Cheryl Read Sullivan

   November 12th, 2022             Blog

duGard Communications Presents

The Beat Won’t Stop: Gratitude Ceremony

Cheryl Read Sullivan

The jazziest woman in the world taught me a lot about Marketing & PR and the days of Bear Bryant

She exposed (forced) me to do media relations and I fell in love with the strategy of public relations

Cheryl Read is one of those force of nature women you don’t realize you need in your life until you have experienced her power, reach, influence and understanding. She’s extremely opinionated and generally right. She has an instinct and intuition that surpasses most – understanding issues and getting to the bottom-line of a conversation, reading the room, being prepared, developing thud-factor reports to be ultra prepared for a corner office meeting and dressing to the nines. She also has so many Cheryl-isms it’s hard to keep up. Many of which I still use today. Like jazzy. She’s the reason I had to focus on media relations as part of my growing responsibilities at TriStar Health System. “Perri you need to pitch in addition to the work that Atkinson Public Relations is doing. Let’s cultivate that in addition to your other duties.”

Blank stare.

I was scared of the unknown. I was fine right where I was. Why in the heck did she want me to do this?  Well…it worked. I jumped in, started pitching, started landing and building relationships with the media…she had a strategy and may not have realized it. The rush of finding the right angle, the connection and the ability to convey why something was important to cover felt like playing chess after reading the playbook for years…the significance of it all was massive and fueled my future. Though I thought I’d be at HCA forever, I’m grateful for the way things happened so that I could get to today. 

Cheryl is a collector of people, a natural introvert who turns it on like a natural extrovert. We share that trait. She works any room she’s in and pushes everyone in her space to learn, lead and master multiple skills. She shaped so many things that her drive and determination is instilled and ingrained in me. 

Cheryl is like the Bear Bryant of HCA/TriStar Marketing and Public Relations. Bryant retired with 323 victories…I bet Cheryl impacted nearly as many marketing and PR professionals in her career and life.

Roll Tide, Cheryl Read Sullivan!