Vance Cheek Jr. is a Johnson City native and is a graduate Science Hill High School. He earned his high school degree at the age of 15. By age 19, he was an East Tennessee State University graduate. By age 22, he had earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee. He passed the Tennessee Bar Exam in 1990 when he was only 23.
In 1994, he started his own law firm. In 1997 he became the youngest individual to win a seat on the Johnson City Commission at age 29. He served as Vice Mayor of Johnson City, then Mayor of the city in 2001.
During his tenure on the commission, Johnson City experienced a period of economic growth and facility upgrades across the city, including a new Johnson City Public Library and the opening of Indian Trail Intermediate School and Lake Ridge Elementary School. As mayor, Cheek chaired a subcommittee establishing the city's vision for the new millennium as well as plans for a 100-acre industrial park. For his leadership as a Johnson City commissioner, Cheek earned the Distinguished Leadership Award by the National Association for Community Leadership in 2000.
Upon completion of his term, Cheek was appointed as Commissioner of Claims by the State of Tennessee, hearing jurisdictional negligence claims. Cheek ran for U.S. Congress to represent Tennessee's First District in 2006. After the election, Cheek served as a counsel with Baker Donelson law firm and later returned to state government, serving as an administrative law judge for the Office of Secretary of State. Today, Cheek is the chief operating officer and general counsel of Stableconvergence, a downtown Johnson City technology and marketing firm.
Vance, and his wife, Jody, and daughter, Catie, live on Camelot Circle in Johnson City.