Pillars of our community
THERE’S no denying Karen Sherry is a bright spark.
The Sandringham woman is at the top of three electrical organisations, sits on the Auckland SPCA board and packs it all in around her day job as a lawyer.
She has been awarded a Queen Service Medal for services to the electrical industry in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Electricity lit up her mind and captured her imagination from a young age, she says.
She frequently wandered in and out of the Auckland Electric Power Board offices as a child while her mother was at work and later picked up a holiday job reading electricity meters.
‘‘Electricity, it has to be said, is an obsessive-compulsive disorder for me. There’s loads of stuff that’s happening in this area, it’s just mind-blowingly interesting.
‘‘It’s amazing to receive this – it’s a bit emotional for me, really. I’m just so grateful.’’
Sherry has been an elected trustee of the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust since 1994, helping dividends grow from $60 to $330.
Having women around the boardroom table is an important part of diversity, she says.
‘‘It’s about bringing different perspectives to the table, whether that’s males and females, cultural differences or variation in backgrounds.
‘‘You need different people with different ways of thinking turning to the problems that we face in the world. It’s not just one shade of black or white.’’
She is also a director of Vector Ltd, the chairwoman of Energy Trusts of New Zealand and a partner at Bell-Booth Sherry Barristers and Solicitors.
Her spare time is spent on the Auckland SPCA board, her ‘‘little pet’’ project, or with her dog Bridie.
It is a hectic schedule which means 70 hours of work on a light week and too many to count when she is really busy. But it is a lifestyle she will not give up. ‘‘I couldn’t do what I do without having figured out how to structure my life. There’s so many people to thank for helping me do that.’’