Cheryl is founder and CEO of Blue Beyond. In addition to leading our 30-member team, Cheryl’s daily work with clients includes everything from one-to-one executive coaching to the strategic design and implementation of large-scale business transformation efforts.
After 20 years in various consulting roles and researching what makes leaders and organizations effective, Cheryl yearned to see if she could build the kind of business she was advising others to create. She founded Blue Beyond in 2006 with a firm belief that “deep trust, high expectations” cultures – where people feel safe, seen, valued, and heard – are good for business and good for people.
Cheryl has worked with companies in a wide variety of industries around the globe in both the private and non-profit sectors. Prior to Blue Beyond, she served as Senior Vice President at ROI Communication, where she led strategic leadership communications and alignment efforts for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Cheryl also spent nine years early in her career at the American Electronics Association — the leading industry association for high-tech companies at that time. Partnering with executives from tiny startups to large established companies, she came to understand how businesses really work and honed her skills in workplace culture, communication, and change management.
She takes pride in her team’s unique ability to genuinely empathize and understand each client’s situation, and bring all of their collective talent, experience, creativity, and commitment to making them be successful.
Cheryl holds a BA and Masters of Divinity from Anderson University and completed her PhD coursework in Philosophy and Religion at Claremont Graduate School. She is an active consultant and advisor to nonprofit executives and boards, including ChangeLab Solutions, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Out & Equal, and previously chaired the board of anti-slavery group Not For Sale from 2011-2015. She is a sought-after advisor and speaker on change, leadership, and culture.
I have over 25 years experience building organizations that thrive—for employees, for customers and in terms of business outcomes. I love helping other leaders do that as a consulting partner and I love the challenge and the “sacred trust” of doing that as the CEO and owner of Blue Beyond Consulting.
I love the responsibility and honor of helping people and organizations achieve their goals. I love seeing other people be successful—in big ways, but also in the small, daily ways that make up our lives. I love aspiring to be excellent in both the “what” of the work and the “how” of the work—and I love the challenge of figuring out how to do both. I love doing everything I can to make work honorable, fulfilling, and meaningful for people—we all spend so much time at work, every person deserves to feel that their work has true purpose and value.
Good consulting starts with compassion, empathy and deep listening. Good consulting doesn’t assume that “you’ve got problems, I’ve got solutions.” Good consulting happens when our clients genuinely feel we get their situation and that we are bringing all our talent, experience, creativity and commitment to help them be successful. And of course, all this depends on hiring uncommonly smart, compassionate, self-aware, motivated people to be consultants—like our team at Blue Beyond—and creating an environment where they can do their best work together on behalf of our clients.
I was very fortunate early in my career to get an opportunity to lead and build something that really mattered. It was a huge stretch assignment and I was successful. I received a lot of acclaim and was riding high. But, the needs of the business outgrew my capability as a leader. I tried to do too much myself, I didn’t resource the business effectively, I didn’t hire the right people, I didn’t learn quickly enough to truly delegate and empower others, I spent my time on the wrong things, and I burned myself out—and everything I worked so hard to build essentially went away. It was a very hard, humbling lesson—but the best thing that could have ever happened to me. That experience forged the bedrock of my values as a leader and gives me so much empathy for other leaders going through similar challenges.
I know it sounds trite, but I am living it right now! To do work I love with people I love is truly one of the deepest joys of my life. And to be able to do it a way that enables the integration and support of all the roles in my life (leader, consultant, entrepreneur, wife, partner, mom, daughter, sister, friend, community member, etc.)—well, to use one of my favorite mid-westernisms…it’s truly an “embarrassment of riches.” I am so, so grateful to my team and to our clients for helping me live into my “Blue Beyond.” I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together next.