Cheryl grew up on a sheep and crop farm in the middle of the Canterbury plains, spending more time than she cares to recall grubbing thistles, spraying barley grass and working the tractor. At thirteen she left home to attend boarding school at Rangi Ruru Girls' School in Christchurch and it was there that her Calculus teacher advised her to go see the Engineering School at Canterbury University because she’d be bored doing accounting.
After graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree she spent time working at Manapouri, Roxburgh and Clyde Power stations. When Contact Energy was formed she chose to leave and spent time as an Energy Consultant, including working with Sydney based Rand Merchant Bank in the area of energy performance contracting.
The call of the South Island’s four wheel driving, camping and trout fishing was strong so Cheryl returned to Christchurch working as a Project Manager with Meridian Energy. It was here, in 1999/Y2k that she had her first taste of IT projects which led her to Dunedin and Animation Research.
In 2011 Cheryl moved to Intergen, an IT professional consultancy specialising in delivering solutions to enterprises based on the Microsoft stack. She’s proud to have been part of the team that delivered a number of award winning solutions to South Island businesses, enabling them to reach their strategic goals.
Last year, she returned to Animation Research to be part of a joint venture with Methodist Mission South developing a Virtual Reality and tablet-based solution to deliver intensive literacy and numeracy training to inmates. This opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives, while also being involved in delivering world leading sports graphics was too good to say no to!
Cheryl has the role of “Mum” in Team Stephenson managing a busy family life and when time permits she represents IPENZ as a Wonder Project Ambassador, visiting schools to inspire our tamaraki, especially our wahine to the opportunities that technology, in all forms, opens up to them.