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2011 Most Influential Women Honoree: Cheryl Doran

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After nearly 15 years at Pellham Phillips Architects and Engineers, interior designer Cheryl Doran became project manager for planning, design and construction for St. John’s Hospital and parent entity Mercy’s central region earlier this year.  

During her tenure at Pellham Phillips, Doran was the human resources director, a project manager and senior interior designer.

Doran holds a bachelor’s in interior design from Missouri State University and a master’s in leadership and management from Webster University. She also is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-accredited professional. She has worked on numerous projects throughout the Ozarks, including MSU’s JQH Arena, James River Assembly’s sanctuary and the Mount Pleasant Winery in Branson.

For Doran, however, her greatest accomplishment isn’t connected to buildings.

“These are just material things,” she says. “My proudest accomplishment is when I have helped children and young adults.”

One way she gives that help is through teaching, which she has done at MSU for 11 years as a per-course faculty member.

“My goal is to encourage and inspire students to dream,” she says. “The biggest smile on my face is when I get a thank you card or an e-mail from a past student that shares his or her success story with me,” she says.

Rather than teaching by textbook, Doran prefers to instruct by example. She once took 13 college seniors to Chicago.

“I introduced them to design vendors, manufacturers, and architects,” she says. “More than half of those students were recruited for internships and employment.”

As a mentor for young designers and interns, Doran counsels them to further their career interests and take ownership in their work through a philosophy of silent leadership, which centers on listening to others.

“I do not believe it takes the power of authority to be a good leader,” she says.

Doran is a member of the board of directors for the Springfield Design Association, and she is a member of the Salute to Construction council, which works to inform students about careers in those industries.

As a board member for Boys and Girls Town, Doran works on the organization’s biggest fundraiser, Diamond Night, and she has helped raise more than $200,000.

“Cheryl has been a member of Boys and Girls Town’s Advisory Board since 2009, (and) she has helped give guidance and support leading the organization as we have grown and added programs,” says Andrea Vent, director of advancement at Boys and Girls Town of Missouri.

Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Most Influential Women.
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