Cheri Coryea will collaborate with the Patterson Foundation’s staff members and other consultants on three initiatives.
SARASOTA — Cheri Coryea, who stepped down as Manatee County administrator Feb. 23 after a contentious period with county commissioners, has been named an initiative consultant at the Patterson Foundation, an endowed charitable entity with some $240 million in assets.
Coreya, according to a statement, will collaborate with the foundation’s staff members and other consultants on three initiatives strengthening individuals, organizations, and communities across Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties. She will work directly with the foundation’s Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Digital Access for All and Suncoast Villages initiatives, the release states.
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a community-wide effort to help children from birth through third grade, especially those from asset-limited families, read on grade level. Digital Access for All is an initiative that strives to enhance access to technology that connects people in ways that foster inclusion and well-being, while Suncoast Villages initiatives are designed to support and empower older adults in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties to live vibrant, purposeful lives.
“Focusing on mutual aspirations that strengthen people, organizations, and communities is the type of work that lights up my soul,” Coryea says in the statement.
Coryea has spent the bulk of her public sector work in the human services and community services fields, the release states. For much of her career, she conducted research and analysis on homelessness, housing, mental health, early childhood education, aging services and more as the Human Services Division Manager with Manatee County. She went on to become the first director of the Neighborhood Services Department, where she oversaw economic development, community development, neighborhood planning and other divisions, the release adds.
Coreya was named acting Manatee County administrator Feb. 26, 2019, replacing Ed Hunzeker, who had retired. She was later named to the position without an acting tag. Then, from late 2020 through February, some newly-elected county commissioners publicly said they were disappointed with Coreya for executing on land deals they disapproved off under prior commissioners. After several meetings, on Feb. 23 commissioners voted to execute a separation agreement with Coreya. Former Manatee County School Board Member Scott Hopes was named interim Manatee County administrator April 1.
At the Patterson Foundation, Coreya joins a group of consultants who are complemented by a smaller staff. “For decades, Cheri has worked tirelessly for and with the people of Manatee County,” The Patterson Foundation President and CEO Debra Jacobs says in the statement. “Her knowledge of the realities faced by people and organizations along with her heart for possibilities aligns with The Patterson Foundation’s mission of strengthening individuals, organizations and communities.”
Dorothy Clarke Patterson established an irrevocable trust fund known as The Patterson Foundation in 1997. The foundation has $238 million in assets, according to its latest public tax filings.