18:00 PM

Columbus business leader to speak at autumn commencement

Cheryl L. Krueger, founder of Cheryl & Co., will be the speaker for Ohio State’s autumn commencement, which takes place on Sunday, Dec. 11 in the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Approximately 2,100 students will receive degrees during the ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m.

Krueger was the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Cheryl & Co., a multi-million dollar gourmet food and gift corporation, which she sold in 2005. She served as president since the company’s incorporation in 1981 through 2009.

She recently founded KRUEGER+CO. Consulting, Inc. and serves as its CEO. Its primary focus is to help companies develop creative marketing and sales strategies as well as evaluate product development pipelines, operations, logistics, and financial performance.

Krueger is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1974.

After college, she worked at Limited Brands, learning the retail business. In 1981, Krueger and her college roommate opened the very first Cheryl’s Cookies in Columbus, offering six kinds of cookies. The company broadened its offerings to include gourmet food and gifts, and became Cheryl & Co. That company grew to include retail stores, an internet business, a catalog business and a business gift division. A 2005 merger enabled the company to become part of the 1-800-Flowers family of brands.

Krueger has served on the Bob Evans Farms Board of Directors since 1993 and serves as chairperson for its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. She served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Board for District 4 and served as the Chairperson of their Operations Committee. She also is a member of the World Presidents Organization.

In 1999, she was named the top female entrepreneur of the year for the entire United States by Working Women Magazine.

Her service to Ohio State is notable. She is a member of The Ohio State University Foundation Board. She also is a member and past president of the Foundation Board of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. In January 2009, the board honored her with the Champion Award in recognition of dedication and outstanding contributions to the commitment of hope.

Krueger has been active in supporting cancer research after her former business partner, and then her father, died of cancer. Cheryl & Co. created commemorative cookie jars and ceramic bowls to fund cancer research. In January 2009, the James Foundation Board honored her with the Champion Award in recognition of dedication and outstanding contributions to the commitment of hope.

Her community commitment extends to many organizations. She is an honorary board member of the Seal of Ohio Girl Scout Council; a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church Council; a member of the Board of Trustees for The Columbus Academy, a private college preparatory school in Columbus; and chairperson of the Capital Campaign for The Columbus Academy.