What do you hope to accomplish in life? The answer to that question for Dan Adam, one of Meghan Shannon’s former colleagues, was “To lead a happy life and to have done a little good along the way.”
Tragically, Adam passed away. However, these words read at his memorial really resonated with Shannon.
“It’s very simple, but so impactful,” she said. “I truly enjoy my volunteer work, and I can just hope that I’m doing my part to put a little good back in the world.”
Shannon, a shareholder at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren in Milwaukee, has served on the boards of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee and Susan G. Komen for nearly a decade. She also was one of the founding members of Momentum Milwaukee; has dedicated time to the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County’s Emerging Leaders Council and Day of Action; and is involved in Reinhart’s efforts with Junior Achievement.
Shannon first joined Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin as treasurer in 2009.
“It’s a cause that, unfortunately, affects almost everyone you come across,” she said. “Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, and almost everyone you know has been impacted by it in one way or another.”
Shannon served as treasurer for three years, then president for two years and past president for a year.
During her tenure with Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin, the annual Race for the Cure grew to more than 17,000 participants and the organization raised more than $2 million annually.
She also helped Susan G. Komen install a new accounting system, relocate offices, implement a new employee benefits program and hire a new executive director.
Shannon is still one of the organization’s top individual fundraisers.
Her six-year term ended in March 2015, after which she was one of five people unanimously elected to the national Susan G. Komen board of directors.
Shannon grew up in the Milwaukee area and had fond memories of going to the Milwaukee County Zoo. So when a colleague asked her to join the Zoological Society board, she agreed.
“We are very blessed to have such a wonderful community asset for families and children,” Shannon said. “I want to do whatever I can to help preserve that for the community.”
Shannon has been an integral part of the society’s special events team, and has helped coordinate the annual Ride on the Wild Side, Zoo Ball and Zootastic.
“It’s important to feel strongly and passionate about the causes you support,” she said. “If you’re giving of your time, your talent, your money and even asking other people to support those causes, it’s so important to have a connection and feel strongly about the mission.”
Shannon spends a significant amount of her time giving back to organizations and causes that center mostly on preserving family, conservation, education and the support of young women in professional services.
“Giving back has always been a big part of my family, and still is,” Shannon said. “My parents raised me to know that if people need help, you just help.”