work, in general, is the right thing for me. Non-profit work kind of lends itself to really helping people, and you get to have that satisfaction and the knowledge that you’re doing something better for the greater good. I also like the community aspect of it and the idea that you bring the community together. I’m also kind of a natural leader and I drive people crazy with my micro-managing. But I definitely love working as a team unit and we have a great team at the Association. We have a lot of fun.
What do you do in your free time to relax? I’m a big reader. And I just started running. I did my first 5K last fall and I’m preparing to do a 5-miler.
Favorite music? Dave Matthews Band.
Favorite color? Red.
Favorite city? Denver. It’s a really cool, happening, different type of city.
Favorite vacation spot? We go to Dewey Beach, Delaware, every year. My parents get a house and my entire family, with all of my sisters and brothers and their families, come together. There’s about 16 people in the house for a week. We have a great time.
Favorite thing about NEPA? This is kind of my town. It’s where I grew up and where I’ve met some amazing people. To me, it’s home.
Favorite food? I’m a pasta lover. Anything with carbs.
All-time favorite movie? “Dirty Dancing.”
All-time favorite TV show? “Friends.”
Favorite holiday? Christmas.
Favorite book or author? Maya Angelou. She’s my all-time favorite writer and poet.
Biggest pet peeve? Negativity. Overall, I think I’m a very positive person. People that are perpetually negative are a big turnoff.
Most influential person on your life? My daughter. Originally, I would have said my parents, because they’ve just always been my champions and cheerleaders with everything I’ve ever done. But my daughter has made me look at life a lot differently than I ever knew was even possible. I just feel like a completely different person today that I was seven years ago. She’s the one that defines me the most.