Meet New York Chapter Co-Coordinators Cathy Shelton and Sherri Donovan

Cathy Shelton: Growing up, I attended the annual “Foreign Fair” in Chicago featuring country booths. I was hooked!

High school choir tours netted me first Canada, followed by seven countries in Europe.College brought internships to Finland (and travel to Scandinavia) and Malaysia roaming the hippie backpack trail from Bali to Kathmandu guided by Tony Wheeler’s first edition of Southeast Asia on a Shoestring.

In the 1980’s, I worked together with current club member David Brezic at the Economist Intelligence Unit. David taught me important aspects of business travel, such as “they’re offering triple miles, let’s go to Brazil,” where we were first mugged and then witnessed an assassination attempt on the president. I’m thrilled to have just achieved membership with Fujairah #100!

I very sincerely thank Lynn Simmons for all the time she spent with me, over lunches at her home with salads from her garden, generously passing along her deep institutional knowledge of the club.

Sherrie Donovan: Solo travel started early for me: survival in the Adirondack Mountains at age 13, Egypt at age 15 and then Turkey at age 16 (which led me behind the Iron Curtain in Bulgaria). I’ve had the desire to immerse myself in diverse cultures.

Born a New Yorker, I’ve been fortunate to grow up with multicultural friends allowing me the opportunity to engage in family stays throughout Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Japan, Morocco, and the Czech Republic. On top of this, my time as a student at London School of Economics in the 1980’s allowed me to hitchhike through most of Europe.

My second home for the past 12 years is a fishing village in Senegal where I learned Wolof and built a community centre. I created my charitable organization, Art Helping Life, to assist children globally.

I’m half fish! On a recent visit to an unchartered village in West Papua, I had to step into thigh-high deep mud in the Yap River. Also, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and swimming have carried me to all seven continents.