Sheryl Bourgeois Will Be 5/10K Will Rogers Race Starter

Sheryl Bourgeois will be the 2024 Race Starter.

Dr. Sheryl Bourgeois is the starter for this year’s 5/10K Will Rogers Race. She is the president and CEO of Saint John’s Health Center Foundation, stepping into Palisadian Robert Klein’s shoes when he retired in May 2023.

Bourgeois said that she has never started a race and wondered about her responsibilities. Klein assured her that after recent news stories had carried gun misfiring incidents, this race would be started with a horn, promptly at 8:15 a.m.

She seemed relieved and then added she planned to walk the 5K through the Huntington Palisades after her duties were completed.

“I used to run,” she said, “but now I focus on strength training, Pilates and weights.” Part of her exercise routine includes regular cardio, such as walking, the elliptical machine or paddle boarding. “I’m very dedicated to a healthy lifestyle,” said Bourgeois, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley.

As a child she played soccer, but transitioned to dance in middle and high school, before attending college at UCLA, where she received a bachelor’s degree in English.

She continued her education at Claremont, receiving her Master of Arts in education. Her doctorate degree was also in education, with an emphasis in higher education and management. She was the recipient of the John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in 2013.

Bourgeois started at Chapman University in 1998, where she ultimately served as the executive vice president and the chief advancement officer. Her career also included positions with Southern California Muscular Dystrophy Association, City of Hope Medical Center and the University of California Irvine.

She has served as the President of the Ronald M. Simon Foundation, which focuses on scholarships for high school students that start at the end of a student’s sophomore year and continues until the completion of college. The Foundation partners with 30 high schools in Orange County, and up to 200 scholars are selected each year.

About the race, Bourgeois said, “I’m so proud that Saint John’s is sponsoring an event that reminds our community of the benefits associated with regular exercise and taking advantage of our incredible weather conditions, which make it easier to stay healthy and active.”

She is also thankful for Klein’s work at Saint John’s. “I am fortunate to follow his 33-year tenure and to benefit from the incredibly supportive community he helped to build.”

“I’m very excited to represent Saint John’s, which is dedicated to being the go-to hospital for Palisadians,” Bourgeois said.

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