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International Vice President-Elect Nominee

Cherryl R. Thames

Current Optimist Club(s)
Southfield-Lathrup Village, Michigan
Other Optimist Clubs you belonged to in the past:
  • East Shore-Grosse Pointe, Michigan
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Plymouth-Canton, Michigan

Date you first joined an Optimist Club:

September 11, 2000

Year(s) you were a Club President:

2003-04; 2015-16

Year(s) you were a Lieutenant Governor:


Year(s) you were a District Governor:


International Offices or positions you have held:

  • International Junior Optimist Committee Member (2011-12)
  • Leadership Development Committee Member (2015-16)
  • Club Fitness Advisor Committee Member (2016-17)

Optimist Awards achieved:

  • Distinguisher Club President
  • Distinguished Michigan District Governor
  • Governor's Pacesetter Award
  • International President's Governors Recognition-Highest Number of New Clubs Built in District
  • Builder of Excellence Awards (5)
  • Michigan District Hall of Fame
  • Distinguished Club Secretary-Treasurer
  • International Presidential Incentive
  • PGI Level 10
  • President's Citation
  • Certified District Trainer
  • JOOI Adviser of Excellence
  • 50 Member Sponsorship Award
  • Optimist International Life Membership


Founder and CEO - Quantum Leaps LLC, an Executive and Career Coaching, Professional Development Training, and Strategic Planning Consulting company.

What are your primary qualifications for this office?

My years of experience in leadership in corporate America as a small business owner, and as an Optimist at the Club, District and International levels qualify me for this office. I have demonstrated ability to build new adult and youth Clubs, as well as serve as a coach/mentor to District Governors and advisor to three consecutive Junior Optimist Michigan District Governors. My experience and skills in strategic planning, leadership development, training, team building, and supporting others in the achievement of the highest levels of Personal Growth and Involvement (PGI) have been an asset to my District and beyond. As a member of the Leadership Development Committee, I had an opportunity to help develop the Professional Develop Program, provide staff and training support at three Optimist International Leadership Summits and at the International Convention. In addition, the Michigan District "Strategy" Plan for my year as the 2014-15 Governor was extremely well received and is a model that is shared during the Spring Governor-Elect training and beyond.

Why should a Club vote for you?

Just like most of you, I joined my Optimist Club to support our youth and community. My objective as an Optimist leader has always been to serve with an aspiration to positively impact growth, leadership development, organizational direction and strategy, and establish new opportunities for community service and collaborative partnerships that will effectively and collectively impact our abilities for "Bringing Out the Best in Youth, Community and Ourselves.”

"It is those with the boldest dreams who awaken the best in all of us.” - Johnnetta B. Cole

I will be honored to serve as the Northeast & Great Lakes Region's Vice President-Elect.

What specific things will you do to help the Clubs and Districts in your Region?

To help the Clubs and Districts in my Region, my plan includes timely and effective communication and coaching the team towards high performance in service/growth/personal & professional development/partnerships. This will also include the collective shaping of our vision, sharing the vision so that it and the why is clear to everyone, motivating the team to be advocates for fulfilling the International and Region's vision and mission, and developing a collaborative plan for inspiring our Members and friends to become the best purpose and mission driven Optimist Members and Clubs that we can be!

Anything else you would like to say to Clubs. 

I want to help us do even more to “Bring Out the Best in Youth, Community and Ourselves.” My motto is "Dare to Excel" and my passion is to ensure that we are equipped, engaged, empowered, and energized Optimists - today, tomorrow and for many years to come.

Candidate Bios

2017-18 President-Elect Candidates:

  • Rebecca Butler Mona, IA
  • Fatima Plater, MI
  • 2017-18 Board Director at Large Candidates (2 to be elected):

  • Don Brose, MI
  • Lola, Cumbo, AC
  • Sandy Cyphers, NCE
  • Robert Floyd, WMO
  • Patsy Garner, NTX
  • 2017-18 Vice Presidents-Elect Candidates:

  • Region 1 Northeast & Great Lakes – Cherryl Thames, MI
  • Region 2 Southeast – Brenda Ortelli, NFL
  • Region 3 Mid-Atlantic – Stewart Mallard, NCW
  • Region 4 Middle America – Gerri Barnett, IA
  • Region 5 Great Plains – Edie Harris, AMS&NW
  • Region 6 Southwest – Paul Lucas, NTX
  • Region 7 West Coast – T G Thomas, PSW
  • Region 8 St. Lawrence – Nathalie Boulet, QW and Roch Daigle, QC