Balancing Professional Life with Personal Goals
Cheryl Perry has been a member of the GHBA for over 30 years having worked for GHBA members Perry Homes, Ashton Woods Homes, and Royce Builders, prior to starting her own companies, Boe Creative, Crescere Digital (with partner Randy Corson) and Houston eflyer (with partner Terrie Lewis).
Cheryl served on the GHBA Sales & Marketing Council for 10 years in the 1990s and volunteered time to do all the creative for the PRISM awards for five years in the early 2000s. Her companies have supported the Adopt-a-Family project, HomeAid’s Project Playhouse and the PRISM awards for many years.
On a more personal level, Cheryl has actively been fundraising for the USA Triathlon Foundation since being asked by a friend in 2016 to join her in a sprint triathlon. “I knew nothing about triathlon at the time, but from that first one, I was hooked.”
Cheryl was appointed to the USA Triathlon Foundation board of trustees at the beginning of 2023. She had served as a USA Triathlon Foundation ambassador for three years prior to being appointed to the board and was the top fundraising ambassador for the 2020 team. She raised more than $15,000 for the foundation as an ambassador.
The mission of the USA Triathlon Foundation is to transform lives through sport by opening pathways for all to swim, bike, and run. The USA Triathlon Foundation has three pillars:
- Encourage youth participation
- Inspire pathways to access and inclusion
- Ignite Olympic and Paralympics dreams
Cheryl is now a six-time IRONMAN (Ironman Texas 2018, 2019 and 2022, Ironman Arizona 2019, Ironman Maryland 2021, and Ironman Florida 2020). In addition, Cheryl has participated in 12 half Ironman, two full marathons, and dozens of Olympic and sprint distance triathlons, half marathons and 10K and 5K races.
“Triathlon completely transformed my life,” she said. “Owning three companies, I was a bit of a workaholic. Now I train about 15-20 hours per week and my life is much more balanced. I have made an entirely new group of friends. I love setting challenges and achieving them and working hard toward a goal. The triathlon community is extremely supportive and I am absolutely passionate about it. That is why I decided to serve as an ambassador, and on the board of trustees.
“Triathlon is now an NCAA sport, so there are many cool pathways for kids in triathlon,” Cheryl explained. “I also think getting kids out from behind a screen and swimming, biking, and running is an extremely worthwhile pursuit! I put my real estate marketing background and triathlon together and produced the Woodtrace Wilderness Kids Triathlon for three years. The event won Best Community Event at the Texas Star Awards and the GHBA PRISM Awards. There is nothing more inspiring than watching a six-year-old girl sprinting to the finish line at a triathlon!”
The foundation is involved in numerous activities and events. During the pandemic, they provided grants to race directors to assist in keeping them going when there were no races for almost a year and a half. They support Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes and work to get kids moving with grants for simple splash and dash races where no bike is required, so they can do those in economically disadvantaged areas.
“Triathlon has benefited me not only physically with good health, but also mentally and spiritually. I know people look at an IRONMAN: swim 1.2 miles, ride 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles and say, ‘I could never do that.’ I know because I said that. And then I decided to try, and I spent two years working toward that goal. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? YES! It’s just like anything else. The marketing line is ‘Anything is Possible’ and it’s true. I can tell you without any hesitation that being a small business owner is harder than being an IRONMAN. I love both and I’m very happy to be giving back to the triathlon community serving, on the USA Triathlon board of directors.”
Cheryl is currently working on the committee putting together the 2023 Hall of Fame Gala on August 3 in Milwaukee, which will honor the original 12 Ironmen.
“My future goals include qualifying for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in 2024 and IRONMAN World Championships in 2025. I have a blog outlining my journey and plan to someday write a book about starting triathlon as a 50-year-old. More at www.ironcheryl2018.com