Shannon M. Garrett, Co-Founder and Board Chair – Holland, MI

Shannon M. Garrett is the Founder and President of SMG Strategies. Operating under a personal mission statement of “Honor. Empower. Amplify.,” Shannon is a nationally recognized trainer, strategist, civic engagement consultant and leadership coach. Shannon’s commitment to advancing equity and inclusion in civic life has introduced her to communities throughout the United States, where she has worked alongside thousands of candidates, elected officials, social activists and civic-minded organizations. Her consulting firm, SMG Strategies, combines over 20 years of electoral, legislative and legal experience with humor, mindfulness and a no-nonsense approach to building a more active and diverse democracy. Her leadership trainings and coaching services are known for breaking down fears about living a publicly political life and helping individuals embrace their civic ambitions. Shannon is also co-founder and board chair of VoteRunLead, a national tech nonprofit unleashing the power of women as leaders in democracy. Through both SMG Strategies and VoteRunLead, Shannon intentionally and directly addresses the impact of intersectionality on political leadership in order to welcome more individuals into the civic space and strengthen our democracy and civic institutions. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys running – the on-foot exercise kind – and coaches her niece’s Girls on the Run team, helping to foster the next generation of strong women. She is also an elected precinct delegate and the 2010 Precinct Delegate Honoree for the Michigan Second Congregational District, former chair of the City of Holland’s Human Relations Commission, and sits on the Leadership Committee of Michigan Voice. Shannon is a graduate of Alma College and the University of Minnesota Law School.