SweetwaterNOW congratulates the Class of 2019 Green River High School Hall of Fame inductees. We will feature each inductee throughout the week leading up the banquet this weekend. GRHS Hall of Fame profiles are made possible by Tanner Family Dentistry.
Cheryl Chew has always had a passion for business. She took a specialized course in high school that focused on business operations called the “Company” where the students in the class worked together as business leaders on a computer module that determined the fate of their imaginary company.
She started working in small business at the age of 14 where she was given the responsibility of opening and closing a small tanning studio in her home town. She would work herself up to the position of shipping and receiving manager at a small electronics store before graduating a semester early from high school.
Post High School Dreams
After high school, she worked at a Harley Davidson store and was responsible for network management and computer setup as well as working in the parts department.
Cheryl began her college career later that fall with a full scholarship to the local community college based on her computer information systems skills. She was able to take advanced computer courses due to her substantial knowledge of computer software.
During the summer break, she was one of six selected, out of a hundred applicants, to do a summer work program at a local trona mine. The next fall she was invited by the business department at the college to assist with grading papers and helping teachers with data entry due to her knowledge and abilities.
More In Store
Cheryl knew there was more in store for her in life and made the decision to join the military during her third semester at college.
She joined the Army National Guard and this took her in a completely different direction than she had expected her life to go. Cheryl took a semester off to go to Basic Training and ended up in Fort Leonardwood, MO. She trained there for 15 weeks where she was selected to act as a squad leader for several weeks due to her natural leadership abilities, work ethic, and drive.
Upon graduation, Cheryl attended annual training with her unit, which was not required and ended up being recognized for her dedication and determination during two weeks of rigorous field training.
Because of her positive attitude and natural leadership abilities Cheryl was selected to attend a course that was traditionally reserved for more senior employees. Cheryl was sent to attrition management and retention courses and then was assigned as the Retention Manager of over 120 employees. She provided career direction, presentations for benefits, and counseled those nearing the end of their contract.
She took this responsibility while only being a Private First Class, one of the lowest positions in the army, in addition to her job as a bridge-building crewmember. Cheryl was promoted on an accelerated path and always ahead of her peers.
She was often recognized for her outstanding leadership, morale-boosting, and dedication. Cheryl spent the next several years balancing a civilian life and a military life as the operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom were in full force.
She was activated to Fort Polk, LA during one semester of school, and later called up to help with Hurricane Katrina while trying to start a business. She was deployed for 14 months to Camp Shelby, MS and then to Kuwait and Iraq where she held multiple responsibilities such as team leader, record keeper, and often assisted with the administrative duties and became second in command to her squad leader.
Cheryl returned from deployment with several issues and injuries. However, she was very dedicated to the cause. Signing up for a leadership course just two weeks after returning home.
She was very passionate about becoming the best leader she could be. Volunteering to serve two more years during a period of high operational requirements, Cheryl never really had anytime to decompress from her deployment.
She reached a point where she knew that she needed help and began to seek treatment and support for her injuries and illnesses. This led her to not be able to find gainful employment for several years.
Cheryl went to work as a Veteran Service Officer for a county in Wyoming. However, when she needed to seek some in-patient treatment, they were unwilling to hold her position. With so many breaks in employment and only having recent military experiences, finding a job proved to be impossible.
Eventually the military was not a suitable place for her. She medically retired due to the compounding issues she was facing.
Starting Her Family
In 2012 her daughter was born 9 weeks early. Doing everything she could for this little one to ensure she grew up healthy and strong, Cheryl lost a sense of self for a while. She put her business passions on hold and focused on providing the best life she could for her children and husband.
As her daughter got older, Cheryl went back to school and finished her degree online. During this time, she also learned as much as she could about real estate investing, personal finance, business, and anything else she could.
Cheryl also started working part-time as a marketing consultant for a real estate investor. Through this job she acquired some properties and led a complete renovation of a property that started rebuilding her confidence in the process.
Looking Toward the Future
Cheryl received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming in 2016. She majored in business administration and finished the last two years as an outreach student while staying at home with her daughter. Having a little one and four stepchildren have provided some interesting perspective in her life.
She is married to an amazing husband and he is a steadfast partner. Together they own residential real estate investments. Their most recent project was the complete rehab of a boarded up, dilapidated house in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Having both retired from the military, they were looking for new opportunities for the future. A decision to move to Surprise, AZ has given her more opportunity then she ever dreamt possible.
She was able to return to full-time employment at an indoor playground startup and gained a lot of confidence in her abilities. While she loved her job and the company she was working for she knew that this was the time to start her own business. She told her boss that it was time to take the leap into the world of business ownership and began the journey to start Codobe.
Codobe is a technologically driven flexible and affordable workspace with meeting rooms where people can work on growing their businesses. She started Codobe to encourage entrepreneurship in smaller communities and give people affordable space to collaborate, do more and be inspired.
She is also serving on the committee for 1 Million Cups – Phoenix West Valley where she works with other team members to create a community focused on support entrepreneurs.