One could say that Cheryl Hardy is a busy woman. Accomplished, Dedicated, Involved, Passionate; words that can only begin to describe the President of Hardy Communications and Marketing, Cheryl Hardy.
“I get asked a lot if I have experience with a specific target market or a specific industry. I usually respond by asking, ‘Do people buy your product or service?’ The answer is always yes – of course, so I say, well then, yes, I have a great deal of experience with your target market!”
Although her thoughts may seem like she’s trying to be coy or even cute, the reality is Cheryl Hardy is responsible for some very high profile (and very successful) strategic marketing, branding and lead generation programs in Toledo and around the country. “People are people are people – and no matter what industry you’re in, it’s people who buy your product. So, I’ve always focused on understanding people. I rely on my clients to know their business, so the combination of my knowledge and pulse on the general public or a very targeted segment of the population in addition to an expert in the industry we’re marketing – that’s a very dangerous combination for success.”
In addition to strategic planning, media planning and her nationally recognized lead generation Direct Mail campaigns with response rates that reach in the 40% range frequently, Ms. Hardy has a diverse and experienced background in marketing including hosting multiple television programs for NBC, creating several local featured charity fund raisers or community events including the EPIC Rocks Fashion Show at Levis Commons and the Garden Party at Schedel Gardens, and multiple speaking engagements give Cheryl an uncanny ability to create successful long-term strategies – no matter what the cause.
“I’m frequently asked just to brain storm and take a second look at an idea – refine it, make it better or more appealing. Given the right preparation time, the session almost always yields very successful results. Marketing is what I’ve always done – it’s what I know. Some people can fix a car or something mechanical without much effort – much more than a hammer and a nail and I’m not worth a darn bit in that department – but with marketing and strategy for branding and long-term planning, that’s where I thrive and where I shine. It’s the only thing I do really well – it’s a great thing that I enjoy it too.”
In addition to her community work and event volunteerism, Cheryl has run an advertising agency, now morphed in to a consulting firm for the last 13 years. Countless strategic plans, hundreds of media timelines and public relations plans coupled with web sites that include Internet banking and e-commerce sites as well as SEO and social media focus, as well as dozens of local, regional, and international marketing campaigns for a variety of businesses all set the foundation for Hardy Communications…and Consulting.
“I started the consulting business about 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve had a 100% satisfaction rate with my customers. We’ve provided a plan that gave one customer the opportunity to double their business in under 8 months time and for another consulting client, we provided such a robust lead generation program, even in this economy, we actually had to slow down so they could catch up! Is that a problem, yes, but it’s a good problem.”
Former President Bill Clinton and the late State Representative Paul Gilmor recognized Ms. Hardy not only for the seminar and manual that she developed at a very young age, but also her accomplishments in business as well as her extensive community service involvement that started in a high scholl DECA program.
“Years ago, I co-developed “MarketSmart Marketing BootCamp,” a seminar for small businesses – to teach start-ups the foundation of marketing…kind of a back-to-basics for small business strategy. I also wrote/published “Free Enterprise, Creating a Global Economy,” a business manual back in 1994 – before it obvious there was a global economy. That was not only the beginning of my marketing career, but also the national marketing competition winner which put me through college. I was exposed to very successful international business leaders in a variety of industries and I saw the opportunity. I created a marketing campaign, implemented it and wrote about it and detailed all the steps and results in my manual – little did I know that was truly the first of hundreds of strategic plans I would ever write.”
In addition to full-time consulting for an exclusive list of clients, Ms. Hardy participates and contributes many hours to an assortment of organizations such as: Levis Commons Entertainment District and Fashion Show; LISC; Schedel Gardens; Cameras for Kidz and many more organizations in the community on an as-needed basis. In her precious spare time, Cheryl is known to be off on some crazy athletic adventure, traveling to some foreign land taking pictures or spending time with friends and family – usually including a bottle of wine.
Any one who reads about her many contributions to the world around us would not be surprised to hear about the many awards that she has received. Cheryl has been awarded the prestigious Fifth Third Bank’s 20 under 40 Award in 2001, the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from Port Clinton, Ohio in 1994, The Honorary Lifetime Membership Award from Port Clinton DECA (at age 23) as well as multiple nominations for both the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Leadership Toledo and dozens of ADDY and Crystal awards for her marketing campaigns and her photography.
Cheryl has been awarded the prestigious Fifth Third Bank’s 20 under 40 Award in 2001, the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from Port Clinton, Ohio in 1994, The Honorary Lifetime Membership Award from Port Clinton DECA (at age 23) as well as multiple nominations for both the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Leadership Toledo and dozens of ADDY and Crystal awards for her marketing campaigns and her photography.
“I started BlackSheepPhotography.com a few years ago when Larry bought me a really nice camera for Christmas. I like to share my photos with the world, so it’s just a hobby – but more often than not, I get asked about the name. I’ve been told I don’t look like the usual Black Sheep, but I’ve never really chosen a normal path, the easy path, the path people expected of me – so I’ve always been kind of a Black Sheep – or I’ve always felt like it. All those choices made me what I am today, so I don’t regret going against the grain most of my life – by taking the path of MOST resistance, I’ve learned a lot and I’m able to pass that on in my personal and my professional life.”
Cheryl attended the University of Findlay, Arizona State University, and Baldwin-Wallace College.