You've heard about Sherry Ratcliffe Taylor as a business woman, and as our time with her draws to a close, we would like to share a bit about who she is as a friend. We've asked Sherry's aunt, Kitty Ratcliffe, and former colleague, Brooke Hiller, to share some of her thoughts with us.
I met Sherry the day she was born and have loved her ever since. She had a bubbly personality as a child, but early on also demonstrated her independent spirit, characteristics which would both be clues to the adult that she would become. She didn’t always have an easy childhood or adolescence due to family dynamics beyond her control, but she rose above them, took charge of her life, and has made a wonderful life for her daughter.
If Sherry was a superhero, she would be Tiny Batgirl! She looks like the All-American "girl next door," has a great big smile on her face and a winning personality; you wouldn’t suspect the steely determination beneath that causes her to rise to any occasion and take on any difficult task in spite of overwhelming odds against her. I’d rather have one Sherry in my corner than an army of other superheroes! She could be the first female U.S. President.
Sherry is not shy about seeking out advice and counsel before dealing with difficult tasks or situations. Every six months or so, a call will come in that begins with the usual Sherry questions about how I’m doing, how her grandma is doing, how my work is going, etc. … and then she deftly pivots the conversation to address her need to discuss an issue. I look forward to all her calls, regardless of whether it’s a check-in call, or a check-in call with another motive in waiting. I usually crack a wry smile as it becomes clear that it’s the latter! What I admire about her approach is that she’s funny, she’s angry, she’s analytical, and she is determined, sometimes all in the space of a 30-minute conversation. But she’s never indecisive or prosaic. Every time she calls, I end up with a warm feeling of admiration for her intelligence and her style.
Sherry truly cares about the people that she touches, whether they are at home or at work. She stays in close contact with grandmother and aunts, cousins and parents, friends of old and new, colleagues in previous places… she simply is amazing at checking in, making sure everyone is doing well, and that they know that she’s thinking about them. She has the gift of human connection and is fiercely loyal to those connections. I’m proud of the woman that she has become.
--- Kitty Ratcliffe, Aunt
I first met Sherry when she was being awarded the Community Champion Award at a banquet that I was working as a banquet server. I was 19 years old, and had just declared my major as Hospitality and Tourism Administration with a specialization in Event Planning & Management. Sherry, who was the Executive Director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce at the time, happened to be seeking an event coordinator intern for the upcoming semester. Little did I know, this moment changed my life forever!
Sherry is humble, passionate, selfless, brilliant, collaborative, and most importantly, my idol. when people ask me who my favorite superhero is, I always say “Sherry Ratcliffe Taylor!” True story! Sherry IS a superhero. She always handles all situations calm, collected, and with poise. In fact, she is the one who taught me about the flight attendant face. Even when everything around you is complete chaos, you must put on your flight attendant face and not show that you are panicking on the inside. This is still a tactic that I use often! I heard a quote recently that said, “ Sometimes the greatest thing a leader can do is see something in you that you can’t see yourself,” and that is exactly what Sherry did for me!
She is definitely known for her passion, persistence and drive. When she puts her mind to something, she does anything and everything to make sure that she is giving it her all. She is a true visionary and can look ahead at the bigger picture. She has a way of putting others before herself because she truly wants the best for everyone around her. I am a firm believer that hospitality is the foundation of all things, and I so admire the way that Sherry has woven that into everything that she does.
Sherry, I truly cannot thank you enough for being the guiding light in my quest to find out exactly who I want to be and what my passions in life are. You have taught me to be myself, unapologetically, always stand up for what I believe in, and to not be afraid to take chances and risks. You are such an incredible mentor and I truly hope that we will get to work together again in this lifetime.
--- Brooke Hiller, Former Colleague
We have so enjoyed featuring Sherry Ratcliffe Taylor this month! Thank you for tuning in to hear the fun stories and wisdom she has to share. If you haven't already, go to your favorite podcast app, search fadedRED, and listen! Don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you!
In May, we'll be featuring the successful and highly intelligent Dr. Bobbie Sparks! Don't miss her upcoming features:
Meet Dr. Bobbie Sparks – May 1
A Letter to Her Younger Self: May 8
Interview on the fadedRED Podcast: May 15
Thoughts from a Friend: May 22