Retired Chandler Police Chief Sherry Kiyler, who will deliver the keynote message at a coming Chamber of Commerce Women in Business session, asks a simple question with a perhaps not-so-simple answer: “Who Says You Can’t?”
The talk is designed to be part inspirational and part motivational as she hopes to encourage women to be the “masters of their own destiny.”
Kiyler successfully demonstrated that approach throughout her nearly 40-year career in law enforcement. From 2004 until 2013, she served as chief for the Chandler Police Department, where she was responsible for a staff of nearly 500 sworn and civilian personnel, and all law enforcement functions in the city.
“The real message of my presentation is that most things are not ‘can and cannots.’ They are ‘want tos and don’t want tos’, or ‘shoulds or should nots’. We need to be careful about allowing others to decide what we can and can’t do,” said Kiyler.
Kiyler says she originated the idea a few years ago for a presentation she was asked to do for Intel.
“I decided I wanted to talk about how we sometimes let people tell us we ‘can’t’ do something. That was certainly my experience early on in my law enforcement career—so many times between family to friends, to peers—many people said I couldn’t do that job,” said Kiyler.
“Over time I realized that it wasn’t that I couldn’t, it was that they did not want me to do it.”
She says that it took her a long time to realize that personal choice is the main driver in career direction, as long as they exhibit physically and mentally capability.
“My hope is to share my journey with others and perhaps help them with theirs,” said Kiyler.
She began her municipal law-enforcement career in Phoenix, where she spent more than 31 years with the police department, retiring at the rank of commander in 2004.
She then moved to Chandler to continue her public service. Now, she remains active by serving as a member of a law enforcement federal monitoring team. In recognition of her civic commitment, she believes strongly in giving back and continues her community involvement.
“Over the past several years, I have personally raised over $20,000 for Arizona Special Olympics by rappelling down a 27-story building in downtown Phoenix and I will continue this tradition this December,” said Kiyler.
In 2016, she will serve as the chairperson for the International Law Enforcement Torch Conference for Special Olympics to be held in Phoenix.
In her spare hours, Kiyler spends time with family, as well as pursuing a number of hobbies, including creating stained and fused glass design.
Chamber president Terry Kimble says the Women In Business event offers a different program each month to assist women in relationship building, networking and establishing business opportunities.
The event is scheduled for noon, Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the SoHo63, 63 E Boston St. in Chandler. Tickets are $25 for members, $35 for guests and can be ordered online at www.chandlerchamber.com