Remembering Sandra Harbrecht Ratchford: 1950-2023

Last week, we marked the end of an era as we paused to remember our leader, mentor and friend Sandra Harbrecht Ratchford, who lost her courageous battle with cancer on June 18.

Sandy was excited to celebrate our firm’s 60th year in business as a testament to her father, who founded the firm, and the company’s long history of success. But 2023 was another anniversary as well — Sandy’s 40th at Werth.  

While Sandy always preferred to share credit with others, we will say it: Were it not for Sandy, Paul Werth Associates might have failed after Paul Werth retired, as at least one rival predicted. Werth flourished during Sandy’s many years as president and CEO because she embodied the same values she insisted on as a condition of employment and by which she lived: honesty, excellence, ethical practices and commitment to the greater good.  

Sandy liked to say that some of our firm’s most valuable work was work nobody except the client would ever see. What she meant was that helping to avoid a crisis or solve an issue behind the scenes was more important than having our work show up in the headlines. 

Because behind the scenes often meant off-the-clock counsel to those who may or may not have been clients, no one will ever know the full impact Sandy had on our community and on the individuals whose lives are better for having known her. But, as members of her team, we can vouch for the impact she had on us.

Sandy was a rare gift, and we will miss her deeply. But she left behind another gift for those of us who have committed ourselves to carrying her vision forward: a blueprint for success in business and in life. 

Thank you, Sandy.