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Would you like to be our next member spotlight?

At WiT, we love to shine a light on our members' stories and give them a chance to answer questions about themselves, plus offer advice to other members. 

Cherie Jansen

Director of Business Development

Flat River Group

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do...keep moving forward."


More About Me

Tell us about your career journey and how you ended up here.

I went to school as an English Major and Pre-Law student. While in college, I worked as a Department Manager at a local, high-end department store. I ended up speaking with the Buyers for my departments quite often. One day, one of the Buyers asked if I would want to be an Associate Buyer under her. I decided that I should try it. If I tried and did not like it, I could always go back to law school, but I may not get this opportunity again. Once I started as an Associate Buyer, I caught the retail bug and never looked back. This company went out of business, so my journey took me to K Mart next. I started two weeks before they filed Chapter 11. It was a hard road there, but I learned so much. Tough environments can really teach you so much, especially patience, endurance, appreciation, and a strategic mindset. I was then recruited to Meijer to be the Buyer for School, Home and Office. I later moved to the Pet category and brought my love of purchasing and pets together. My current company, Flat River Group, called me to help start the Pet Division as a Director of Purchasing. It was a perfect role because I love building businesses and we have a very entrepreneurial environment that I live and can thrive in. Most recently, I have been promoted to Director of Business Development at Flat River Group and am very excited to jump into this role to grow our vendor base.

Describe yourself in 5-7 words - have fun with it!



Particular (people like to call me picky, I prefer particular)




Truthful (sometimes brutally honest)


Tell us about a time when you thrived at work, and what you learned about yourself from that experience.

While at Meijer, during the first official Back to School season that was under my direction, I took a very different approach than the company had ever gone to market with. I wanted to compete on price and assortment with the other large, big box retailers and office super stores. This was completely opposite of how they had planned Back to School and it was a risk. Not everyone believed in it, but top management gave me their buy-in. It was a detailed and strategic plan. The company ended up with the best Back to School in history and picked up huge market share. It taught me to always believe in my abilities even if others do not.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite thing about my current position is going to Trade Shows and finding new vendors that I can partner with.  

How about when you "turn off" and go home? Any hobbies or fun activities you are involved in?

I am a foodie. I love going out to eat or for cocktails.  I love spending time with my fiancé (my boyfriend said that I needed to include him in my answer, haha,) family and friends. I love to travel. And I love animals so I donate time to the Humane Society.

Any must-read, must-watch or must-follow recomendations?

I would suggest watching Yellowstone and 1923. I am eagerly awaiting new episodes! I do have a secret love for documentaries. RBG is a great documentary on Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg that is currently on Hulu.

Anything else you want to share with the WiT Community?

I have been fortunate to meet a lot of supportive female professionals through WIT. When women support each other, we are unstoppable!

Cherie Jansen
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