Who's Who: Cheryl Ellis
Targeted sales manager with the Southeast Missourian, editor/coordinator for the Southeast Missourian Jr.
WHERE SHE'S BEEN: Ellis, 47, is originally from Woodbury, N.J., near Philadelphia. She moved to Southeast Missouri when she was 13. Ellis has a son, 15-year-old Colton, and two beagles, Madison and Lenny. She is a Central High School graduate and attended Southeast Missouri State University. "It feels like I have done just about everything," she says. "Secretary, sold real estate for a short time, bridal shop sales, hotel sales, banquet - food and beverage coordinator, business owner - tanning salon, nail technician."
WHERE SHE'S GOING: In five years, Ellis says she "hopes to be managing a successful targeted publications department. I also hope I am the mother of a thriving college student with really good grades." On her field's future: "The newspaper industry is definitely changing. Of course online has become and will continue to be more and more important. For targeted publications, it is a good thing. Advertisers are seeing the advantage of targeting their specific demographic. With magazines like SHE, seParent and iDo, advertisers have the advantage of targeting women, who make over 80 percent of the buying decisions." Ellis says she is especially dedicated to making a difference in the community via children with the Southeast Missourian Jr. "When I created the Southeast Missourian Jr. 10 years ago, I wanted to give kids a constructive way to express themselves, to encourage reading and writing, to showcase and develop their talents, and to offer them a sense of accomplishment. I have personally struggled with self-esteem and I saw my son struggling with it also. The Jr. awards kids for making the effort, they don't have to have the best drawing or story, but they are published anyway. They feel proud when they see their work published. Also, I felt if I made reading and writing a little more fun by rewarding them, they would do it more. There are so many negative things out there that can kids can get involved in, especially if they don't feel good about themselves. If the Southeast Missourian Jr. can make a difference in the life of just one kid, I feel that I have accomplished something."
WHY SHE WAS CHOSEN: Ellis fosters dogs from the Humane Society as needed. "Most of them are about to have puppies or have just had puppies and I keep them until they are adoptable," she says. "It is really hard to give them up and I have been known to keep one myself." Ellis, who grew up the daughter of a cop, places special priority on local law enforcement as well. "I became involved with the local police department about eight years ago first by working with the DARE officer on a feature for the Jr., then through organizing Pay for the Pup, a fundraising campaign which purchased two K-9s for the department. Through this involvement, I have made some good friends at the department. I have become more involved through SALT, Seniors and Lawman Together, which organizes the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. Besides improving relationships between seniors and the police they want to improve the relationships between kids and police. That's where the Jr. came in. We started to get the kids involved in the Law Enforcement Memorial by writing poems, essays and through a coloring contest. The winners get to come to the ceremony in a police car and have lunch with the officers following the event."
Cheryl's community involvement: She is a member of the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Mental Health Coalition. In recent years, she has been involved with the United Way, MDA and the March of Dimes. Other awards and accomplishments: National Newspapers Association 2009 Best of Newspapers in Education, first place; 2009 Advertising & Promotions Contest Award; National Newspaper Association Program Excellence Award first place, 2005, 2006 third place, 2004; Suburban Newspapers of America, Best Kids Publication 2003,2004,2005, & 2007; 2008 SALT Community Service Award.