In 2001, Cheri L. Neal became the first elected female Township Supervisor in Zion, Illinois, responsible for coordinating social services for the Zion community. She accomplishes this by offering many programs at Zion Township and helping to network other community social service agencies to address needs efficiently and effectively.
Cheri is known for her expertise in designing local leadership initiatives that generate real change for the purpose of improving the community. She is the co-creator of the Zion-Benton Leadership Academy for adults and the Youth Leadership Team, made up of youth throughout Zion School District 6. Additionally, her roles include Past President of Lake County Township Officials, President of WINGS (Women IN/Interested in Government Service), and Board Member/Past President of the Coalition for Healthy Communities, to name a few. She has received numerous awards for leadership and achievement including Illinois Township Supervisor of the Year Award, Local Hero Award, YWCA Community Leadership Award, Escape Adulthood’s Adultitis Fighter of the Month and Lake County Most Influential African American Freedom Award. Cheri has been honored for her diligence in breaking down barriers between social service agencies by establishing: RESPOND, a monthly networking luncheon for front-line workers of over 30 agencies in Lake County; the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County ZB Unit, the Queen Bees of Zion Red Hat Society; and the ZB Run Squad.
Cheri holds a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Human Behavior in Society and a Masters Degree in Management with a Certificate in Leadership. A certified and accredited Professional Life Coach, Cheri founded Candid Coaching and Conversations, providing speaking, coaching and training on a variety of topics, including The Empowerment Dynamic (TED*) for which she is a practitioner. She is also a published author of Seeds of Joy, Growing Zinnias and Your Zest for Life.
Cheri’s most grateful for God and her two children, Billy and Britney. She raises Monarch Butterflies and loves to garden (especially Zinnias – she is a Blue-Ribbon Winner at the Lake County Fair), jogging (running 5ks and half-marathons) and volunteering at Hot Air Balloon Festivals. Everyone who knows her knows that her greatest passion is guiding others into living a life they love!