Two years ago, Sheryl Nelson and her law partner began applying their legal background to serve small and medium-sized businesses with non-legal business administration services through On Point Business Administration. While spending decades working with companies of all sizes as a business lawyer, Sheryl was reminded frequently that the responsibilities involved with running a business were sometimes getting in the way of her clients actually doing business, and that business owners need expert help with the non-legal aspects of taking care of their businesses, too. “I get businesses in order by taking care of their non-legal, business administration details – the work that goes on behind the scenes,” Sheryl explains. “I joined Central Exchange to connect with other women business owners and women in the business community as a whole, and I’ve never second-guessed that decision.” Meet Sheryl.
Her path to CX:
Soon after Sheryl began practicing law, she became a member of Central Exchange. “There weren’t a lot of female lawyers at my firm at that time,” Sheryl remembers. “The only female partner in the firm suggested I join Central Exchange to meet other businesswomen and get involved in the community.” As Sheryl’s work changed and family grew, her needs changed and Central Exchange was always there to offer a supportive community.
Connecting with the business community:
Sheryl recognizes Central Exchange’s value beyond meeting other businesswomen. “The men who are members of Central Exchange are clearly champions for women in business and have a lot to offer,” Sheryl explains. “It’s awesome to see an entire community lifting up women in business. We can all learn from each other regardless of differences in gender or career paths, and probably even because of them. That’s just one of the reasons I value the opportunity Central Exchange provides to meet others in the Kansas City business community.”
Central Exchange’s personal impact:
“Whether as a leader for my company or for my kids who are adults now, I attribute some of the ‘new me’ – who’s still a work in progress – to Central Exchange,” Sheryl affirms. “The women I have met through Central Exchange have had a positive impact on my life. They are great role models for me, which I hadn’t anticipated or sought out.” Through Central Exchange, Sheryl has seen women lead, be vulnerable, and be strong in difficult situations, while maintaining integrity and compassion.
Central Exchange has provided perspective-altering programming and genuine relationships that have contributed to Sheryl’s professional and personal growth. “I think I’ve become a better person and a better leader,” Sheryl says. “One thing I’ve learned along the way is that it’s okay for me to be a strong, confident woman, in both business and life generally, but it’s just as important to be compassionate and kind.” Sometimes women wrestle with the balance between grit and grace. “It’s just like work-life balance,” Sheryl notes. “You may never find the perfect balance. You just have to do the best you can and be comfortable where you end up.”
Favorite Central Exchange events:
It’s hard for Sheryl to pinpoint her favorite Central Exchange event of all time — because no matter what event or program she has participated in, she has gained something valuable. “I typically go to the programs thinking, ‘Oh, I know a little bit about that.’ But it’s really fantastic what I walk away with,” Sheryl says. “Whether it’s learning how to grow On Point’s business, improve my leadership skills, or enhance my network, I always walk away with an important and relevant idea, lesson or connection.”
Connections across generations:
“Learning from both younger and older women at Central Exchange has been very impactful,” Sheryl says. “I have learned something meaningful from women of all ages with diverse experiences, who have offered their widely unique perspectives and helped me think outside the box. I love that. You never know who you’re going to meet and what ideas they’ll have to share.”
In one word, Sheryl describes Central Exchange as life-changing. “It never really occurred to me when I first joined that I’d go to the same programs every month, so I’d run into the same ladies every month and before I knew it, we’d become friends. Central Exchange has been life-changing because I’ve made lifelong friends with ladies I might not have met otherwise.”
Thanks to Sheryl for being a shining example of what it is to be a supportive friend and a member of the Kansas City business community. Join Sheryl and connect with the businesswomen of our metro area. You are welcome here! Be our guest at one of our many upcoming programs.