Cheri Coryea

Cheri's public sector experience spans over 30 years, and while the majority of it has been in Manatee County, Florida, the nature of the work has allowed her to build bonds regionally and nationally with thought and management leader networks. The last 14 years of Cheri's public sector work included roles as county administrator, deputy county administrator, and first department director of the Neighborhood Services Department for Manatee County Government.

Highly regarded as a trusted and effective relationship builder among all aspects of the community, Cheri spent the bulk of her public sector work in the human services and community services field. Cheri served as the first Children's Services Coordinator for the county, bringing to life the Children's Services dedicated millage programs in 1990. Today, the Children's Services programs target children ages 0-17 and their families who live in Manatee County through the grant work of over 100 different nonprofit agencies. These programs serve at-risk and economically disadvantaged children subject to abuse, neglect, and abandonment. In 2016, Cheri led the charge to change the county grant funding process from funder to investor. To date, more than $150 million has been provided to local nonprofit agencies that yield significant results to improve children and family outcomes.

In 2007, Cheri was tapped to create the Neighborhood Services Department. In 2014, she facilitated the merger of two departments— Neighborhood Services and Community Services—focusing on programs from infants, neighborhood planning, behavioral health, and low-income medical services to County Indigent Burial. Over 2,400 different neighborhoods are now engaged with their local government through various virtual tools, neighborhood action plans, newsletters, and libraries. Citizens now feel they are making a difference.

Her strategic planning expertise led to the first Economic Development Division in the County, focusing on job creation, retention, and incentives for all business types. With the motto of "At Your Service," Cheri helped cut through the red tape and developed an expedited environment of business-friendly government that has added over 4,600 high-wage and high-skilled jobs in Manatee County since 2009. She continues to strive to positively impact ALICE through her involvement with the United Way Suncoast.

While county administrator, Cheri recognized the large portion of potential retirees in the upcoming years and emphasized the development of young professionals to enhance the county's workforce. With a few talented county-employed young professionals, Cheri built the Manatee Millennial Movement (M3) into a nationally recognized force to be reckoned with, increasing Manatee County's millennial workforce from 17% to 27% in four years. Adding a project-driven county internship program in three seasons has allowed the county to advance the use of technology, GIS planning, energy efficiency, parks, preserves, and citizen engagement while attracting and retaining highly motivated students to the area.

Cheri and her husband raised their two girls along with their four-legged furry and equine family members locally. Their daughters have grown up to become successful professionals.

Join Cheri on Twitter: @ccoryeatpf

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