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Career Coach: Life Lessons

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson pays tribute to Sande Scoredos.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson.

Last month, Sande Scoredos passed away. I had been out of touch with Sande and didn't even know she was sick.

I met Sande when I helped produce LA SIGGRAPH's Career Boot Camp in 1998. Sande was passionate about training and she donated many, many hours to organizations like SIGGRAPH and the Visual Effects Society. She was chair of the computer animation festival for the SIGGRAPH conference in 2001 and was thrilled to discover new talent.I got a chance to work with her when I joined the Education committee of the VES.

You can get a sense of her enthusiasm for her co-workers when you look at her profile on Linkedin. Under her title as director of education of Rhythm & Hues she wrote: "Awesome company of animation and visual effects -- most wonderful group of smart people." And under Wavefront Technologies where she was worldwide training manager, "Most amazing golden age of computer graphics.  Brilliant people."

Sande knew that learning never ended and dedicated her career to teaching and training others so they could do their jobs better.  As exec director of technical training and artist development at Sony Pictures Imageworks, she expanded the training of employees at Sony to include faculty from schools across the U.S. with the Imageworks Professional Academic Excellence Program (IPAX). Sande observed, "The top animation, visual effects and computer science programs are successful because they are taught by dedicated and passionate educators who attract exceptional students. These devoted teachers provide the inspiration, guidance, expertise and rigor to their committed students who in turn produce exceptional work."

Sande was an educator of educators. Napoleon Hill, in his book, Think and Grow Rich, writes that "educate" is derived from the Latin word "educo," which means to educe, to draw out, to develop from within. Sande truly knew how to draw out the best in others. Sande enriched the lives of many by nurturing their talents and drawing them out with training. She developed their skills and provided opportunities to grow. Sande was a selfless person who provided inspiration, guidance, and expertise to anyone who sought her help.

Sande helped thousands become successful. I hope we all honor her memory by continuing to learn throughout our lives.

Learn from everyone you work with. If you have a supervisor who is great, observe what he or she does to keep the team motivated. If you have a co-worker with a special gift, learn from your time together. It may be all too brief.

I learned a lot from Sande. She was a champion of developing people -- getting them to be their best. Sande was passionate about education and training. She developed not only Sony employees and employees at the other companies she worked with, but also teachers and others she came into contact with. She enabled people to grow and she cared about making everyone strive to be better than they are. Sande made an impact of the visual effects and animation community and on me. I miss her.

"You live on -- in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here...Death ends a life, not a relationship" -- Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie Pamela Kleibrink Thompson could not attend Sande Scoredos' memorial services in the Los Angeles area, but hopes that Sande's dedication will inspire others to learn every day and to pursue personal development throughout their lives. Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach, recruiter and hiring strategist. She is available for speaking engagements or personal career coaching sessions. Contact her at Her "Career Coach" column can be read at Her Linkedin profile can be found at