Women’s History Month
Celebrating Debby Cherney, SBCERA’s Chief Executive Officer

March 27, 2024


As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we want to recognize our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Debby Cherney for making history as the first woman to lead SBCERA as CEO.

In 2018, Debby’s appointment as CEO at SBCERA marked a significant milestone in the organization’s history.  With her extensive experience and proven track record in finance and management, Debby brought a new era of leadership to SBCERA, setting a precedent for women in the financial sector.  Her strategic vision and innovative approach have helped propel significant advancements and successes for SBCERA.

“Debby’s unwavering dedication, leadership, and expertise have propelled SBCERA to new heights,” said Marc Bracco, SBCERA Board Chair. “It is evident that she cares for her team and leads by example. Debby is a true pioneer, and we are lucky to have her at the helm.”

Before serving as CEO at SBCERA, Debby had already made her mark in various positions within the finance industry.  Her journey included serving as Deputy General Manager at the Eastern Municipal Water District, where she tackled critical water issues in California, demonstrating her expertise in navigating complex challenges.

Debby formerly served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada, was the Chair of their advisory Committee on Retirement and Benefits Administration and was the Chair of the Women’s Public Finance Network.  She also formerly served as a member of the Board of Public Utilities for the City of Riverside.

“It’s a privilege to lead SBCERA and honor the many women who have served and continue to serve San Bernardino communities,” said Debby.  “As the first woman to lead SBCERA, I’m proud to continue to advance the cause of inclusion and ensure everyone has a seat at the table.”

As the first woman to hold the CEO position at SBCERA, she’s paved the way for future generations of women leaders, inspiring them to pursue their ambitions fearlessly.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Cherney’s leadership extends to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the public sector.  She actively participates in initiatives aimed at empowering women in finance and mentors young professionals, offering guidance and support as they navigate their careers.

We had the opportunity to ask Debby a few questions.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leading with humility and valuing diversity of thought and opinion.  Kindness is underrated as a leadership trait.  I often say, we can be hard on the issues, but easy on the people.

What are you most proud of?

“I’m most proud of my team we’ve assembled at SBCERA, and how we’ve embraced our strategic pillars in all that we do. At SBCERA, we embrace a collaborative culture of continuous improvement, focused on our members.

What drives you?

Doing right by our members who are counting on us, inspiring our team to achieve excellence and see their full potential, and my family. 

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