Shannon Garrett

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, and is a founding partner of
Civicize.Me, a civic leadership certification program for aspiring change agents. Through SMG
Strategies, VoteRunLead and Civicize.Me, 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.
Shannon is also an adjunct professor in the public and nonprofit administration graduate
program at Grand Valley State University, and sits on the Steering Committee of Michigan
Voice. In her spare time, she enjoys running, tent-camping and “auntventures” (memory-
making adventures with her niblings). She has served as an elected precinct delegate, and is
former chair of the City of Holland’s Human Relations Commission. Shannon is a graduate of
Alma College and the University of Minnesota Law School.