September 2, 2013

2013 40 Under Forty: Kate Sharry

Sharry

TITLE: Vice President of Group Benefits Strategies; Co-Owner and President of Enrollment Audit Solutions

COMPANY LOCATION: Group Benefits Strategies, Auburn; Enrollment Audit Solutions, Barre

RESIDENCE: Paxton

FAVORITE MOVIE: "Jaws"

FAVORITE BOOK: "The Glass Castle"

Career highlights: Starting a new business while already managing another took a leap of faith that has turned out to be profitable as well as rewarding.

Community involvement: As a member of the board of directors for Planting the Seed, I am involved in the planning and development of each fundraiser for the organization. Proceeds from our events go to assisting low-income and homeless families in and around Worcester. I have been an active member in fundraising for local schools and recreation boards. My fundraising efforts also include support of local and state campaign committees.

Biggest success: Starting in the family business as a teenager, I have "grown up" in the industry and have been able to transition from my role as an employee to owner and manager of the company. This has not only been an internal change, but one that involves each of our long-term clients as well. I view this as an amazing opportunity that gives me a unique perspective as a business professional.

Biggest challenge: The balancing act between work and family changes act day. Asking for support from my family and delegating responsibilities to employees have allowed me to have time for both. There are days where a project goes unfinished at the office and days when no one has matching socks to wear at home, so letting go of the "little things" is always something for me to work on.

Mentors: My father, Jack Sharry, has taught me to never doubt a decision, yet if it turns out to be the wrong one, learn from it and move on. Carol Cormier, a long-time colleague, has shown me that women can be a powerful and equal force in the professional world. Debbie Lefebvre, my professional coach, has taught me to use every resource available to incorporate into my business life and personal life.

Hidden talents: My friends and family say that I'm good at making them laugh, and that I make great mashed potatoes!

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