MPA, University of North Florida
BS, Family, Child and Consumer Sciences, Florida State University
Cherrise is an experienced administrator with over 20+ years in the federal, state, local government, and private sectors. Ms. Wilks is the CEO of Affinity Consulting Group NEFL, a 13-year-old boutique management consulting firm providing government solutions and business advisory services to small businesses in the technology, construction, consulting, product development, and real estate development industries. She has helped dozens of business owners incorporate, secure business funding, and become certified for corporate and government contracting. She has spoken and provided training to numerous businesses on government contracting, types of business funding, and business sustainability. To date, her firm has successfully secured more than $84 million and managed $314 million in public and private funding.
Additionally, Ms. Wilks serves as a Community Development Expert with the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security-FEMA as a Reservist for select deployments. During prior deployments, she has co-developed two Arc-GIS databases for state/local governments housed on the Census website, authored a Local Government Solutions Grants Management Guide (May 2021), and helped states identify public-private partnerships and funding to assist communities with rebuilding after major hurricanes since 2017. Throughout her career, Ms. Wilks has directly managed local government budgets of $40+ million in general operating funds and identified over $5.7 million in operational cost savings.