Sherry Nooravi knows that great leadership requires foresight, service

Sherry Nooravi, Psy.D., is an organization development practitioner and principal of Strategy Meets Performance, a leadership consulting firm partnering with business leaders to create productive, engaged and high-energy organizations. Her services include coaching, training, team building and creating accountability systems. She is an adjunct faculty member at Pepperdine University, UCSD and the Center for Creative Leadership.

When she is not working with CEOs to help leaders improve their company cultures, she is serving her local and global community. Her local work includes promoting pedestrian and bicyclist safety in La Jolla starting with the Torrey Pines Road (TPR) corridor (torreypinessafety.org). She is also the co-Leader of the San Diego Chapter of Room to Read, (roomtoread.org) a non-profit that builds schools and libraries in developing countries such as Nepal, Vietnam and South Africa.

What brought you to La Jolla?

I always dreamed of living near the ocean and when my husband Karrar and I moved to San Diego, we knew La Jolla was perfect for us.

What makes the town special to you?

La Jolla is an interesting paradox. On one hand, it is a top visitor destination with beautiful scenery, beaches and neighborhoods, yet it is also a beach community filled with residents who support the merchants and our town’s continual growth and improvement. The shops and restaurants in the Shores and at the Village are a big part of La Jolla’s charm.

What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

I would do two things. First, I would enhance our current local governance system with social media, technology and outreach so more people could be involved with the issues, challenges and events that affect our community. One method to increase participation in our democratic process would be to host live meetings online and allow people to comment and debate on the issues. I would also create outreach to residents by engaging a professional facilitator who would help residents express their thoughts and develop solutions as a team, resulting in a more harmonious and unified community. We have intelligent and passionate people in our town and with the proper leadership, we could be our own best resource.

Second, and this will come as no surprise to many, I would love to have walkability and bicyclist safety in La Jolla. A great start would be a safe and beautiful Torrey Pines Road that would provide residents safe access to cross TPR without having to wait between four lanes of high-speed traffic. Enabling this access would also increase foot traffic to The Shores and Village business districts. Residents for Torrey Pines Safety looks forward to seeing these changes in La Jolla’s future.

What inspires you?

People who see a need for improvement and commit to creating positive change, despite challenges and adversity. John Wood, the founder of Room to Read is a perfect example. Just over a decade ago, he left his prestigious job at Microsoft to build schools and libraries in developing countries. To date, he has helped build 1,450 schools, 12,500 libraries, and helped send 13,667 girls to school — all who would otherwise not have had the opportunity. As the Chapter Co-Leader of the San Diego Chapter, I aim to engage our business community to contribute to Room to Read. Our next event, “How Giving Back Benefits Companies,” will be held on Dec. 5 at Vintalk, 9707 Waples, Suite 201 in San Diego. More details can be found at roomtoread.org/sandiego

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