Cheryl Hearn Smith

Executive Director

Originally from Michigan, Cheryl moved to Georgia with her family 24 years ago. She has a wonderful loving and supportive husband, Michael; and 3 genuinely kind, caring and intelligent children, Taylor, Michael, and Matthew.    She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University, and a Master's degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Administration from Kennesaw State University. 

Cheryl brings over 25 years of business and family service experience.  She has strong business acumen, and has served in both management and executive leadership roles within the “for profit and non-profit” industries.  She currently serves on various local and statewide committees that are organized to build capacity and impact families in a positive way.  Additionally, Cheryl is a state approved trainer for the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, and for Strengthening Families Georgia.  She has written and facilitated business training and leadership courses as well as family engagement trainings.  Grateful for this amazing opportunity to strengthen Georgia’s early educators, she provides free state approved training for early education teachers and administrators in the state.

Cheryl is truly honored to lead the work of CASA Paulding.  Compassion and service to others was instilled in her as a child.  Her mother fostered dozens of children, and she shared her childhood with foster children of various ages and backgrounds.  Cheryl learned many lessons from this experience including the importance of humility, gratitude, and lifting others up.  She understood at a very young age that when human beings, (especially children) experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for them to feel lost, defeated, and without a voice.  For that reason, Cheryl’s passionate and goals center on holistically supporting families in need and -most importantly- protecting our youngest citizens who cannot protect themselves.  She embraces the CASA mission and stands with staff and volunteers who fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect and to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.