Wednesday, December 16, 2020

My Red Cross Story: Sherry Hwang

Written by: Stephanie Babyak, Communications Volunteer

Sherry Hwang lives by an old Chinese proverb that goes, “When you are successful, also extend your hand to raise up another with you.” 

Sherry Hawng, President and Co-Founder,
 Pyramid Systems, Inc.
 (photo courtesy of Pyamrid Systems)
As she likes to say, “Why not do it if you are able?”  

As President and co-founder of technology leader Pyramid Systems, Inc., Sherry has achieved industry recognition and numerous awards for excellence. Most recently, The Washington Post selected Pyramid as a Top 2020 Workplace. Sherry herself is a winner of the 2020 Small Business and Entrepreneur Leadership Award. And the list goes on.

Yet, Sherry attributes her success in large part to a commitment to giving back to the community and helping others.  

“People are the most important part of my company’s success,” she insists. “By helping our communities, we show we care about each other. Understanding different viewpoints and cultural collaboration makes us more successful.” 

In 1995, Sherry and her husband Jeff, CEO, founded Pyramid Systems Inc., located in Fairfax, Virginia, near the National Capital Area & Greater Chesapeake Region (NC&GCR) headquarters.
Giving back is a key aspect of Pyramid’s mission, and that’s where the relationship with the American Red Cross starts.   


“When you are successful, also extend your hand to raise up another with you. Why not do it if you are able?”

Sherry’s example of service to others is demonstrated in her many years as a Board Member, Tiffany Circle member, and long-time supporter of the Red Cross mission. Sherry first became involved with the former National Capital Region in 2010 as a Board Member. At a Red Cross Disaster Summit not long ago, Linda Mathes, former CEO of the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region (now the NC&GCR), took Sherry on a tour of an on-site Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV). The existing ERV fleet, she was told, was over 20 years old. Many of those vehicles were routinely experiencing mechanical issues due to their age. 

Sherry with her husband Jeff, the day the new ERV arrived, ready for service!

After hearing this, Sherry decided that the donation of an ERV would be something Pyramid employees could be proud of.


“We donated the ERV to help those people struck by disaster in our local community. We want to provide immediate comfort and safety to those whose worlds have fallen apart.” 

“When someone is undergoing a serious and traumatic life event – whether it’s a fire, flood, or something else  they need assistance fast, and this ERV can help," said Sherry.

Sherry and Jeff cutting the ribbon at a small ERV dedication 
ceremony this Fall, with former CEO Linda Mathes.

Pyramid is also a supporting partner of the Red Cross National Preparedness Program, “Ready When the Time Comes.” Under the program, the Red Cross trains employees of local businesses who can be mobilized as community-based volunteers when disasters strike. Pyramid employees were trained to operate shelters in a disaster situation and help families when they need it most. 

The Tiffany Circle is one more way Sherry supports the Red Cross local community disaster relief and blood donation efforts. The Tiffany Circle is a community of women leaders who advance the American Red Cross mission through a focused investment of time, talent, and treasure by engaging women locally, nationally, and internationally. 


“Extraordinary women with great heart, who want to help and give communities their support. I’m honored to be part of the Tiffany Circle.” 

Sherry pictured here (front center) with some of her fellow Tiffany
Circle members at the National Capital Region 2017 Annual Meeting.
Her work to encourage women in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics) is another of Sherry’s passions. On November 2, Women in Technology (WIT) named Sherry a 2020 Leadership Awards Small Business/Entrepreneur winner. Annually, the WIT Leadership Awards recognize and honor female leaders whose achievements, mentorship, and contributions to the community align with the WIT mission of advancing women in technology, from the classroom to the boardroom, in the DC Metro Area.   

“Sharing my experience and mentorship to encourage women in this field, to be confident, have a can-do attitude, and helping each other will increase participation,” Sherry said in explaining why this is so important. 

Sherry understands that “Sometimes, you don’t even know when it will be your turn to receive the help. Hopefully, the good karma will spread, and everybody will be peaceful and safe.”  

Sherry is pictured here at one of our Red Cross smoke alarm install events,
along with fellow installers and Red Cross Regional Philanthropy Officer, Art Shaw (far left).

We appreciate Sherry and all the Red Cross volunteers who support the Red Cross mission to help provide lifesaving blood and respond to home fires, wildfires, hurricanes, and other disasters and help families in need. Thank you, Sherry!

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