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What Clients and Community Say About Shannon

“Shannon took the time to get to know our organization, and through her work, presented us with opportunities to learn more about ourselves. Through her expert guidance, Shannon took our project to the next level. She is a warm, engaging and inspirational leader with a big heart!”
Bridget Clark Whitney, Executive Director, Kids Food Basket

“I highly recommend Shannon Cohen and Community Ventures! In working with our staff and Board, Shannon brought tremendous expertise and passion to build our capacity around equity and inclusion. Her personality and positive energy enabled us to tackle difficult issues and conversations in a way that relaxed tensions but still drove us deeply to the core of the matter. Shannon made us better individually and together.”
Andy DeBraber, Executive Director, Heartside Ministries

“Shannon (Community Ventures) facilitated cross generational/youth identity workshops for multigenerational leadership in our organization. The results: a dynamic, inspiring and empowering footprint in Metro-Detroit’s comeback.”
Rev. Maurice Gholston, Divisional Superintendent Eastern Michigan International Church of the Foursquare Gospel

“Shannon Cohen is one of the great emerging leaders of this generation. She possesses a servant’s heart, keen insight, integrity and humility – all of which make her a credible voice. Propelled by her personal standard of excellence, she inspires everyone around her and makes them better.”
Dr. Howard C. Earle, Jr., New Hope Baptist Church

“Shannon exhibits extreme intentionality ensuring purpose, clarity, and the best outcomes in her work.”
Nadia Brigham, Program Officer — W.K. Kellogg Foundation

“Shannon accomplishes amazing things with a passion and energy unmatched by any other I’ve worked with over the years.”
Brian Hartl, Epidemiologist — Kent County Health Department

“Shannon is an amazing person with a true gift for reaching children. She draws people in with her positive attitude and people listen to her because there is value in what she says. Shannon is a DYNAMIC motivational speaker and leader. As a leader, Shannon is always willing to do 1st what she asks of others. She never makes people feel less than or like they are not able to achieve any goal.”
Brooke Davis, LMSW – Wyoming Public Schools

“It’s been clear since the beginning that Shannon is a person of conviction, vision and a capacity to make things happen. Shannon is a recognized leader in this community – and our city and region are stronger for her presence in it.”
Emily Loeks, Director of Community Affairs – Celebration Cinema

“Shannon makes an indelible mark in the lives of all she serves.”
Sandra A. Gaddy, Vice President of Advancement – Inner City Christian Federation

“Shannon is someone I truly admire for her ability to lead on any level…whether mobilizing community youth or bringing her insight and expertise to a table of community leaders.”
Danielle Veldman, Inclusive Performance Strategies

“Our students absolutely love working with Shannon! Shannon has facilitated workshops at regional Upward Bound conferences and engaged local youth in several community initiatives. Her zeal, professionalism, and level of excellence are unprecedented. She consistently merges the art of ‘cool’ with the power of youth engagement to transform lives.”
Arnie Smith-Alexander, Director TRIO Upward Bound
Joshua Brandsen, Associate Director, TRIO Upward Bound

“Shannon is one of the most determined people I know — determined to make a positive impact in the lives of people in our community. She backs up that determination with terrific organizational skills, always understanding that getting the details right is crucial to the success of any endeavor.”
Larry Bush | Integrated Media Solutions Provider | iHeartMedia | Grand Rapids and Muskegon

“Shannon was a guest lecturer for my master’s level Family Life Education course. She is amazing! Students continually commented on her energy, vision, and passion and how motivated they felt as a result of hearing her speak. She explicitly and implicitly conveys a professional attitude built on integrity and caring.”
Dr. Karen Blaisure, Professor –Western Michigan University

“Shannon is a caring, go-getter who lives, acts and embodies the role model persona that we all would like to aspire to. The character of Shannon is of the highest utmost: trustworthy, loyal and very respectful. She is a very nice person. She has made an indelible impact in the lives of our students over the past 5+ years!”
Dan Droski, Teacher – City High/Middle School Grand Rapids Public Schools

“What makes Shannon a dynamic leader is her ability to go against the grain with a gentle approach. She has a unique gift that others do not have. Her soft but firm approach motivates others to do their best.
Shawnte Williams, Director of Programs, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC)

