What Makes Sherrie Beckstead Happy?
By Lani Gering
In the 30 years that I have been living in Alexandria and the almost 28 years that I have been associated with the Old Town Crier, I have met literally hundreds of people who have peaked my interest in one way or another enough to think others in my realm should know about them. Sherrie Beckstead is one of those people. Like many others we have profiled, I met her at an informal social engagement. We exchanged pleasantries as all civil people do but this polite gesture turned into a very interesting conversation that ranged from soup to nuts. We just clicked. And….we are two totally different personalities. She is very professional and reserved and me…not so much.
She is a very humble person and we didn’t really talk about what she did for a living or the social circles that she travels in. When we decided that Sherrie would make a great personality profile, we met again, and I did my due diligence and discovered the depth and scope of her work and a few of her passions. In addition to her role as a partner in one of areas premier jewelry companies, there isn’t enough room in this column to print the many philanthropic boards she now serves on and has served on in the past. And…she has been profiled in pretty much every high profile magazine in the DMV and we are very happy that she agreed to being profiled in this space.
Sherrie keeps her personal life very close to her vest but I do know that she misses her late husband, Sid Beckstead, very much and she occupies much of her time carrying on causes I believe they supported together. Her new position on the Board of Directors and work the Cloverleaf Equine Center (formerly the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program), as well as serving as a co-chair of the Ride to Thrive Polo Event that takes place in September, are key to the mission.
In our initial conversations Sherrie talked with great pride about her success with her business and how her mission in life is to help as many people as she can along the way but she never really talked about things that “she” likes to do for herself so I posed a couple of questions to her and this is what she said:
What Makes You Happy?
“One of the magical aspects of life is what makes us happy is ever changing. My consistent happiness markers are in nature, from the sunrise every morning, to a bonfire on the beach at sunset – anywhere in the world this always works for me. Engaging conversations, great wines, good friends, dogs, French Impressionists, 16th- 18th century churches, and encapsulating it all… the love of learning makes me so happy.”
What Do You Do for Fun?
“I love great music, of every genre. Concerts, theatre, the opera, and dancing…it makes me smile.
Traveling to places and spaces off of the “beaten path” that are filled with history, regional culture, and that offer the taste, the sounds and the beauty of the people that live and love in that part of the world. Sights and sounds!”
What is Your Greatest Pet Peeve?
“This is a tough question. I would say these are the things that I am intolerant of, and have been my entire life from a very young age, and much of this disdain drives my passion to action in my work. Starting with bigotry and prejudice, and the arrogance that would allow anyone to believe they are better than someone else based on race or gender and all of the nuances surrounding this extreme manifestation of ego. In addition, someone who takes credit for other’s work and accomplishments, which is oftentimes in alignment with nepotism in the workplace. My mother (a former Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corp) often said, ‘The mark of a man is how he treats those that he perceives to be less than himself.’ This Gospel to me.”
As you can see, these are very well thought out responses and give you a bit of insight to what this amazing woman is about. It is my pleasure to know her and I feel like we are becoming good friends and that makes ‘me’ happy.