As Executive Director, Shannon leads Groundwork Ohio’s statewide effort to advance quality early care and education so every Ohio child has the best chance for lifelong success. Prior to joining Groundwork, Shannon served in the Ohio General Assembly for a decade as a state representative and a state senator, where she was chosen by her colleagues for key leadership posts in both chambers. She is the only woman in her party, and first in Ohio history, ever to achieve the distinction of election to the leadership teams in both chambers. Known as a leader who is willing to tackle the most difficult and complex issues, Shannon used her trusted influence to put kids at the top of the legislative agenda. Her efforts resulted in a renewed focus by the state on policies that support the health and educational opportunities of Ohio’s most vulnerable children. Shannon’s most significant legislative effort led to a statewide bipartisan mandate to improve Ohio’s abysmal infant mortality epidemic. She has continued to provide this same spirit of leadership at Groundwork with her fierce commitment to tell the full story of racial and geographic disparities experienced by Ohio’s youngest children through the Ohio Race and Rural Equity Report.
Shannon earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, and in 2008 was selected for the Rodel Fellowship by the prestigious Aspen Global Leadership Institute. She also currently serves as a Warren County Commissioner and as a board member for the Health Policy Institute of Ohio and the YWCA of Dayton.