Life in Small Town Paradise

By Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen  ::  Photography by Jason Risner

James and Connie Sherwood just hosted their annual end-of-school party for 70 students FROM BOTH BOERNE AND CHAMPION HIGH SCHOOLS — friends and classmates of their children, Samantha and Robert — at their Cordillera Ranch home. The occasion was also a celebration of Robert’s birthday. It’s just the sort of thing James and Connie imagined for their family.

“Both James and I grew up in small towns so we knew the benefit of raising kids in a small town,” says Connie. She and her husband were both born in Corpus Christi with her youth spent in Beeville and him growing up in Goliad. In addition to the small town feel, they had other criteria in their decision to relocate from Houston. “Our kids were born in Houston, and started elementary school there. From the time they were born, we both said that it would be our goal to one day move to a small town with good schools to raise our kids. When Samantha was about 10, I started doing a little research. The town had to be in within 90 miles of Austin, because James’ biggest client is located there. I found Boerne. It had everything we were looking for, and best of all, a beautiful neighborhood in the Hill Country — Cordillera Ranch! We were sold!”

Citing Cordillera Ranch’s golf course, tennis and other Club amenities, an idyllic Hill Country setting, exemplary area schools and quaint, small-town living with the big city in their backyard, the Sherwood’s moved six years ago. “It’s the people and the feeling of living in paradise,” says Connie about what makes the community ideal. Adds James, “I start every day standing on my back porch with a cup of coffee looking at the view. It’s been six years and I have yet to get tired of that view.”

At the time they relocated, James, a Texas A&M grad with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, was working for Houston-based Smith & Associates before he began working at a satellite office in Boerne. The company is the largest independent distributor of electronic components offering sourcing and supply chain solutions to customers worldwide, with James managing some of their largest accounts over his 23-year career. “The electronic component market often finds itself in short supply of commodities such as Processors, Memory, Storage Devices (HDD and SSD), etc. We have the ability to supply our customers with these components to keep their manufacturing lines running. We also offer Customizable Supply Chain Solutions and Inventory Management. Over the years we have evolved into a Total Solutions Supply Chain Company for most of our largest clients. If you use a smart phone, computer, the internet or most other electronic devices, the chances are we sold one or more of the components it took to build it,” says James who was recently recognized as the #1 trader at Smith & Associates for the 4th year in a row and for the 12th time total. He has achieved Platinum Club Status every year since its inception, joining 12 other traders from five offices in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

James also remains interested in horse racing — he worked with his father training thoroughbreds as he put himself through college, and continues to follow the sport, regularly attending races with a longtime friend and trainer. Crediting his earlier experiences as a foundation for his later successes, “You can’t imagine how hard of a job training horses is. It’s an 18-hour-a-day job, 365 days a year. The work ethic I learned in the horse business definitely paved the way to my success in the electronics industry. I know the world has evolved with all of the technology that is now available at our finger tips, but there is still no substitute for hard work.”

Connie, a Texas A&M grad with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, worked for Ashland Chemical, Allied Signal and Amoco/British Petroleum in the high performance plastics industry in both sales and market management for 13 years before leaving her career to be home with her children. “I was blessed to be fortunate enough to quit my job to stay at home and raise my kids. I pledged to volunteer in the community as much as I could to give back. We also believe in trying to be involved in what our kids are participating in.”

Connie is a tremendous supporter of school activities including: Boerne Education Foundation Vice President and co-chair for their Rock On and Purse Mania fundraising committees, room mom and PTO President, Champion High School Cheer Booster President and both the Long Range Planning Committee and the Political Action Committee for the Boerne Independent School District bonds.

James, too, has lent his time and expertise through coaching many of Robert’s football, baseball and basketball teams over the years. That love of sports has led the family to enjoy the tradition of attending Friday Night Lights for both Boerne ISD high school home football games, as Samantha chose to attend Champion High School while Robert attends Boerne High School. With their kids at each of the two local high schools, the Sherwoods consider themselves a “House United!”

The teens are active in athletics with Samantha on the school cheerleading squad and varsity track team as well as a UCA All American Cheerleader and 2013 National Acrobatic Gymnastics Team Member. The Xbox-loving Robert is a wide receiver and cornerback on the football team and a centerfield and pitcher on both his school and Select Baseball teams.

Both James and Connie are Aggies who count many Boerne Aggies as friends. James, a self-proclaimed diehard fan, participates annually in the Boerne Aggie Golf Scholarship fundraiser. It’s quite possible College Station will welcome more Sherwoods to the fold in the future — Samantha is considering Texas A&M or Notre Dame when she graduates. Robert only has eyes for A&M.

Their parent’s example of servitude has influenced the siblings. Both are active at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church where Samantha, a rising senior, serves on the Teen Leadership Team and Robert, who will be a sophomore in the fall, is a Lifeteen. Connie explains the importance of a Christ-centered life, “Faith has been the thing we stress as most important in our home. As the kids were growing up, we read the Bible to them every night and talked to them at length about Christ and the different stories in the Bible. We have always stressed how important it is to help those in need and to give back to society.”

Family time does not always revolve around school activities — the Sherwoods make time to break away for weekend trips and family vacations. “During the summer, we spend a lot of time at our house on Lake LBJ. The kids love to bring their friends along to jet ski, tube and wake board,” says Connie. There’s also their annual summer vacation, selecting destinations that are not only scenic, but include activities that everyone will enjoy. Recapping the past couple of years, “We go on a family vacation every summer. This summer we are going to the Bahamas. Last summer we went on a cruise to Alaska and the year prior to that we went to Hawaii. In Alaska, we went fly fishing, whale watching where we got to see killer whales, and took a helicopter ride where we landed on a glacier and then had a sled ride pulled by dogs that run in the Iditarod. In Hawaii, we went scuba diving, zip lining, another helicopter tour and biked down Haleakala. Lots of family fun!” As for Max the dog, he simply prefers the family pool.

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