The Board of El Paso County Commissioners at its regular meeting Thursday, February 7, recognized the retirement of Adult and Family Services Director Cheryl Schnell with an official Proclamation, expressing thanks for her 23 years at the El Paso County Department of Human Services.

Schnell began her career in El Paso County as a case manager in the Colorado Works Diversion Program in 1996 and was promoted to Employment and Family Support Division manager in 2001. In 2014, Ms. Schnell became the Adult and Family Services Director, overseeing Adult Protective Services, Colorado Works, benefit programs as well as community detox when it was under the purview of the County.

“Under her leadership, El Paso County DHS was the first Colorado Works program in the state to incorporate child protection case workers as a strategy for promoting family well-being and stability,” said Commissioner Vice-Chair Longinos Gonzalez, Jr., as he read the Proclamation into the record.

“Thank you for your incredible gift of leadership,” Executive Director of El Paso County Department of Human Services Julie Krow said, praising Schnell’s work and direction on programs and projects including the transition of the detox facility and assisting with single-entry program development. “Cheryl has been at the helm of what is now the best workforce program in the state, with the highest employment entry rate.”

As director, Schnell created a partnership between Adult Protective Services and the Colorado Springs Police Department that significantly expanded capacity for responding to reports of elder abuse and neglect. Her skills and contributions were recognized during her career as she received the 2005 Colorado Works Purpose in Practice Award, and the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award and the Goodwill CNA Pioneer Award.

“It amazes me how dedicated you are to accomplishing the mission of taking care of the most vulnerable in our community,” said Commissioner Chair Mark Waller

Said Commissioner Stan VanderWerf: “It is clear to me that you are leaving a legacy at DHS.”

During her time at El Paso County, Schnell has also played a prominent role in the community, serving on the governing board of the Fountain Valley Senior Center as well as sharing leadership skills and knowledge with Rocky Mountain Options.

Many others also stepped up to the podium to thank Cheryl for her leadership and guidance.

“I want to thank you for all your years and your dedication to El Paso County,” said Nicola Sapp, Deputy County Administrator.

“It is a challenging jobs at times, but it is also a job of hope, and of compassion. I could not have asked for better colleagues. It has been my pleasure and my honor to work for the County,” Schnell said.

VIDEO: Proclamation recognizing Cheryl Schnell’s retirement from El Paso County Department of Human Services.