The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
In 1979 Mary Sharp moved to Memphis because her husband’s job brought them here. They planned to stay only a couple of years, but now, thirty-four years later, she is a confirmed Memphian. One who has long played an important and highly influential role in the local community.
Today, Sharp is Chief Operating Officer and head of Asset Services for CB Richard Ellis Memphis, LLC. In this role she manages a team of 15 commercial real estate professionals.
Sharp became involved with the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross about five years ago when she was approached to become a member of the Board. At the time “I really did not know that much about the Red Cross other than history of war-time services and major disasters. I decided to become a member of the board because I was interested in doing something new in community volunteerism and felt the mission was important,” said Sharp.
In the years since joining the Mid-South Chapter, she has been very active, serving as the Chair of the Taste of Red and more recently a member of the Red Boa Ball committees, both of which have been major fund-raising events for the chapter. Currently, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Advisory Board.
During her stent on the Board Sharp has seen the development of a greater awareness of the Red Cross by the local community. A development that has been achieved by the Red Cross staff and volunteers being active in the community every day. Sharp also points to the success of the annual Boa Ball and the growth of the depth and diversity of the Advisory Board as a major accomplishments
Some of the greatest challenges for the Mid-South Red Cross include “getting enough volunteers to sustain the mission and making the public aware of the continuous needs of the Red Cross. Should your family be the victim of a disaster, you will want to have the Red Cross ready to assist you. Volunteering helps make sure the Red Cross is ready,” said Sharp.
A stay-at-home mom for her early years in Memphis, Sharp decided she wanted new challenges and embarked upon college at the University of Memphis in the early 1990’s. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on finance and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development. She was a graduate assistant in the Fogleman College of Business and Administration at the University of Memphis and more recently an Adjunct Professor.
In addition to volunteering with the Mid-South Red Cross, Sharp has served as a Member and former Chairperson of the Building and Grounds Committee for St. Peter’s Church in Memphis, Tennessee. During the years that her two children were in school, Sharp was also an active member of their school’s Parent Teacher’s Association.
Profile Posted August 29, 2013
Photo and story credit: Robert W. Wallace/American Red Cross