The more cynical consumer might see the Better Business Bureau as a strange place for a cable lifer to wind up. But Sheryl Charleston, formerly general manager of advertising sales at Time Warner Cable’s San Diego system, disagrees.

“It’s not something that I had as a career focus,” said Charleston, who recently took the reins as CEO of the BBB’s San Diego chapter. “Nor do I think cable is a bad place to be. I think you’ll find that ethics are an issue in every business, at some level, and that’s what the BBB tries to promote.”

A Nebraska native, the 39-year-old Charleston entered the media business on the talent side in her home town of North Platte. She worked as a disc jockey at age 14 and was on the air as a TV reporter by 16. But Charleston found the management track to be more family friendly, and signed on with Cox Communications Inc.’s Omaha system in 1990. She moved to Cox San Diego in 1997, and jumped across town to Time Warner in 2002.

She said much of what she learned in local cable ad sales is transferable to her new role. “The business grew and changed so quickly, from a very small organization in terms of advertising to a very large, prevalent and stable major media organization,” she noted. “I saw and worked with all levels of business, from large corporations to small mom-and-pops.”

She said she expects that background with businesses of all sizes to prove helpful in her new role of promoting ethnical business standards and spearheading consumer-education efforts. Married and with five children (ranging in age from 12 to 26), Charlesworth keeps very busy on the recreational front. She pilots both small airplanes and hot-air balloons and recently completed her first triathlon. She also serves as a mentor to a couple of foster children, she said.