By Chuck Walker
MOBILE, Ala. – While people were rocking out to concerts in Philadelphia and London for the first Live Aid events, Cheryl Ayler was beginning her career in the federal government and getting married to her husband, Al.
Ayler, native of Axis, Alabama, began her career in 1985 as a pathology clerk at the Veteran’s Affair Hospital in Miami, Florida..
After stints of working for the Navy in Pensacola, Florida, Mobile, Alabama and Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 2006, she finally started her career for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, as secretary for the Logistics Branch and she has been in the District ever since.
“I knew nothing about the Corps before I started working here,” Ayler said. “But I learned over time about the great work that we do here and around the world. This is a wonderful place to work.”
Throughout her time in Mobile, Ayler has worked a variety of jobs and positions. From branch secretary for Logistics, Hydrology and Hydraulics, Division Secretary for Engineering, and procurement technician for the Engineering Technical Branch.
In the 17 years she has been in Mobile, Ayler said that in a sea of good memories there are a few that stick out from her time here.
“I’ve met a lot of amazing people in a long span of time, but I would say Lisa Williams was great mentor while I was here,” Ayler said. “I have had the honor of being guided by and supported by a number of friends and mentors. I will also remember winning the Black History Essay Contest in 2007. I have a ton of memories, but that’s the first one that comes to mind.”
Among the many who will miss Ayler and what she has provided to the Corps and the District is Allison Pierce, Chief of the Project Support Section and Ayler’s supervisor.
Pierce said Ayler’s professionalism will be missed the most.
“She has shown great professionalism in fulfilling her job duties and supporting our team,” Pierce said. “Her cheerful and encouraging attitude will be missed by everyone who has been privileged to work alongside her. She worked hard as the CPARS coordinator and was a main point of contact with the A-E community where she has always represented the Mobile District in a professional and positive manner.”
Jason Krick, Engineering Division Chief, said Ayler has had an encouraging and influential career while she has been in the District.
“Cheryl has been a great employee over the past 17 years for the Engineering Division,” Krick said. “Her positive attitude, kind heart, and strong loyalty has been inspiring to many of us in Engineering and the District.”
Ayler said she couldn’t have accomplished anything in her career without the support and encouragement she received from her family along the way. They also play a key role in her post retirement plans.
“Al has encouraged my upward movement every step of the way from 1985 until now,” Ayler said. “My daughter, sisters and brothers have all been supportive of me when I had challenges and successes. I am definitely going to spend a lot of time traveling, staying fit, and enjoying my grandkids.”