Cheryl has been practicing law since 1978, primarily in the area of business, finance and state regulatory matters. She has held a variety of upper management positions in state government, including Assistant Director of Licensing in charge of regulating securities, real estate, and professional licensing. She has served as a member of the governor's Securities Advisory Board and is a member of the advisory board to the Department of Financial Institutions. In addition to her law practice, through 2010 Cheryl was the owner of two women's clothing boutiques – Juicy Fruits in Olympia, and Willow at University Village in Seattle. She has a BA and MSW (community organization) from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Seattle University. She has been a "Big Sister" and has served on the boards of the YMCA, the EDC, and Patrons of South Sound Cultural Arts, Leadership Thurston County and has been active in a variety of organizations to promote gender and racial equity.