A native of Waterloo, Iowa, and a 1986 graduate of East High School, Sharina enlisted in the United States Navy, serving 6 years and earning an honorable discharge in 1992. During her Navy enlistment while stationed in Japan, Philippines and Guam, Sharina experienced the beauty of diverse cultural/indigenous traditions in these areas.
Upon her discharge from the military, Sharina embarked upon a career opportunity with State Farm Insurance Company in San Francisco, California as a lobby receptionist. She quickly assumed increasing leadership opportunities with the company. In 2002, she relocated to her hometown Cedar Valley Area and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Upper Iowa University. Always adept at juggling many responsibilities simultaneously, the single mother of a special-needs child continued to work full-time as representative of State Farm and as advocate for underserved populations in her hometown of Waterloo.
With over 12 years of claims experience, she joined CUNA Mutual Insurance Group in 2005. Promoted to the position of Claims Investigator for their Special Investigative Unit (SIU), Sharina plays a key role in supporting the claims department vision: “paying valid claims, no more and no less.” Because of her leadership and overall commitment to diversity and diversity inclusion, Sharina now serves as Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Waverly site, a committee whose origin can be traced to Sharina’s advocacy and passion.
In her current role of Community Relations Specialist, Sharina is responsible to be the liaison between the community and the company. She is often referred to as the “local face” of the company and provides insight to CUNA Mutual Group’s corporate giving practices. CUNA Mutual Group provides grants and sponsorships to the communities in which they are nestled. Every year CUNA Mutual Group and its employees donate over 2 million dollars to various organizations and non-profits.
In addition to her full-time career, Sharina continues her work as community activist and human rights worker. Her passion for diversity, inclusion and equity issues has earned her commission appointments with Waterloo Commission on Human Rights, Veterans Affairs Administration, and the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber Diversity Committee. Sharina is also a subscribing life time member of the Black Hawk County Branch of the NAACP.
Sharina currently resides in Waterloo with her son Bryson, 15.