We had the good fortune of connecting with CHRISTAL CHERRY and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi CHRISTAL, every day, we talk about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I decided to become a nonprofit board consultant because I knew there was a need to support nonprofits from the top down. My mantra “Who’s At the Top Matters,” proved to be true. By focusing on leadership, I can support the entire organization. My training and counsel is comprehensive, realistic, teachable and enjoyable.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is The Board Pro. My niche is that as a sole proprietor, I am affordable and personable. Each client feels like they are the first and only client I have. My training and counsel is tailored based on the needs clients share with me. As a native New Yorker, I am straight forward – pointed but not pointy!
I have worked as a fundraiser in the sector for more than 20 years and as such have worked with multiple important stakeholder groups. So I understand challenges my clients are trying to solve.
I am most proud that I pushed through the fear of starting a business and remained steadfast in pursuing my dream. I understood cost and compromise. I babysat, drove for Door Dash, worked for the Census Bureau and hustled to get though the tough times. It was not easy but I stayed razor focus on my goal.
I built my brand by showing myself to be credible. I did some probono work and said yes to everything – invitations to speak, present, blog and facilitate. I had a goal to build my social media presence. I reached out to 10 strangers every week on LinkedIn and invited them for virtual coffee. All accepted. It was an opportunity to meet new people, learn about them and share my story. Many remembered and referred me when an opportunity arose. My connects grew from 500 to over 2000 in one year.
I have survived many personal and professional set backs. I have a testimony. I am clear about who I am and dont apoligize for it. Authenticity is visible; People feel it and hear it. Being real and celebrating my truth is my superpower.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Atlanta. I would host my friend and take him to the exciting sites of the city. These include the Atlanta Beltline, the new and popular path that travels throughout Atlanta. It is the most comprehensive revitalization effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban trail in the state of Georgia. It was designed to enhance mobility, foster culture, and provide equal economic access. People walk, skate, cycle and run on the Beltline. There are shops and restaurants. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see our great city and meet some folks along the way. I’d also plan a fun night on the Rooftop at Ponce City Market. The view is amazing. There are arcade games and a great bar.
We’d have to eat at some great spots including Six Feet Under, Paschals, Breakfast at Barneys, the Sundial Restaurant, Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, Busy Bee, Continent Restaurant & Cigar Lounge and Sweet Auburn Barbeque. For an adrenaline buzz, we’d check out Andrett Indoor Karting and Games. Of course we’d shop at Perimeter Mall, The Shops in Peactree City, Atlantic Station and ecclectic boutiques in the city of Decatur.For some chill jazz, we’d stop by St. James Live and get a few drinks in.
I’d show him around some great neighborhoods in the West End that houses the Atlanta University Center, the Vinings with beautiful homes and Serenbe, a hidden gem community in south Atlanta.
Last for a little culture, we’d stop by The Wren’s Nest, the Auburn Library, the Apex Museum and the FernbankMuseum. We might even drive to Chattanooga which is just 2 hours away and visit their wonderful Aquarium.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am blessed to have an incredibly supportive family and a whole cadre of colleagues who encouraged, counseled and cheered me on. I would like to shout out Fabulous Female Fundraisers or F3. It is a network of 50 women of color who are professionals in the nonprofit sector. We are in 14 states and Canada. I am proud to be the founder and am grateful for their wisdom, professionalism, work ethic and passion to serve.