Let’s Get to Know Each Other
My name is Cheryl Schirillo. I am a visionary artist, entrepreneur, ambassador for the forest and the ocean, and conduit for the emerging future.
Through my business, Bridges Connecting Communities, and my non-profit, Imagination Installations, I help people tell their story, connect with their Tribe, and dream big for themselves, their business, and their community.
Over the past 28 years, I have owned my own PR and marketing business, launched multiple start-ups and community projects, and was thrilled to be a finalist for the $750,000 Knight Enterprise News Challenge.
Through my business, Bridges, I help people tell their story and connect with their Tribe. We also create and lead Mindfulness Programs and Retreats for groups, businesses and non-profits. The latter work emerged as a natural outgrowth of my personal evolution and community projects.
I began my mostly-daily mediation practice 13 years ago when I launched my first start-up. As a newly single mom of two young children, my stress levels were off the chart. I was in critical need of a fix that would allow me to be at the top of my game when I was pitching investors and getting to the finals in business plan competitions throughout the southeast. By incorporating mindfulness into my day, I found I could more fully enjoy the wild ride I was on and be more present and peaceful when interacting with loved-ones and co-workers.
For the past decade I’ve studied mindfulness, meditation and indigenous nature-practices with Integrative-Medicine Practitioners from Duke University, Buddhist Monks, Pacos from Peru and Native-American Shamans.
My Mindfulness Consulting Practice was sparked three years ago by my teacher Otto Scharmer at M.I.T. and by our local hub of community-innovators who have been participating in U.Lab, a global movement to build a new economy by co-sensing and co-creating with the emerging future.
My Personal Mindfulness-Meditation/Metta Practice
Today, I meditate for 10 – 40 minutes in the morning — and create moments of mindfulness throughout each day. I make time for this in my busy schedule because I’ve found it is the best way for me to manage stress — and even more importantly — repeatedly connect with my desire to live an authentic, connected and joyfully-creative life.
Growing up in the small town of Midland, Michigan I learned to value a community that was rich in arts and culture. My youth was spent writing, making visual art, acting, playing oboe in the orchestra and percussion in the marching band, and leading community-service projects.
After graduating with a double major in Communications and Merchandising Management from Michigan State University, I moved to Boston and began my 28-year career as a public relations and marketing professional. I lived in Chicago and San Francisco before making Winston-Salem my home, and founding my own communications company, over twenty years ago.
I have found Winston-Salem, North Carolina to be a dynamic community in which to live, work, play and evolve. It has been a magical place to feed my artistic passions, including playing the ukulele and the Native American Flute, dancing, and creating public art installations. I have found an abundance of work that is meaningful to me here, and I’ve found it to be fertile ground for raising my two boys and my daughter, who are now 15, 18 and 22 years old, our three dogs, Sprite, Magellan and Jesse, and our African Grey Parrot, Jaco.
My Story In Decades
In the 1990s I valued being part of downtown revitalization efforts and the launch of the social capital movement through my work with the ECHO Council and Authoring Action.
In 2006, when Facebook was just beginning to be used by people other than college students, I got deeply involved in the national social media scene. The intersection of my local work in social capital and national efforts in social media — inspired me to found MyBridges, a hyper-local web site linked to Facebook and Twitter that is dedicated to collaborative community storytelling.
In August of 2011 I launched The Imagination Installations Project which was initially a grassroots effort fueled by a group of twenty-one entrepreneurs, artists, business people, educators, designers, and community leaders to brainstorm an imagination project for Winston-Salem, NC. In 2014 I became the founding executive director when we received our 501(c)(3) status. The mission of The Imagination Installations Project is to harness the collective power of our community’s dreams by building Imaginariums. These interactive, art venues collect and share the dreams of people from all walks of life in our community and share them via public art installations and social media platforms.
Lets Work/Play Together!
I invite you to join me on this exciting journey. If you’d like to discuss a possible project, collaboration, or just meet over coffee to share what aspect of the emerging future excites you the most, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org