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Cheryle Robinson Jackson’s career has been marked by many firsts, spanning international business, civil rights, politics, government, not-for-profit and the media. Jackson is CEO and Founder of Grit and Grace, The Movement, a women’s empowerment, coaching and media company she founded in 2018. Until 2019, she served as Senior Vice President of Global Business Development and President of AAR Africa for AAR, a global aviation services company. In that role, she identified new business opportunities in emerging, existing and underperforming markets in Africa, Asia, South and North America and succeeded in expanding AAR’s footprint in Africa. Jackson also served as AAR’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Development after joining the company in 2010.
Jackson formerly served on the boards of Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), a national organization dedicated to facilitating person‐to‐person relationships between U.S. businesses and businesses and government leaders worldwide; the Corporate Council on Africa; the Illinois District Export Council; the Congressional Black Caucus Policy Institute, Northwestern University, The Field Museum, Chicago Foundation for Women.
Prior to joining AAR, Jackson was a candidate for President Obama’s once‐vacant U.S. Senate seat in 2010 and was the first female president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. In that capacity, she led one of the most transformational periods of growth at the venerable civil rights organization, shifting its focus from social services to economic development.
Jackson also served as communications director for the Governor of Illinois and was the first woman and African American in the state’s history to hold that position. Her professional experience also includes senior level positions at Amtrak and NPR (National Public Radio).
In her intimate TEDx Talk “Grit and Grace,” Cheryle validates the career trajectories of go-getters like herself but also implores women to self-advocate and practice grace, love in action toward self, as a sustainable model of success. The overwhelming response led Cheryle to consider ways to serve women on a broader scale with Grit and Grace, The Movement, which provides access to coaching, conferences, events and content to inspire and empower women.
“Grit + Grace…one won’t let you give up and the other makes it OK to let go.”
“I want to extend my heartfelt “thank you” for all you did in helping us host Ms. April Ryan as our 2018 MLK, Jr. keynote speaker. Ms. Ryan was absolutely amazing last night!! She was captiva
“I want to extend my heartfelt “thank you” for all you did in helping us host Ms. April Ryan as our 2018 MLK, Jr. keynote speaker. Ms. Ryan was absolutely amazing last night!! She was captivating, insightful, and delivered a powerful message with words of hope, love, and a call to action to the audience. They were utterly enthralled by her presence and presentation.
I would like to also add that I thoroughly enjoyed the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ryan. She was so personable, pleasant, down-to-earth and very gracious and accommodating with the guests. She was patient with each question and stayed until every person had their book signed or picture taken. I would not hesitate to have her visit our campus again. I was so impressed and grateful for her contributions to our campus community in this role, but even more so for the work and accomplishments she is making in journalism, politics, and keeping integrity in the profession.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful and professional work of Ms. Kim Lowery in her role in ensuring a positive and successful program. She was thorough in providing the details of the travel itinerary and ensured that we had all the information necessary in preparation for Ms. Ryan’s visit. It was a pleasure working with her on this engagement.
Thank you again for the work you do and the rewarding collaborations we enjoy with your agency. I look forward to future interactions.”
“Meeting you both today was a great experience for me and my career development! I learned so much and truly valued your expertise, insight and probing questions. You really got my wheels turning and focused solely on the success of building my brand. As I mentioned, this was a new experience for me and it was a great opportunity to be ultra successful in 2015! As I recap my notes, I just wanted to send you a note of sincere thanks.”
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