Capturing The Essence Of Los Altos

Posted on May 24, 2011 by  
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Every community has individuals who lead by example.  Los Altos is fortunate to have so many residents who contribute to the essence of what defines our community.

As I’ve highlighted before, even the mission statement of our village references that this is a great place to live and raise a family.  From time-to-time you will find a resident being highlighted in local, regional or national news.

Recently, Los Altos Patch wrote about Los Altan Sherie Sweiss Dodsworth.  She represents the essence of what Los Altos is today.  Below you will find an edited version of Rebecca Duran’s story.  Enjoy …

You just never know, Los Altan Sherie Sweiss Dodsworth said. You just never know where life takes you.

She’s gone from uncertain college freshman at St. Mary’s College of California to a formidable woman with a string of successes in her life: chairwoman of the Board of Borel Bank and Trust, head of the St. Mary’s Alumni Association, entrepreneur.

On Saturday she added another one—commencement speaker at her alma mater, where she addressed approximately 450 students of the Class of 2011.

“I broke through glass ceilings, like being the first female president of the alumni association of a college that had been all male up until 1970,” she said. “St. Mary’s taught me to believe in myself”

Dodsworth shared those St. Mary’s experiences and success in business at the college’s 148th commencement ceremony. After the ceremony, she said it never would have crossed her mind that she’d be a speaker at her alma mater. One can never truly predict one’s success.

From her graduation to today, one thing has lead to another.

Dodsworth received the San Francisco Most Influential Women in Business Award in 2010 and was honored by St. Mary’s as one of its 40 most influential alumnae. She has served as a trustee of St. Mary’s and was the first alumna to serve as president of the College’s Board of Regents. She was also the first woman to be elected Alumna of the Year in 1999.

She became the first female president of the Alumni Association, president of the college’s Board of Regents  and a trustee of the school. Her position on the Board of Regents is something she said helped her become chairwoman of the board of Borel Private Bank and Trust Company in 2004.

In Los Altos, she said, there is a sense of working together for the future.

“People try to look out for what’s best for the city, for our youth and the community for years to come.”

When she was 50, she made a goal to run a marathon, she told the graduating seniors Saturday. After crossing the finish line, she said she had her arms up in the air with a smile on her face.

She felt like she could accomplish anything, she said. She once questioned herself if she has what it takes to be successful, but her knowledge and perseverance nullifies that.

“If you sign up to do it, you’ve got to do it really well,” she said.

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