Sherry Bea Smith was born into the family of a Lead miner, raised to understand the importance of hard work and education. And pursue those she did, working while pursuing a Diploma in Nursing, a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
As a Registered Nurse she learned to advocate for those needing care, and as the CEO of a rural hospital, she advocated for excellent care and a safe and supportive work environment. She also learned that there were many in the community that had to choose between buying prescription medication and paying the gas bill or buying groceries, as well as recognizing that a healthy population is a productive population, with good health allowing children to study and adults to work. Professional interactions with local law enforcement often brought to light the impact the lack of mental health services had in contributing to the incarceration of individuals whether they be suffering from psychosis or addiction.
Smith’s role on a variety of boards for non-profit organizations gave her opportunities to learn the significance of education on economic development, be it early childhood education or access to quality post-secondary education. She was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Northern Hills Alliance for Children, and active in the establishment of the First Step Pre-school and Child Care facility in Deadwood.
Her stewardship of the Black Hills encompasses both the promotion of the Hills for recreation and protecting this unique and beautiful area for generations to come. As a founding board member and current president of the Eagle Cliff Ski association, she works with the US Forest Service, Game Fish and Parks, and other entities within the community to promote the use and development of the Eagle Cliff Trails.
Sherry Bea is committed to the Historic Homestake Opera House (HHOH), and as Board President, has worked with the board and staff to develop a strategic road map to both move the Opera House into theater renovation and ensure the vibrancy of the facility through performances and events throughout the calendar year. The HHOH has enjoyed the ability to grow the staff there, providing employment opportunities to citizens of Lead.
She has also served as a member of the steering committee for the South Dakota Tobacco Free Kids, and several terms on the Board of Directors for the South Dakota Association of Health Care Organizations as well as the South Dakota Nurses Association.
Sherry Bea is married, the mother of a daughter and a son, and the proud grandmother of two granddaughters.