From Marine to mentor
Cherrietta Prince is director of the IMPACT Initiative for Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP). She assists small businesses with developing sustainable business models and securing adequate support. During the pandemic, she has also focused on responding to the needs of entrepreneurs adversely impacted.
Cherrietta provides technical assistance to entrepreneurs and facilitates a 10-week course in how to start and grow a business. Topics introduce participants to a comprehensive overview of planning and operating a business.
An entrepreneur herself for more than 20 years, Cherrietta spent a decade as a college professor and assisted many in establishing solid ventures. Growing up in a family of businessmen and women, she learned how to survive in the marketplace.
A native Floridian and Gator, Cherrietta majored in public relations and has a B.S. degree in Journalism & Communications. The University of Florida alumna also received her M.B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University. She was recently honored as Ms. Two Bits by UF Athletics as one of the first women ever to wear the Gator uniform.
A proud Marine, Cherrietta supports numerous veterans’ organizations and initiatives. She is a member of Ocala Metro CEP Veterans Networking group (supporting veteran businesses) and active in VFW. A certified yoga instructor, she teaches Yoga with Connected Warriors. She is passionate about helping reduce the number of homeless veterans.
My Journey as a Marine:
After college and a few years as a young professional, I wanted to travel more and was seeking adventure. I found the greatest opportunity in the Marine Corps.
During my training at Parris Island, SC, I acquired the spirit of the Corps and the true meaning of Semper Fidelis – always faithful. The Marine Corps was a fitting challenge, and I was “AJ squared away.”
My next tour of duty was at U.S. Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico as overnight disc jockey and announcer atop a hill on-base in Ceiba, PR, at the American Forces Caribbean Network. I became a producer in the newsroom at AFCN Television and our team received the Media Award for Military Broadcasters. Among thousands of military on base, there were 500 Marines and only five of us women Marines.
The next stop was Camp Lejeune, NC, which is the largest Marine Corps base on the east coast. Recognized as Journalist of the Quarter for excellence in journalism, I then became leader of the Radio-TV division on base in what was an exciting adventure, as I became the evening disc jockey for the Marines at the local country radio station in Jacksonville, NC.
After active duty, my military service extended to the Marine Corps Reserves in El Paso, Texas and transferred to the unit in Orlando. As a photojournalist and media representative, I toured a number of other duty stations and worked with Public Affairs Headquarters in Washington, D.C.