A headshot of Ms. Cheryl D.S. Walker, Esq., in a grey blazer and glasses, smiling.

Our Path Forward: Welcome Our Interim President & CEO | October 2020 Newsletter

Deaconess Community,

On Tuesday, October 6, Deaconess Foundation’s board of trustees approved the engagement of community leader, Cheryl D.S. Walker, Esq., as our Interim President & CEO. Walker is no stranger to this organization or community. She was a Deaconess trustee from 2011 through 2017 and chaired the board from 2015 through 2017. Cheryl was also the founding president of the board of directors for Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being and has served in that capacity since 2017. She will begin working alongside me on October 22, then assume leadership of the foundation upon my departure on November 18.

Ms. Walker will support the board and guide the extraordinary staff during our national search for a permanent chief executive. Her knowledge of nonprofit governance and executive transitions will be remarkably valuable. In recent years, she has led successful executive search committees for the University of Missouri System, the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, and the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission.

Cheryl is currently president & CEO of Seven24 Consulting Group LLC and a transactions attorney for Walker Commercial Law Group, LLC. She was previously Of Counsel for Riley Safer Homes & Cancila LLP and Bryan Cave LLP. Walker chairs the boards of the Missouri Ethics Commission and St. Louis Regional Health Commission and is vice chair of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. Other current board memberships include the St. Louis Business Empowerment Center, Saint Louis Social Venture Partners and the Whitaker Foundation. She previously chaired the University of Missouri Board of Curators and the St. Louis Mental Health Board of Trustees.

Walker earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology and the juris doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a member of the Illinois and Missouri Bars and has been honored with numerous awards, including the St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Women (2017), National Society of Black Engineers’ Excellence in the Legal Profession (2012), and the YWCA Metro St. Louis’ Women Leaders Award (2008).

Our Transition Committee is in the process of finalizing the search team to assist the board in identifying, screening, and selecting a talented pool of candidates. The search firm and Committee will be affirmed at the Joint Annual Meeting of Deaconess Foundation and Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being on Tuesday, November 10th from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Register here to join us for this open meeting and welcome Cheryl into this new role in our community.

For our children,

Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson
President & CEO

Deaconess Foundation

To read the rest of our October Newsletter, click here.