People

Cheryl Stevens

Managing Director

Executive Search, Managing Directors, Nonprofit and Social Impact

Cheryl focuses on leading senior-level searches and is a key member of Koya’s Board practice.

At Koya, Cheryl has been involved with CEO, President, Executive Director, and other senior-level searches for a broad range of clients including environment & conservation-focused organizations, private and corporate foundations, social and human services, youth development organizations, cultural institutions, and other nonprofits. 

She has served a range of clients across the environment and conservation space including the Ralph Wilson Park Conservancy, Patagonia’s Home Planet Fund, Call2Recycle, Current, and Conservation Legacy.

In the field of philanthropy, Cheryl has partnered with a variety of clients including The Builders Initiative, M&T Bank Charitable Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, the Oishei Foundation, and Crown Family Philanthropies.

Other mission-driven clients include Feeding America, the Museum of Science & Industry, the United Way of Metro Chicago, Purpose Built Communities, and American Public Media Group, among others. 

In addition, Cheryl partners regularly with clients in the corporate sector and broader social impact field. Recently, she has partnered with National Bank Holdings Corporation and Tradewater. 

Cheryl joined Koya from PierceGray, a boutique retained executive search firm specializing in supply chain, operations, and commercial leadership roles, primarily serving clients in high-growth, private equity backed environments. There, she gained experience recruiting across a broad range of industries including retail, consumer goods, healthcare, and manufacturing for organizations ranging in size from $20 million to $9 billion. Flagship clients included TPG Capital and Advent.

Cheryl began her career in finance at Ariel Investments, the Chicago-based asset management firm and largest minority-owned investment firm nationally. At Ariel, she was a member of the Institutional Sales and Client Services teams. She also worked with the Office of the CEO on special projects including the annual Black Corporate Directors Conference, a conference designed to encourage corporate diversity and inclusion.

Splitting time between Bozeman, Montana and Chicago, Illinois, Cheryl is deeply committed to her communities. She volunteers regularly with organizations such as the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and as a coach for Hoops to Homework, a youth basketball program at Mercy Home Chicago. She also serves as a judge for the Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards. She previously served as a member of the Young Professionals Board for Good Sports Chicago. 

Cheryl is active within the Princeton alumni community. In 2021 she was appointed to serve on the Executive Committee of the Princeton University Alumni Council, through which she also serves on the Careers and Networking Committee. In addition, she serves as a Director for the Princeton Club of Chicago, where she Co-Chairs the Community Service Committee; conducts interviews for prospective students with the Alumni Schools Committee; and is a mentor for the Friends of Princeton Basketball group.

At Princeton, she was co-captain of the record-breaking Division I women’s basketball team.

Cheryl received her AB in History from Princeton University.