Name: Cherise Walker
Leadership Charlotte (LC) Class: 37 BCE (Best Class Ever)
Title/Company: Vice President, Talent Development & Regional Partnerships/Economic Growth, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Education: Bryant & Stratton Business College, Buffalo, New York ; Canisius College, Buffalo, New York, Certified Paralegal; Enrolled: DeVry University, Charlotte, North Carolina; Technical Management with a Concentration in Human Resources
Current personal or leadership goals: Leadership wise, I would like to get more involved with women-led organizations, events and initiatives. Personal goals include renewed focus on overall health, wellness and overall vitality. And more travel!
What advice that you would you give to current Leadership Charlotte participants?
Don’t be afraid to be quiet. Don’t be afraid to be reflective. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Be authentic.
What do you remember most vividly from your Leadership Charlotte experience and why?
Closing weekend. It was the most open I had been as I tend to be more reflective. I felt a responsibility to share experiences because of how deeply personal domestic violence is to me. I had a friend that was killed as a result and my mother was one of the lucky individuals that was able to get out. Personal stories matter. I was afforded an opportunity through the Leadership Charlotte platform to help create awareness. Domestic violence happens more often than you think.
Favorite nonprofit or community organization in Charlotte and why:
The YMCA of Greater Charlotte does such incredible work for so many people in our community. From the great fitness classes and facilities in the region to helping kids enhance their reading skills and swim prevention in our neighborhoods, this is one of the most inclusive organizations in our community.
Greatest personal accomplishment and why:
One of my greatest accomplishments was purchasing my first home. Growing up with my brother and single mom, I pretty much grew up in projects and apartment communities, using my grandparents’ home as a “home base” for everything. When I was able to purchase a home entirely on my own, it changed my level of responsibility and thinking. There is a certain pride you feel as a homeowner. You can accomplish those things you wish for when you focus, stop making excuses and just do the work.
Favorite way to spend a weekend in Charlotte:
Exploring different neighborhoods and parks. And shopping, of course.