Get to Know Cheretta Clerkley: APBS’s New Executive Director

Cheretta Clerkley, APBS
Executive Director

What makes you passionate about this work?

APBS includes an incredible membership base, from educators and researchers to healthcare professionals and family members. I’m in awe of what these advocates are able to accomplish when it comes to positive behavior supports and am excited to be part of the work!

For me, it’s important to work with a cause – something I’m passionate about – like the work that APBS members are doing. My very first job was with a diabetes association. I joined that team because my grandmother passed away from diabetes complications. It was quite personal to me, and I wanted to make a difference. There, I fell in love with advocacy. That’s what I’ve looked for since my first job – a way to make a difference. That’s what I’ve found at APBS.

Could you share a bit more about your background?

My experience includes working at cause-based organizations, including The Endocrine Society, the Insured Retirement Institute, the Autism Society of America, The American Psychiatric Association, and the International Society for Technology in Education. I also led my own consulting firm, through which I advised nonprofit leaders and boards. 

As you can tell by my resume,  I’m excited about this kind of work—helping others. I love partnering with smart professionals who get things done. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 

Family is the most important thing to me – I actually married my college sweetheart. We met at Temple University my freshman year, and we’ve been together for more than 20 years! We have three kids: Jonathan, Chloè (Coco) and Chandler. We love spending time together. 

My two biggest hobbies are interior design and being Beyonce’s top fan. I saw her twice last summer!

What do you want APBS members to know about you and your approach?

We’re making updates to serve our members better. For example, we’re creating more educational content, ways to get recognized, networking opportunities and more. We’re listening to our members, and creating an association that helps you learn, grow and build a community in a way that works for you. Finally, we’re creating more ways to engage with APBS as a whole, and with one another, too. 

We’re sharing a membership benefits overview in a few weeks! 

What’s your vision for APBS’s future?

When APBS was founded, it was an innovative organization – one formed to break away from traditional, harmful practices. Those first APBS members were bold. They brought a person-centered approach to the work, even as they faced challenge after challenge. They created groundbreaking new processes that would positively impact thousands of lives. I want to continue this legacy. Our communities are facing different challenges than they did even five years ago. I want us to continue innovating, trying new strategies, learning together – all so we can meet our community members where they are, helping them thrive.

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