Location: Boca Raton, Fla.
Sheri Daye, a 34-year veteran at IBM (No. 24) who now manages a group of Big Blue engineers, has traveled all over the world as a competitive free-dive spearfisher, and she holds multiple spearfishing world records. But Daye has another love, and that’s taking care of her adult brother, who has developmental disabilities. In 2006, when Daye became the president of her brother’s educational center, the Twin Palms Center for the Disabled, she realized she could bring both of her passions together. “I looked at their financials, and at the rate they were losing money, I figured they’d be closing the doors in two years,” she says. At the time, Daye was preparing for a national spearfishing tournament. She asked a few friends to give sideline seminars on various water sports; the entry fees paid by the 70 attendees, in turn, went straight to Twin Palms. Nine years later, these sideline seminars have evolved into a major water sports expo, attracting 4,500 people from around the globe—and raising more than $60,000 for Twin Palms in the process.