The CHRO would like to congratulate Commissioner Cherron Payne on her appointment as our new Commission Chairperson. Commissioner Payne was unanimously confirmed on February 17th after being nominated by Governor Dannel Malloy.
Chairperson Payne is the most recent addition to the Commission having been previously been appointed Commissioner on January 29, 2016. She is the founder and managing attorney of ACP Law Firm, LLC. In 2011, she was appointed as a magistrate by the Connecticut Judicial Branch, to adjudicate small claims and motor vehicle infractions. Ms. Payne has worked as an adjunct instructor of law at Northwestern Connecticut Community College where she created and implemented a landlord-tenant law course. She has also held positions as an attorney at two law firms and as corporate counsel for Environmental Systems Products Holdings Inc. Prior to moving to Connecticut, Ms. Payne worked for law firms in Ohio and Nashville, Tennessee and conducted microbiological research at the former Medical College of Ohio and Bowling Green State University. She also served as an intern for CNN, where she wrote stories for Headline News.
Ms. Payne is a native of Toledo, Ohio. She received her B.S. degree from the Honors College at Ohio University, where she graduated summa cum laude and was a Templeton scholar. While in college, she was featured in U.S.A. Today as a member of the United States Academic Team comprised of the top sixty (60) college students in the country. She received her M.A. in the history of science from Harvard University where she was awarded the Graduate Prize Fellowship. Ms. Payne received a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University Law School and also received an advanced diploma in history with honors from Oxford University.
With service as a priority, Ms. Payne is committed to rendering pro bono legal services. She is also active in various civic and statewide organizations. She currently serves as the president of the Connecticut Magistrates Association. She plays viola for the Colchester Civic Orchestra and is the orchestra’s Vice President of Planning and Development. She is a certified domestic violence counselor and has volunteered at a women’s shelter. Ms. Payne has served on the boards of the former Hartford Children’s Theatre and the Cetacean Society International. She also served as a docent for the Noah Webster House, was a member of the Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Court, and served on the Northern Connecticut interviewing committee for Harvard University. Ms. Payne has taught dance for West Hartford Continuing Education and is the founder of Global Motion Dance Company. As a first degree black belt in tae kwon do, she is a member of the World Elite Black Belt Society.
Ms. Payne was selected as one of the Hartford Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” and was selected as a “Lawyer of Color High Achiever” by the Connecticut Law Tribune. In 2014, Ms. Payne received a proclamation from the Mayor of Toledo, Ohio for her selection as an “Emerging Leader” by the African American Legacy Project. Ms. Payne was also named as one of the ten best attorneys in Connecticut by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys. In 2015, she was chosen as a “Premier 100 Trial Attorney” from the American Academy of Trial Attorneys, whose selection includes only the top attorneys in the United States.