Having earned distinction as a program manager with IBM, Shirley B. Berardo initially launched her professional journey with the IBM Club in Manassas, Virginia, as a technical librarian and middle manager at their Technical Resources Center. While progressing through her career, Ms. Berardo found success as a senior technical education manager and senior program and process manager of software and hardware in Boca Raton, Florida, as well as overseas in Japan. After serving as an IBM fellow in Bethesda, Maryland, Ms. Berardo then contributed for the years between 1973 and 1996 as a distinguished division program manager of the company’s notable software and hardware teams in Virginia, Florida and Maryland. As a result of her numerous efforts, she was twice-named as IBM’s Manager of the Year.
Supported by a Bachelor of Library Science from Texas Western University, Ms. Berardo is also a classical art graduate of the Corcoran School of Art, fueled by a passion for the world of culture and art. Additionally, she also took IBM management courses throughout the U.S. including at Georgetown University, and attended site and division level seminars and conferences during the length of her career. Today, Ms. Berardo is certified as an instructor in program management from Princeton University and, likewise, bears certification in configuration management through George Washington University.
After departing from her renowned career in the field of programming, Ms. Berardo pivoted and chose to dedicate her time and skills to better her community. In 1998, she served as a program manager on behalf of the Livable Community Fair for King County Council and the League of Women Voters section of the Seattle Needle Property Building, where she advocated for tenants’ rights and implemented appropriate policies. She subsequently ventured into volunteering and director positions with numerous organizations, including the Open Tour Studio in Washington, the Livable Communities Fair for Pierce County and the Gig Harbor Key Peninsula Cultural Arts Commission. Ms. Berardo strongly believes that everyone should be involved in their local community, as it is a tool to build connections and friendships, and an opportunity to improve your own skills.
Ms. Berardo is the 2020 and 2022 president, vice president and secretary of the Summerville Noon Rotary Club. She previously held similar positions and membership with the Dunbar Cave, Clarksville Mount Olive Committee, Rotary Club of Clarksville, Gig Harbor Peninsula Area Chamber of Commerce and Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society. Ms. Berardo was the founder of the Gig Harbor Key Peninsula Cultural Arts Commission, Prince William County Cultural Arts Federation and Writer’s Circle, Society of Singers and the Fine Arts Club. She was also the executive director of the Clarksville Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council from 2003 until 2005.
Named as the Citizen of the Year by the Gig Harbor Rotary Club in 2002, Ms. Berardo was likewise granted the National Award for Community Excellence from the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 2000, she was met with a great deal of recognition as the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award from Joe Hoots and the Gig Harbor Peninsula Area Chamber of Commerce, the Spark Plug Award and Rookie of the Year Award from the Gig Harbor Lions Club. She was also notably featured in the Women of the Century Exhibit at the Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society. Additionally, Ms. Berardo was bestowed with the Margaret K. Williams Award from the Pierce County Arts Commission in 1999 and named as a Community Volunteer of the Year by the Gig Harbor Peninsula Area Chamber of Commerce in 1998, as well as the Woman of the Year in Prince William County, Virginia, in 1983.
Reflecting upon her illustrious career, Ms. Berardo fondly recalls working with an IBM fellow who invented touch technology for mobile software and hardware, which she successfully brought to market. She is also proud to have developed and designed a course titled “Working with People,” wherein she offers advice on how to succeed in business. Looking toward the future, Ms. Berardo aspires to be fully dedicated to the art world in a cultural arts center, and is eager for the opportunity to watch her four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren grow up.