Sherry Herschend Honored by Sprinfield Business Journal - Most Influential Women

Sherry Herschend was honored by the Springfield Business Journal in a re-run of a write up  marking Herschend as one of 2009's most influential women in our region. The SBJ article written by Tresa McBee is posted below:

Faith is the guide by which Sherry Herschend leads her life.

"In both secular and spiritual leadership, I try to model servant leadership," says Herschend, the co-owner and co-founder of Herschend Family Entertainment Corp.

"I use my enthusiasm and passion for our corporate culture to influence, persuade and guide our third- and fourth-generation stockholders to practice our mission statement of creating memories worth repeating by greatly exceeding customer expectations and striving to be the employer of choice while doing all things in a manner consistent with Christian values and ethics."

In 1954, Herschend, a Branson native, married Jack Herschend, chairman and CEO emeritus of Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., formerly Silver Dollar City Inc., which was founded in the early 1960s.

HFE owns, operates or partners in 22 properties in 10 states.

"I am so proud to be a part of the early history of Branson and an influential member of a family with a common vision and purpose who has been privileged to be a part of enriching and making a difference in people's lives by developing service-oriented and ministry-oriented businesses," says the Herschend family matriarch.

"These businesses employ thousands whose paychecks energize not only southwest Missouri but also the economy surrounding our other tourist venues throughout the United States."

With her share of HFE's profits, Herschend has worked on First Century Nazareth Village in Nazareth, Israel, which is a recreation of ancient Nazareth and includes an authentic, working first-century farm.

"It has been a great joy to be able to work independently from my husband, Jack, in not only birthing my very own dream but also being a part of a truly God-sized (and) inspired project that is changing lives for eternity by showing generations to come the teachings of Jesus on the very farmland and paths where he walked," she says.

Herschend considers the support she gave her husband as HFE grew to be one of her greatest areas of influence as she encouraged him "to move from where he was to where God wanted him to be and from following his own agendas to pursuing God's purposes. Jack has honored me in print by stating that I have been his source of strength and as the unsung equal partner in every aspect of developing and growing our company."

Herschend's other interests include supporting like-minded politicians; local and international youth ministries; HFE's Share It Forward program; College of the Ozarks; and the Herschend Family Foundation.

In personal, professional and civic affairs, Herschend is guided by the Golden Rule.

"My main thrust is to work behind the scenes developing world-changers and empowering others to be successful by modeling being a good and faithful steward of all the talents and resources that God has given me," she says.