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Ascend Learning Announces Cheryl Kennedy as New Chief Human Resources Officer

April 3, 2023

Ascend Learning is pleased to welcome Cheryl Kennedy as its new chief human resources officer (CHRO) and newest member of its senior leadership team (SLT). Cheryl joins the Ascend team with more than 20 years of leadership experience aligning people and culture with organizational purpose and strategy to achieve results.

“A business first HR leader known for developing talent and inspiring creativity, transformational thinking and high performance, Cheryl is a highly collaborative leader committed to developing talent around her,” said Greg Sebasky, Ascend Learning CEO. “Cheryl’s unique talent for solving complex problems with future-focused solutions will enhance our human resources and talent strategy and help us continue to build a strong people-first culture centered around our purpose and values. I look forward to the impact our teams and organization will continue to make under Cheryl’s leadership.”

Cheryl joins Ascend from Welch’s, where she served as the chief human resources & sustainability officer and led the design and execution of a cultural renovation that accelerated business outcomes and helped triple profits in three years. As CHRO she implemented a leadership model and accountability structure, built internal strategic planning and problem-solving capabilities, and restructured performance management and talent development practices. She also led a cross-functional team to design, develop and execute Welch’s first ever sustainability and corporate social responsibility program.

Prior to Welch’s, Cheryl served in multiple leadership roles with Hasbro, leaving as their senior vice president of human resources. In her role, she was a key advisor to executive leadership and led HR transformation, implementing Hasbro’s DEI strategy, leading the redesign of the employee experience including performance and talent management, and upgrading HR systems and infrastructure including a global job model and reward structure.

Cheryl earned her bachelor’s degree in general studies and MBA in finance from the University of Rhode Island and has served as a speaker, panelist and thought leader on various workplace topics. She resides in Massachusetts with her family and enjoys all kinds of fitness including yoga, indoor cycling and hiking.