Vice Mayor Sandra Ruiz is a leader in the City of Doral who has had an extraordinary impact on the city's economic success and forward-thinking accomplishments. She was a founding member of One Doral, a community-based organization which worked tirelessly in advancing the City of Doral's incorporation until it became a reality. Vice Mayor Ruiz was elected as a member of the inaugural City of Doral Council, and served from 2003 through 2010. She was not only the first woman to serve on the City of Doral Council, but the only woman on the Council for the first 8 years as a city.
Vice Mayor Ruiz was returned to the City of Doral Council by the citizens of Doral on November 2012.
Following her passion for public service, Vice Mayor Ruiz was first elected to public office in 2002 when she won a seat in the Miami Dade County Area 9 Community Council, and was designated Vice Chair by her fellow Council members. Since her initiation into public office, Vice Mayor Ruiz has served Doral diligently as a stalwart supporter of cultural, parks and recreation initiatives, education, community beautification, police service enhancements, infrastructure and business development, and has demonstrated a zeal for accountability in government. Vice Mayor Ruiz has been an outspoken champion for the rights and needs of her constituents and has been able to amass recognition and support from a broad coalition of stakeholders, including residents, businesses, government officials, non-profit organizations, and the faith-based community, all whom she has served with a sense of purpose and professionalism.
These are a few of her accomplishments and recognitions:
- In 2014, Vice Mayor Ruiz received an official recognition from the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) for her dedication as an advocate for active duty, reserve, retired, disabled and deceased military personnel.
- In 2014, Vice Mayor Ruiz received an official Key from the following organizations: USA Refugees & Immigrants, AMAVEX, Latino Americanos Unidos, Colombo Americanos Unidos, IVAC and Be a Hero and Save Lives.
- In 2013, Vice Mayor Ruiz received a Certificate of Recognition from the American Cancer Society Relay for Life for her commitment and dedication as Honorary Chair for the 2014 Relay for Life in Doral.
- In 2013, the US Southern Command recognized Vice Mayor Ruiz for hosting the first annual Honoring Women in the Military award ceremony and luncheon.
- In 2013, the US Southern Command presented an award to Vice Mayor Ruiz in honor of her service for Women's History Month and Women's Equality Day.
- In 2012, Vice Mayor Ruiz was appointed to the Board of Directors of HELO (Hispanic Elected Local Officials), a national constituency group of the National League of Cities.
- In 2010, Vice Mayor Ruiz was named Woman Extraordinaire by the South Florida Business Leader magazine.
- In 2010, Vice Mayor Ruiz was presented the Outstanding Latin Woman award by Mujeres Latinas for her valuable contribution to the development and improvement of the Hispanic community.
- In 2010, Vice Mayor Ruiz was recognized by the City of Doral Council for her dedication and service to our community.
- In 2008, Vice Mayor Ruiz was the recipient of the LatinBiz Women of Virtue Award.
- In 2008, Vice Mayor Ruiz was presented an award by the City of Council in recognition of her service and dedication to the City of Doral as an elected member of the City's first Council.
- In 2008, Vice Mayor Ruiz was recognized by Don Ignacio Culinary Arts School for her continuous support in promoting academic and culinary excellence and for her valuable contribution to our community.
- In 2006, the U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce recognized Vice Mayor Ruiz for her ongoing contributions to US-Mexico relations.
- In 2005 and again in 2008, Vice Mayor Ruiz was invited to Mexico City to attend a series of conferences designed to foster improved international relations, and had the opportunity to meet with then President of Mexico, Vicente Fox.
- In 2004, Vice Mayor Ruiz was recognized by Doral Middle School in grateful appreciation of her dedication and service to their students and the community.
- In 2003, Vice Mayor Ruiz was recognized by the Town of Medley for her efforts resulting in the incorporation of the City of Doral and election to Doral's First City Council.
- In 2003, Vice Mayor Ruiz was recognized by the Doral Academy Charter School for her outstanding dedication, and service.
- In 2002, Vice Mayor Ruiz was recognized by the Doral Academy Charter School for her support of their students.
- Since being elected to public office, Vice Mayor Ruiz has been an active member of NALEO (the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) and of the Florida League of Cities, and the Miami-Dade County League of Cities.
Vice Mayor Ruiz moved to Miami in 1989 with her husband Aldo, a retired Naval Officer, and their daughter Jessica. The Ruiz family settled in Doral in 1998 where their son Alex was born. As a practice administrator for a local law firm, and loan consultant for a national bank, she developed strong administrative and finance experience.
Vice Mayor Ruiz was born in Mexico, and at a young age moved to the City of Chula Vista, California. Vice Mayor Ruiz attended public schools and was an active participant in various community projects including being the first woman in the Rotary's Interact Club. Her family was deeply involved in their community and contributed time and resources to make it a great place for families - a characteristic that has followed Vice Mayor Ruiz throughout her life, and later proved instrumental in the establishment of the City of Doral.