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The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Sher-ing Wisdom: Ross Roeder Institute’s Live Podcast with Career Connect Club

Junior and founder of Career Connect Club Noah Jaffee, Craig Sher, donor for the Ross Roeder Institute, and Director of Ross Roeder Institute Earl Walton pose together. Sher shared with the CCC to inspire interest in the Ross Roeder Institute for Financial Literacy, Economics, and Entrepreneurship.

     Recording live from Charger Commons! The first ever Career Connect Club (CCC) podcast for the Ross Roeder Institute for Financial Literacy, Economics, and Entrepreneurship (RRI) was hosted by junior and club founder Noah Jaffee on November 3, 2023 in front of a live audience. Upper School students, as well as members of the faculty and administration, attended the podcast.

     The purpose of the CCC is to bring prominent leaders from the Shorecrest Community onto campus to share their experiences and knowledge in hopes of inspiring high school students to explore academic interests and potential career paths. 

     A prominent community leader, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Shorecrest parent Craig Sher, enabled Shorecrest to establish the Ross Roeder Institute (RRI) program with a generous donation.  He and Mary Anne Reilly set up the $1 million endowment that will fund the Institute. Sher also received the role of the Career Connect Club’s first guest speaker.

    Born and raised in Minnesota, Sher attended Northwestern University. His first job out of college was with Arthur Anderson accounting firm. After their first child, the Sher family moved to the St. Pete area where Mr. Sher found his passion working in the Commercial Real Estate Development business. He quickly climbed the ladder at the Sembler Company, growing the business from 15 employees to 160 in just four years. 

     Many life lessons were shared during the podcast. Sher advised Shorecrest students to find something that they really want to do.  “Why live your life waiting for 5 o’clock to come and go home and be miserable? Now is the time to explore what you want to do, and there can be lots of false starts—I had plenty.” Failure is something he  could be proud of: “It just didn’t work out, but I gave it my best.”

     Sher attributed the biggest factors of his success to his loving parents, who gave him an excellent education, and to the nightly dinner table debates with his brothers over the evening newspaper headlines. Through these debates, Sher quickly learned the value of persuasion, reaching across the aisle, and believing that a win-win is the best approach to any deal. 

     He ended his interview by calling life “one big game of pick me,” explaining that you’re “putting yourself in the best position to be picked by your playmates to play along, picked by your peers to be the captain of the football team [or] homecoming queen, to be picked by the college of your choice, or by your future spouse and your future employer…and that requires effective oral and written communication skills.” 

      Junior Ziad Hemadah, who attended the podcast, said, “Sher was an interesting guy. He had a great mindset and tons of insight to share. I learned a lot from him, with the background he had and his life experiences.” 

     The appreciation Hemadeh has for the club and live episode was reflected by other students as well.

       When asked if he would be interested in attending future podcasts, junior Carter Ford said, “Yeah. Absolutely. It was cool to know someone who was an integral part of building up St. Pete. The perspective I gained from the podcast was great. I like that the club gives us an opportunity to learn about important businesses and leaders in our area, especially those connected to Shorecrest.” 

     “A lot of what we want to do with the RRI goes hand-in-hand with the CCC’s mission, which is to expose students to careers and give them a taste of the real world. It’s an opportunity to leave a legacy at Shorecrest and to build something that students in the years to come will be able to reference, use, and learn from,” said Director of Ross Roeder Institute Earl Walton. 

     “Craig is fantastic and generous with his time,” Walton said. “He’s kind of a historical figure in St. Pete for all the work he’s done and his involvement with the community. The interview questions did a great job of connecting him with the students.”

The Sher podcast is available for all to listen at

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