Jeff Cheek Eastern Tennessee

Jeff Cheek

Chapter President – East Tennessee

Jeff Cheek has been learning and teaching leadership development for nearly 30 years. He spent over a decade serving as a senior executive for a start-up company called Defender Direct. Defender, founded in 1998, grew from 4 employees to nearly 4,000 team-members with revenues approaching $500 million. 

As one of the first employees hired, Jeff, was instrumental in helping to shape the culture that made Defender so successful. Starting out in a front-line role, Jeff, was able to grow his skills while helping the people around him grow. This growth eventually led to him becoming Defender’s VP of Leadership & Development. 

In 2011, Jeff and his family answered the call to full-time missions and began serving as volunteers with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). While with YWAM, Jeff, and his wife Jonni, led DTS (Discipleship Training Schools) in Kona Hawaii and several outreach trips to Asia and the Pacific. He also helped lead Commission the City events with the Circuit Riders group that challenged business leaders to see their work as front-line missions. Jeff and Jonni finished their season in missions by serving as the Managing Directors of Homes of Hope in Mexico.

Today, Jeff is a sought-after speaker and consultant in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Jeff is passionate about helping companies improve their organizational health. These passions including culture and values, communication, effective leadership, team-building, and people development. Through his time of learning and leading, two key principles stand above the rest. First, ‘organizations don’t grow, people do.’ “Whether it’s a church, a large business, or a sports team, the organization grows when the people grow and increase their individual capacity.” Secondly, all work is worship and worthwhile. “Whether you’re swinging a hammer, starting a company, or working in the mission field, it all matters to the Kingdom because it can all glorify God.” 

Jeff is DISC certified and holds degrees in Business Administration and Organizational Leadership. Jeff has been married to his beautiful wife Jonni for 25 years. They’ve had the privilege of raising two amazing daughters, Darian & Jaidan, and an adopted son, Greg.