When Nextel merged with Sprint, Cheryl Wright became a Kansas City transplant and continued her flourishing career in human resources. Years later, when faced with a professional crossroads, Cheryl decided to take the leap and launch her own human resources consulting business. Today, Cheryl leads Darda Human Resources Advisors to provide strategic human resource and human capital support to small and mid-size companies. Central Exchange was a place where she found encouragement and support through it all. Meet Cheryl.
Her path to CX: Cheryl was connected to Central Exchange through her former employer when she attended the Leadership Lyceum day-long personal and professional development seminar. “I went to a session and was extremely impressed,” Cheryl remembers. “I met some wonderful women and decided this was an organization to be a part of.” Years later, when Cheryl left corporate America and started her own business, Central Exchange was there for her in a whole new way. As an entrepreneur, Cheryl was determined to get engaged and make the most of her membership.
Central Exchange’s impact on her career: The support of her fellow Central Exchange members continuously reminded Cheryl that she wasn’t alone. “There are women who are persevering and succeeding,” Cheryl says, “It can be helpful to look outside of your own four walls and see that there are others who have similar struggles and are successful. I’ve found women who are open,” Cheryl notes, “who will share and provide great counsel.”
Central Exchange’s impact on her personal life: Through CX, Cheryl has met well-rounded women. “They are giving and leading in their families, communities, and companies,” Cheryl explains. “These women are role models for life.” Whenever Cheryl encounters obstacles, she knows there are women she can talk to who’ve been through similar challenges and are willing to share their story.
Leadership skills she learned at Central Exchange: “Diversity is not only your background, it’s also people’s experiences,” Cheryl says. “Central Exchange has shaped my perspective on the diversity of thought.” As a part of CX, Cheryl has learned from women with broad backgrounds who share their stories. This experience taught Cheryl that great learning comes from asking questions, being open to the differences in people and gaining a greater understanding of who they are.
Connections across generations: Cheryl finds value in connecting with women in both younger and older generations. “A woman who is earlier in her career — her energy, her zeal, her ability to look at life as a continuous opportunity — is motivating to me,” Cheryl notes. Career veterans also inspire Cheryl. “One Central Exchange member in a more senior position has been a role model of perseverance for me both personally and professionally. As I’ve gotten to know more about her story, her perseverance is an inspiration.”
Final word: If Cheryl had to describe Central Exchange in one world, she would describe it as enlightening. “This is an opportunity to come together with women who are highly intelligent, highly successful in life, but who have also experienced struggles,” Cheryl says. “Collectively, we are moving forward to a new level. If being around women who are supportive, making a difference in their lives and communities is something you’re interested in, you should check out Central Exchange!”
Thanks to Cheryl for being a valued member of Central Exchange and sharing her encouragement and advice with us. Find support from women like Cheryl at Central Exchange. You’re welcome here! Register for one of our many upcoming programs.