Psychology and Organizational Leadership
EMCC alumna Cheryl Todd believes that building a strong and dynamic business community helps to strengthen residential communities, and vice-versa. Her perspective comes from years of hands-on experience. For more than three decades, Todd and her husband of 32 years, Danny, have owned multiple “mom and pop sized” businesses. She was a career business woman before embarking on a higher education in her late 20’s, an endeavor she faced with some trepidation.
“I had no idea how I would do in college,” she said. “I was an above average high-school student, but had been out of school for so many years that I didn’t know what the college experience would hold.” Not only did it turn out to be not as daunting as she had worried, Todd says it couldn’t have gone any better. “Going to EMCC was the perfect experience for me. The teachers were so focused on student success that it gave me the courage to excel. I became a 4.0 student, which I didn’t know that I could be. It set my feet firmly on the ground, and on the road to success, by giving me that courage and confidence to know that I could achieve things.”
Coming to EMCC armed with extensive experience in the business world, Todd was used to often working solo, plowing through tasks in what she calls a “lone ranger” mode. Her time at EMCC helped her learn the value of working collaboratively. “As a longtime entrepreneur, it’s easy to get used to working solo,” she said. “My college experience taught me how to effectively work with others, how to build teams and complete projects together. I really learned how to rely on the talents of others for the success of all.” So satisfied with the initial foray back into secondary education, Todd secured a psychology degree and is currently working on a master’s degree in organizational leadership.
In addition to currently owning three Avondale-based businesses with Danny – AZFirearms, Pot of Gold Estate Auctions, and Gun Freedom Radio – Todd devotes ample time to local charitable and service organizations. The pair has won several awards for their efforts, including community service awards for founding First Responders Appreciation Day.
“Danny and I are very community-minded,” she said. “That’s why we joined the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce a few years ago. We like to serve our first responders and our surrounding communities in any ways we can. That has always been our priority, rather than just being focused on monetary success.”
Todd was recently appointed as the chamber’s chair-elect, a role she is thrilled to fill. “I am so excited to work with local businesses of all sizes, from the mom and pop shops, to the biggest around. I am honored to serve in this position.”