Growing up with my mom, grandma and three sisters, my dad and I were outnumbered. When I practiced my pitching, my mom would catch for me for hours at a time. My grandma would kill snakes in her backyard. I was surrounded by strong, tenacious and loving women. I learned even though they all had different personalities and ambitions, every woman has something unique to give to the world.
Still today, I choose to surround myself with confident, powerful women in my professional and political careers. Within my business, The Cheney Group, I have strategically hired highly-educated Frisco moms and even my Office Manager and business development heavy hitter is a woman, Allyson Mendel. In my position as Mayor, I broke new ground by hiring my own Chief of Staff, Lorie Medina, because she has the savvy and experience to help me be the best Mayor possible.
Actually, I rely on many women to help me accomplish my goals. Jenny Dean and Wendy Randall are my fitness instructors who push me every day at Hot Body Yoga. At City Hall, Assistant City Manager Nell Lange is my budget and all-things-financial expert. Dana Baird-Hanks is the Director of Communications. I awarded Dana the employee of the year “Mayor’s Award” last fall for the incredible 100 Days of videos. Marla Roe is a marketing genius. She runs Visit Frisco and works to attract tourism. Shelley Holley is the Director of our public library. She works tirelessly to reimagine a 21st-century library. Shannon Kelleher is the Director for Parks and Recreation. Shannon is driving her team to provide better service, parks and programs for our residents.
We have talented women serving on our City boards and commissions. Wren Ovard is one of those superstars along with Barbara Fasola. She is named as one of the top female CEO’s in the Dallas area and serves on our Economic Development Corporation Board. We also have three women in elected leadership positions: Shona Huffman on City Council and Anne McCausland and Debbie Gillespie on FISD School Board.
Even our media is powered by brilliant women. Valerie Wigglesworth has built a decades-long reputation at the Dallas Morning News. Chrystal Howard is the publisher of Community Impact and we all look forward to receiving her monthly newspaper. Wendi McGowan-Ellis puts our community in a beautiful spotlight in her online Lifestyle Frisco.
There is a group of selfless women who live to serve others. Nicole Bursey brilliantly directs Frisco Family Services. Heather Canterbury feeds children through Frisco Fastpacs. Ashley Miller is a Frisco treasure and works for National Breast Cancer Foundation. Angelia Pelham is committed to promoting unity and linking our cultures. Tammy Meinershagen loves art so much, it is infectious. Liz Brown shares Bonnie Ruth’s, to donate to veterans causes. Thank you, ladies.
Frisco is vibrant because of the accomplished women who live, work and play here. And I am the lucky guy married to one of the strongest women in Texas, Dana Cheney. Women are fundamental to my personal success and to Frisco. Happy Mother’s Day!