Cheryl Laws

Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Cheryl Laws is a native of South Charleston, West Virginia. Her entrepreneurial nature coupled with a temporary position at Kanawha County Drug Court sparked her interest in helping people recover from Substance Use Disorder and her journey to becoming a Sociologist. In 2011, when she was 42 years old, she returned to college at West Virginia State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Minor in Sociology in 2014.

Upon graduation, Cheryl immediately enrolled at Appalachian State University and she and her daughter moved to Boone, North Carolina where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies in 2016. Her goal was to come back to West Virginia and open a nonprofit organization that would help women and families who were affected by the opioid epidemic. While she was studying Appalachian Studies she researched best practices of treatment programs across the United States, Canada, and Brazil.

From that research she wrote her thesis, “Reintegration Strategies to Mitigate Child Abuse and Neglect by Substance Abusers in West Virginia Communities”. This thesis went on to serve as the basis of her business plan for Pollen8, a nonprofit organization founded by Cheryl in 2015.

Cheryl is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Pollen8 and resides in South Charleston with her daughter, Sydney. Her son, Nicholas, helped her build Café Appalachia, one of the social enterprises for Pollen8 where he continues to work. He has given her two granddaughters she adores and hopes to inspire.