Take Five with LFCC President Emeritus Cheryl Thompson-Stacy: The New Interim Director of the VCCS’s Shared Services Center (SSC)

Home|Blog|Take Five with LFCC President Emeritus Cheryl Thompson-Stacy: The New Interim Director of the VCCS’s Shared Services Center (SSC)

1. You served as president of LFCC for nine years and as the first female president of ESCC. Your list of accomplishments is impressive. What prompted you to accept this assignment?

Timing was a big part of my decision to take on this interim assignment. I have been retired for a couple of years. I have taken on a few minor jobs through my consulting business, but I was starting to long for another challenge. Being the interim director of the SSC is a completely different position from any I’ve had in higher education. I enjoy learning new things and embracing new opportunities.

The Shared Services Center in Botetourt County processes administrative transactions for the VCCS, including accounts payable, travel & expense, procurement and payroll operations.

2. You had some concerns about the SSC at the onset. What happened to change your mind and what sort of changes do you envision implementing that would be of benefit to everyone?

One of the major lessons I learned throughout all of my leadership positions is to not come into a new job with preconceived ideas about what changes need to be implemented or to think I know exactly what should happen at the organization. First, I must listen to SSC personnel about their needs and to the college presidents regarding their needs. I look forward to working with the various groups, such as the SSC Management Council, to address service and support from the Shared Services Center to the colleges.

3. You’ve said in the past that having LFCC designated as one of the best colleges to work for in the country for five consecutive years was your crowning achievement. What steps do you plan to take to create a similar work environment at the SSC?

My leadership style is collaborative and inclusive. As I mentioned above, I must listen and learn. I have an open-door policy and invite anyone and everyone to share their input and ideas. Working together with the colleges to provide the best support we can is always the goal. Work should be enjoyable and creating an atmosphere of respect, energy, and enthusiasm is also always the goal.

4. Metaphorically speaking, are there any mountains you’d still like to climb, or will this position signal the end of your professional journey?

This will not be the end of my professional journey. I have a consulting business, named Effective Leadership Services, and after this gig is over, I will begin to market my services. To date, I have only accepted word-of-mouth jobs, but I plan to be more active in the future. I have learned so much through all of my leadership positions and it is fulfilling and rewarding to be able to share lessons learned with others.

5. On a personal note, how would you like your legacy to read for those that might follow in your footsteps?
As many people have said, it isn’t up to an individual to define their legacy, others will do that for me. However, I will share that I hope people, at the least, will say that she made a positive difference in people’s lives every day.

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