2004 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

V. Cheryl Womack

Wyandotte High School, 1969V. Cheryl Womack

As a young child growing up in Kansas City, Kan., Cheryl Womack spent more time in the hospital than at school and was often told she would most likely not live to see adulthood. But she learned to be a fighter and knew at that moment that if she could fight her way through the illnesses, she could grow up to do almost anything she wanted in her life. That determination has stayed with her and made her the success she is today.

This businesswoman has not only built her own enterprise, but has given back to her community by mentoring, serving on national and international entrepreneurial boards and providing support to many charitable organizations.

Womack manages multiple business interests, including directing the efforts of VCW Holding Company, an entity she founded to partner with and provide consulting and administrative services for a variety mid-sized growth companies. She also leads The Star Group team in program and partnership development for annual events recognizing and honoring The Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World.

A member of the class of 1969 at Wyandotte High School, Womack said her father, a Panamanian immigrant, was the "single most important person" in her life because he daily demonstrated his love and care for his family and never complained. A high school English teacher who taught students to "think outside the box" was also a major influence, as well as her husband, Dean, who has taught her how to find pleasure in celebrating her successes.

Womack's civic and business affiliations are diverse and endless as she continues to share her knowledge and help inspire others. She serves on the steering committee for the Kansas City Symphony and is a former Board member for the Metropolitan Organization Combating Sexual Abuse. She serves on the KU Business School Advisory Board and on the Board of the Lyric Opera Circle.

Womack wants students to realize that they will live long enough to have at least two careers in their lifetime and should spend their first career learning what makes them happy and, at the very least, the second one should be something that inspires them.