Join us in welcoming Shelia Manely, CFR’s 2021 Board Chair.
Shelia is the Senior Business Manager at The Manely Firm, P.C., and has been with the firm since 2003. Throughout this time, she has also been an active service leader, including board member of the CFR and Kiwanis Club of Marietta. She received The Center for Family Resources 2017 Rookie Board Member of the Year Award, the 2018 Chairman’s Award and is one of liveSAFE’s 2019 Women of Achievement Honorees.
Shelia has expertise in Law and Public Administration, with a Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University and a BA in Paralegal Studies and an MPA from Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to 2003, she served in a variety of leadership positions, including Assistant Director of National School Enhancement and Reform for Nova Southeastern University, Executive Director of the Georgia School Council Institute, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation and Assistant to the Regional Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education.
At The Manely Firm, Shelia has been supporting the growth of the firm from two employees and one office to over 40 employees, four offices and recognition as one of Atlanta’s premier firms in the delivery of international and domestic family law. She has also been providing community impact through pro bono work and partnerships with local nonprofits. In 2013, Shelia and her husband Michael established the Justice Café as a way to provide the metro Atlanta community with affordable legal aid and support. The Café matched new attorneys with low-income clients in need of basic family law attorney services and worked with the CFR to support those they served. During this effort, Shelia became connected to the CFR’s mission and became even more engaged to by serving on various committees.
During a recent meeting, Shelia shared her vision for 2021 as CFR’s Board Chair. She shared the following:
Throughout the years, and especially in 2020, the CFR has shown resiliency and the ability to quickly adapt to change. Shelia’s vision is to support these strengths in order to impact the families and children they serve in meaningful ways. The focus for the 2021 board is to continue to develop and support strategies to prevent childhood homelessness before the child ever experiences homelessness. She shared her vision at a recent board retreat by using the theme, A+, A+, A+, which represents the following:
A+ = Awareness–Elevating the awareness of the existence of homeless children in Cobb county and the trauma that stems from these hardships.
A+ = Advocacy–Advocating for the children being served by the CFR. This could include supporting efforts that provide parents greater employment opportunities, affordable child care, and other key issues that impact homelessness.
A+ = Amplify–Amplifying the CFR’s impact throughout our community to eliminate childhood homelessness.
When discussing her role as a community leader and what drives her philanthropic vision, Shelia refers to her favorite quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”
Thank you, Shelia, for your leadership as Board Chair, support of the CFR’s mission and inspiring others to action. 2021 will be a year of triple “A+” impact.