- Shawnna, grew up in the Midwest, in western Nebraska. As a child, she moved frequently with her single mother where she easily adapted to new life, schools and friends wherever she went. She spent summers with her dad and step mom in the Chicago and South Sioux City, IA areas, spending her time observing veterinary clinic operations.
- Shawnna has 25+ years experience in comprehensive marketing activities and 17+ years in developing, implementing and managing local and regional community-focused economic development programs; coordinating, administering and managing large multi-state conventions to community festivals to smaller workshops and special events; strategizing, creating and managing a diverse array of civic and leadership programs; and formulating, developing and administrating marketing, political and fundraising campaigns.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
- Master Degree in Organizational Management/Economic Development and Entrepreneurship emphasis in 2012 from Peru State College. Peru, NE.
- Additionally she earned a Certificate in Organizational Development, Human Resource Development and Program Evaluation (2012) also from Peru State College
Bachelor of Science degree in Comprehensive Business Administration/Marketing emphasis in 1996, University of Nebraska-Kearney, Kearney, NE.
Associate of Fine Arts degree from McCook Community College in 1990, McCook, NE.
In 2014, she completed 3 years (plus 4th year instructing a session) of Midwest Community Development Institute. After passing the exam. She earned the distinguished designation as a Professional Community & Economic Developer (PCED). She is currently working on her Economic Development Finance Practitioner (EDFP) certification. Additionally she's a certified trainer for MK Mueller's 8 to Great program, as a NxLeveL instructor for the EDGE Program and earned her Accredited Business Planning Advisor (ABPA) certification to help business with succession, transition and resiliency planning. She's also a Business Retention Expansion project coordinator and a certified Real Colors Personality Temperament Trainer.
Over the past 17 years, Silvius has specialized in all areas of rural community-based economic development, talent pipeline and workforce development, leadership training entrepreneurs and innovators, childcare, housing, downtown revitalization, industrial development, site selection and now regional development planning. Special emphasis has been on advocating for parcel level speed test data to identify holes in broadband accessibility, as well as, promoting the futuristic requirements necessary to push states and the Federal Communications Commission to increasing bandwidth capacity to prepare for the 4th industrial revolution which is based on artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, virtual and augmented reality, eSports, cybersecurity and more across all sectors. Additional continued areas of expertise are housing, childcare, brownfield and greenfield development, retail recruitment, sustainable community development, repurposing our national resources and renewables (solar, wind energy, geothermal, etc) and special focus on addressing serious inequity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Early in her career, she pursued positions in the printing and publishing industry as an advertising director, sales and marketing coordinator and event marketing director in Kearney Nebraska for 10 years. In 2000, she began working with non-profits as the community development specialist and executive director for the American Cancer Society for the Boulder County, Colorado division. She learned many lessons about living life to it's fullest and insights about vanity and true character from cancer patients, survivors, volunteers and family members. A short time in Minnesota and central Iowa soon led her family to Nebraska City, NE where she resided with her family for over 15 years. As a new resident to Arbor Day's Hometown, she began the Leadership Nebraska City program, one of her most humble accomplishments. She was soon hired as the marketing coordinator for River Country Economic Development Corporation (which she rebranded as Nebraska City Area Development Corporation in 2008). During this time she also hosted Nebraska City Green Drinks and launched the Nebraska City Green Coalition in 2007. A Community Garden was a core project that resulted and soon became a reality. This also sparked her passion for partnerships as NCAEDC partnered with regional entities to host a monthly Inventors, Investors and Entrepreneurs (I2E) Club, the Southeast Nebraska Partners for Progress and an annual SE NE Annual Economic Development Summit. These experiences inspired a continuing drive to advocate and share her interests for environment-focused initiatives, regional focused rural community and economic development and entrepreneurship.
In late 2009, after a change in organizational and city leadership, Silvius resigned to found her own business, eVentures Marketing. eVentures' focused on conference planning and management, marketing consulting, and design services, social media development and email marketing services to non-profit organizations, trade associations and government agencies with three core interest areas: entrepreneurship, environmental education and economic development for rural areas. Later in 2012, Shawnna began sharing her training, knowledge and talent for inspiring people through speaking and training. In the fall of 2013, Silvius formed iShine Productions® LLC and merged eVentures Marketing all under one hat with her new services. Through iShine Productions® LLC, Silvius shared her passion, knowledge and expertise through personal, professional and business development training. Additionally, she sought to inspire and equip women, youth and young adults to identify, define and pursue satisfying careers, personal dreams and to live life with purpose. Her dear friend, Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., CPC states, "Shawnna is a master at making connections". Being able to connect people and resources to help or improve others lives brings Shawnna great joy. Silvius has continued to keep her business registered in Nebraska and Iowa for future retirement where she intends to continue utilizing the organization specifically for survivors of childhood trauma from various forms of abuse and addiction recovery for women, teens and young girls.
Additionally, she established a licensed animal rescue organization and became a 501(c3) as Southeast NE Homeward Bound Companions in Nebraska City in 2015. She assisted her daughter (age 9 at the time - thru age 12) with Ali's Critter Cakes and Treats and Shawnna launched FurPals N Critter Sitters Pet Sitting - in order to help fund the animal care services for the rescue. Each venture was a learning experience and forced application of various requirements of business ownership.
After earning her Master degree and with the opportunity to work with her original mentor, Pat Haverty again, she returned to the economic development industry to advance rural areas...not to just help them survive, but to have long-term vision, unity and to thrive, especially after his sudden and too young passing in September 2020. Her commitment is to continue his legacy and pay it forward as he did. Additionally, after losing her own brother in 2006 at age 19, she continues to memorialize him in her desire to mentor, aspire and connect with young adults.
Shawnna is the proud mother of two beautiful, talented and bright children and a soon-to-be daughter-in-law who continue to awe and inspire her more and more every day as they become young adults each also set out to change the world in their unique, remarkable and passion-filled ways. The greatest gifts and blessings we have are our children, families, church families, true and real friends and our community! Knowing where our identity is truly grounded is the key to true peace, joy and love and our most valued commodity is our limited time and personal callings. "To whom much is given, much is expected"...to God be the glory!
"Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success!" - Henry Ford
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Shawnna Silvius for Mayor of Red Oak, Iowa
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Shawnna Silvius for Mayor of Red Oak, Iowa