By Symone Strong | Builder
A passion for public service has been ingrained in Sheryl Palmer’s way of life since age 16, when she worked for McDonald’s as a community relations representative. In the role, she would dress up as some of the restaurant’s iconic characters, such as the Hamburglar or Mayor McCheese, and go into hospitals to visit sick children.
“It’s going to sound really silly, but the Hamburglar was a hated character because he stole the kids’ burgers,” says Palmer. “When I went into hospitals, I got to give. The Hamburglar wasn’t allowed to talk, so it was through your actions and creating relationships with these really sick kids that just wanted to have fun.”
From there, Palmer studied special education and teaching at San Diego State University, but after graduation her career path went in another direction. One that would lead her to become the chairman and CEO of Taylor Morrison—No. 5 on the latest Builder 100 list—and a 2021 Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award recipient.