Carol Cheney is the great niece of Russell Cheney and has been studying and collecting his work for several years. Since 2000, Cheney has served as president of the Cheney Cemetery Association, which has close to 200 members. The association cares for the family cemetery in Manchester, CT, supports local preservation and education initiatives especially as they relate to Cheney Brothers, her ancestors’ silk manufacturing business, and actively engages in genealogical research.
Carol Cheney is the president of Cheney & Company, a creative communications agency she established in 1983 to serve schools, colleges and other nonprofit organizations. This followed four years as director of communications at Choate Rosemary Hall. Her firm specializes in the development and production of print and digital publications used for recruitment, fundraising and constituency relations. She is a frequent speaker at national and regional conferences focusing on nonprofit marketing and public relations.
Cheney began her career as a summer assistant in the curatorial department of the Mystic Seaport. Following her graduation from Sarah Lawrence College, she worked as a project director for the educational media division of Harcourt, Brace, receiving in 1968 William Jovanovich’s President’s Medal for her work. In the early 1970s she authored one and co-authored two books on needlepoint (the first sold over 250,000 copies) and was a commissioned designer of ecclesiastical needlework, including her major installation at the Church of St. John the Divine in Houston. She founded the Houston Embroiderers’ Guild and served as vice president of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America and editor of the organization’s quarterly magazine, Needle Arts. She says that the Cheney “silk gene” is responsible for her keen interest in textiles.
Cheney has been a trustee of the New Haven Museum and Historical Society and Sarah Lawrence College. She was a member of the executive committee of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and active in local cultural affairs. Currently she serves as a director of the New Haven Preservation Trust. She is a member of The Century Association in New York, following in her Uncle Russell’s footsteps, which she has been tracing with Richard Candee, PhD, since 2005.