Remembering Cheryl Snead, Banneker Industries

Remembering Cheryl Watkins Snead
(May 18, 1958 - January 22, 2018)

Cheryl Watkins Snead was a shining star. She was a successful business and community leader as well as a devoted wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.

For those who knew Cheryl, you know she had a dynamic, trailblazing spirit and infectious smile. She had the innate ability to lift-up those around her while maintaining the ambitious and energetic focus of a true leader. While immensely successful, Cheryl was also humble, patient and a passionate advocate for the empowerment of youth, people of color, women, and small businesses. Cheryl was an incredible soul who inspired and impacted so many around her and who was a champion of the process of continual improvement. Providence Journal

CWE Article - Success Stories

Cheryl W. Snead was the President, Chief Executive Officer and Facilities Security Officer of Banneker Industries, Inc. a world-class provider of Supply Chain Management solutions including logistics headquartered in North Smithfield, Rhode Island with operations across the United States.

Ms. Snead received her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts. She worked for General Electric (GE) honing her engineering and management skills before earning a master’s degree in business from Purdue University. Later, she managed the machine shop operations of a small, minority-owned firm in R.I. before starting Banneker Industries, in 1991. Ms. Snead received an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree from Bryant University in May 2006. She was also a green belt Six Sigma Specialist.

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582 Great Rd., Unit 101
North Smithfield, RI
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Banneker Industries, Inc. and Ms. Snead have received numerous awards, both for business accomplishments and ongoing civic work. In 2014 she was inducted into the Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame. In 2009 she was named a “Women’s Business Enterprise Star” by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the New England Businesswomen of the Year by Bryant University’s Women’s Summit. Banneker Industries has been featured nationally in Inc., MBE, Essence, Black Enterprise and ARMY magazines. Banneker Industries was named the “National Subcontractor of the Year” by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2008.  

Ms. Snead served on the Federal Reserve Advisory Board in Boston and was also the Lead Director for Amica Insurance, nationally recognized for home, auto and life insurance. She was a past Director of Bank Rhode Island. Ms. Snead also shared her expertise with non-profits as Vice Chair for the Bryant University Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of the WBENC Women’s Enterprise Forum and served on the WBENC Board of Directors. Her community activities included serving as a charter member and officer of the Greater Providence RI Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.  Ms. Snead was a passionate, motivational speaker advocating youth, minority and women empowerment.