Presenter: Cherrise L. Wilks, MPA, GPC
Cherrise’s mission is to directly impact 1,000 small businesses in previously overlooked communities to help them with the structural foundation needed to scale their business by doing the following: gaining access to capital funding, additional lines of credit, securing a grant, or winning local, state, corporate, or federal contracts. Her goal is to elevate the financial game of micro and small businesses.
She is an experienced administrator with over 20+ years in the federal, state, local government, and private sectors. Ms. Wilks is the CEO of Affinity Consulting Group NEFL, a 13-year-old boutique management consulting firm providing government solutions and business advisory services to small businesses in the technology, construction, consulting, product development, and real estate development industries. She has helped dozens of business owners incorporate, secure business funding, and become certified for corporate and government contracting. Current contracts include assisting over 100 business owners through a partnership with Black Orlando Tech and the University of Florida Collaboratory for Inclusive Partnership as a Subject Matter Expert to help women, minority, and veteran businesses become State of Florida certified. Her firm provides government certification and contracting services to more than 25 businesses registered in the program.
Ms. Wilks has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of North Florida and a Bachelor’s from Florida State University. She holds professional credentials in Community Real Estate Development, Contract Management, and Grants Management. She has experience with the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida House of Representatives, the City of Jacksonville, and the City of Tampa.