Cheryl Vlach, a 1996 Lincoln-Way graduate, is making waves as a leader in her field.
Vlach was chosen as one of only 100 honorees to receive the MAKE award from Women in Manufacturing. According to their website, “The Women MAKE Awards recognize women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership within their companies. This national honor identifies top talent in the manufacturing industry and further encourages award winners to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue modern manufacturing careers.”
Vlach has worked for Panduit for more than 25 years and is currently the head of the SavvyStock product line, where she leads a team of seven. Though she did not take the traditional route of going to college immediately following her high school graduation, she attended Joliet Junior College for her associate’s degree in computer programming. Throughout her career, she has emphasized that even though someone’s education or background may look different, that does not mean that they won’t be successful in a leadership role.
During her time as a Lincoln-Way student, Cheryl had many teachers who helped her become the successful professional she is today. She noted that Mrs. Tadey, who ran the Co-Op program, taught her about how business works in the real world. Vlach also said she owes her leadership style to her English teacher Mrs. Daley, who she fondly recalls would end her classes on Friday saying, “Be safe, I want to see you all on Monday.” After so many years, Cheryl still remembers how that made her feel as a student, and she truly sees the impact that genuine care and compassion can have. Cheryl also gives a nod to current superintendent Dr. Tingley who was her first programming teacher when she was a student here at Lincoln-Way.
Cheryl currently resides in Manhattan with her husband and their two daughters. Their oldest, Emily, is currently a senior at Lincoln-Way West, and Ally is in 4th grade at Anna McDonald School.