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Cherie Werner

Cherie Werner

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I'm the CKO at KOYA Innovations. Currently, I'm focused on building community, research, user growth, and retention. Our vision is to be a catalyst that ends the relational poverty one connection at a time.

I enjoy reading and conversing about kindness, brain health, neuroplasticity, digital health & wellness, parenting, Enneagram, and Strenght Finder. I'm a lifelong learner, educator, administrator. plus a certified Life Breakthrough Coach (2015). It brings me great joy helping others pursue their dreams and passions in life. Hobbies: Spending time with my family and others = connecting, sipping cortados, and drinking Clean-Crafted red wine.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

Prior to joining Ellevate, I found an Ellevate online networking event in Austin that I attended. I had many questions plus I needed to decide if I would join as it was the last day to sign up for Squads. While it was a small group everyone was very encouraging and talked so highly of their experience in Squads. I shared how I wanted to surround myself with professional women and learn to be more confident. Jen Walter was on the called and shared about her weekly group. My decision was easy.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

It seems that success for all women includes: Getting started Overcoming self -doubt = having confidence Silencing your inner critic, be kind to yourself Being courageous and willing to take risk Trusting your intuition and not the so-called "experts" and naysayers Quickly handle and let go of any rejection, haters, and mean girls

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

My most memorable career accomplishment was raising and launching three daughters. This accomplishment is enormous as I never felt qualified, but I put my heart and soul into being a mom. My motto is, 'my ceiling is their floor," and given we are working to solve relational poverty globally, I am beaming with pride. Today, my daughters are 32, 30, & 20. From where I stand today, I couldn't be prouder of whom my daughters have become. They are intelligent, strong, confident, independent women who each, in their way, touched countless lives doing humanitarian work both locally and internationally. They love people unconditionally and without judgment. They inspire and now teach me as we work together. It's their love for others and witnessing the impact of relational poverty that motivated us to start KOYA Innovations.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

We are a family start-up. All families have challenges working together which exacerbates differences but we are fiercely committed to working through any issues. Our current challenge has been closing the current round of funding plus while I think working together is beneficial, I am unsure how investors view it.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

I’d love for KOYA to spread like wildfire. The COVID pandemic, along with social distancing, has amplified our need for human connection. At KOYA, we believe that moments of meaningful connection can deepen relationships. We hope that as more people learn to connect authentically, the loneliness epidemic will see a drastic decline.

Who are your role models?

Currently, my role model is Jamie Kern Lima because I found her story to be inspiring, relatable, and transformative. Believe It, How to Go From Underestimated to Unstoppable, is a book or Audible I highly recommend.

I also appreciate all the research and work that Brene Brown has done.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

I am people-oriented/social/extroverted/networker/connector

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires a considerable investment of time, energy, sacrifice, and money. However, if this is your passion, never let the "no's" from family, friends, investors, etc. deter you. Remember your why. Look for the good and opportunities amid the challenges. Live with anticipation that good things are to come and to believe in what is possible.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Build and fill a personal "toolbox" for when you get knocked down or need inspiration? These items will encourage you during the hard times when you want to give up. Know you why? Why are you doing what you are doing? Why now? Include quotes that inspire you. Keep a journal of ideas and 3 positive/amazing things that happen daily = gratitude. Identify underdogs that became great. Find your tribe and turn to them.

Learn to embrace the idea of opposition, rejection, or failure. Failures tend to come with anything that's ever been built, that's ever mattered, that's ever lasted, that's ever changed the world or that's ever impacted the world. Sometimes a NO, rejection, is simply a not at this time. If you have a gut instinct, it's supposed to be a yes, don't abandon the yes.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Remember that your ceiling will be their floor. They are watching your actions thus more is caught than taught.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.