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Summary

Corporate communications professional with a proven track record of strategic and tactical support through effective project management and collaboration achieved creatively, on time and on budget.  For recommendations and work examples, go to www.cherylforhire.com.

Work experience

Jan 2009Present

Owner

Cheryl Howard Communications

Communications & Change Management; Algonquin, IL

Create corporate and community relations communications, change management and engagement strategies for businesses in the consumer, financial services, non-profit and education sectors.

  • Collaborative advisor to executives in HR, IT, Marketing, Legal and Operations.
  • Projects included writing an e-book, creating robust presentations and designing infographics, posters and brochures.
  • Clients include American Dental Association, GE Capital and  marketing agencies.
October 2016 May 2017

Change Communications Manager (Contract)  

Huron Consulting Group, Chicago, IL 
  • Created and managed all communications for the launch of Office 365 to nearly 3,000 change-weary employees and three acquisitions unfamiliar with the culture.
  • Developed a digital toolbox for training, intranet articles, job aids, presentations, webinars and posters.
  • Establish an Office 365/Office 2016 group on Yammer linked to an internal tech blog to encourage collaboration among users.
  • Designed and supported data-based management newsletters.
  • Supported global employee webcasts and enriched compliance training via video and animation.
Nov 2012Nov 2014

Strategic Communications Consultant

Allstate Technology & Operations

Strategic Communications Consultant (Contract); Northbrook, IL

  • Served as communications manager for Information Technology, Information Security and Operations and Risk Management.
  • Worked closely with directors, colleagues and team members to develop and successfully execute strategic communication plans for multiple business units.
  • Created presentations and coached speakers to improve delivery effectiveness.
  • Oversaw several business unit websites to ensure accuracy and effectiveness as well as protect Allstate brand.
  • Developed online FAQs, articles, headlines, blogs, discussion boards, posters, graphics and job aids.
  • Organized and ran audio and video conferences, webinars and project launch special events.
  • Used metrics and analytics to increase employee engagement on internal social media site.
  • Administered and analyzed surveys to gauge plan effectiveness and made recommendations accordingly.
  • Collaborated with executive leadership, team leads, stakeholders, vendors and creative services to achieve change management objectives.
Jan 2010Aug 2012

Adjunct Professor, Marketing and Business

Kendall College School of Business; Chicago, IL

Instructor, IL; Taught marketing and business courses in classroom and online, with emphasis on voice of the customer. Paired students with Chicago entrepreneurs and created communications strategy for Fresh Moves mobile market.

Nov 2007Jan 2009

Communications Manager

Deloitte Services LLP, Chicago, IL
  • Created and implemented effective communication strategies to enhance awareness, understanding and committed support for new company-wide initiatives within Deloitte and member firms.
  • Served as trusted communications advisor to executive leadership.
  • Created and published internal marketing content for continuous improvement and IT initiatives.
  • Coordinated conferences, webcasts and special events to enhance each initiative's reputation.
  • Collaborated with teams across U.S., Canada and India.
Aug 2000Oct 2007

Internal Communications Manager

GE Consumer Finance/GE Money, Schaumburg, IL
  • Created and maintained online news portals and internal messaging.
  • Built internal best practices for nationwide initiatives, including benefits communications.
  • Managed town hall meetings, rewards and recognition programs, and employee focus groups.
  • Served as community liaison and board member for the regional division of GE Volunteers.
  • Earned my Six Sigma Green Belt.

Education

B.A.

Northern Illinois University

M.A

Northern Illinois University

Recommendations

Amanda Hale
Dir. of Operations, Americas Region, Deloitte Services

"Cheryl did a great job of bringing our Process Excellence initiative to life. She took what some might think of as a nerdy topic and made it fun! In fact, she made people WANT to learn about PE."

Donna Shelton
VP, Sr. Product Manager, BMO Harris

"Cheryl is an exceptionally creative communications specialist, with a genuine sense of how to elevate a company's processes. Coupled with her technical skill is a real talent for relating to people, and earning their trust.  I would highly recommend her to any interested client or employer."

Bryan Danek
IT Consultant

"I had the distinct pleasure of working with Cheryl at GE and was always impressed by her positive attitude, creativity and pride in her work. She helped me so many times in being able to translate our technical-speak into concepts that everyone in the business could understand and even become excited about."

Michael Tresca
Mgr., Digital Communication, GE

Cher's ability to analyze a communication problem combined with her technical skill created several best practices, including a newsletter that was adopted as a best practice across the company. Her good humor and goal-oriented approach to work makes her an asset to any team