“I have always been most impressed with Shannon’s passion for whatever task was before her and her passion to support movements and missions to achieve unprecedented success!”
Barbara Hansen, OP Domincan Sisters-Grand Rapids and former NPO Showcase Director, Grand Rapids Community Media Center

“Trust that ANYTHING great can happen when you have Shannon on your team. She works tirelessly to collaborate in community. Shannon is a passionate advocate of community youth and truly has teens’ interest at heart. She also has their respect, which isn’t easy when dealing with 12 – 18 year olds. Shannon finds very relevant, teen-friendly ways to inspire and engage them in solutions – to rise above problems and to advocate on their own behalf.”
Karen Hogan, Principal -SeyferthPR

“Shannon serves our community and the children, specifically our women in a capacity that allows them to see the potential in their futures.”
Emmanuel S. Armstrong, III M.Ed., Grand Rapids Public Schools – Office of Parental Engagement

“Shannon knows that every problem has a solution. She makes it her business to find it. Shannon is uncanny in her ability to connect needs to resources. She has added new dimensions to Project GREEN that is reaping dynamic benefits.”
Rev. Dallas Lenear, Founder – Project GREEN

“Shannon Cohen is one of the individuals who always comes to mind when I think of professionalism; she has an enviable attention to detail, wonderful follow-through, and is thorough in considering all the aspects of an event which need attention. She is funny and friendly and creative – basically all the attributes one can hope for in a colleague who is genuinely trying to make the world a better place. Her motivation is as genuine as anyone I know.
Klaas Kwant, Grand Rapids Community College

“Shannon exhibits nothing but professionalism when working on any project. Her energy level, excellence, enthusiasm and spirit of innovation is contagious.”
Cle J. Jackson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI, Community Responsibility

“Shannon has many qualities that make her an exceptional leader within civic and professional settings. She is kind, compassionate, caring for others, a great listener, and a hard worker with a keen sense for attention to detail. She is warm, thoughtful, and able to manage the complexities of life with equanimity. Meet her and you tangibly experience the excitement she brings to her work – the vision, the importance and benefits it brings to individuals, and the community. She is not one who seeks to take credit, but shares it with all members of her team. Shannon is respectful of others and their perspectives. Even when the experiences of others may differ from her own she finds common ground from which to learn and move forward with those she serves and collaborates with.”
Dr. Priscilla Kimboko, Grand Valley State University, School of Public, Health, and Nonprofit Administration

“Shannon is an innovative leader with a servant’s heart, and a penchant for advancing social change and community mobilization in the interest of our most vulnerable asset…community youth. She uses her influence to inspire change in organizations and systems previously dominated by worldviews that breed barriers to inclusive and culturally competent environments.”
Commissioner Senita Lenear, 3rd Ward, City of Grand Rapids

“Great leaders need to be a dynamic, caring, and supportive. For the past three years, I have worked with Shannon on a joint project serving thousands of community youth. Shannon leads by example. She is not an authoritarian, dictatorial, or autocratic leader and she doesn’t micromanage her staff. She is a democratic leader. She values her staff and their recommendation and input.”
Officer Minh Lien, Grand Valley State University

“Shannon is a wonderfully kind and loving person with an infectious happiness. She is organized, thorough, and dependable. I always enjoy working with her!”
Jessica Surdam, Godwin Public Schools

“Shannon is an incredible blend of consummate leader, dedicated worker and interpersonal skills and is an asset to any environment that she is in.”
Michele Stitt, Kent County Prevention Coalition

“Shannon is a natural go getter with excellent leadership skills, excellent interpersonal communication skills, and she is FUN to work with!”
Mona Guyton, Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative

“Shannon’s an exciting leader, with the unique ability to transform a volunteer into a contributor and a contributor into a partner.”
Garrett Fox, Account Manager-West Michigan Flocking

“I have known and worked with Shannon Cohen for several years producing videos and events for area nonprofits. She exudes positivity and leads by a great example. Even during the most difficult times planning an event or project, she somehow manages to maintain a calm mood while getting things done. Her communication skills are top notch. I hope to continue working with Shannon in the future because it is truly a rewarding experience.
Navin Kharmai, Director of Visual Experience-Aria Show Technologies

“I noticed that Shannon had a passion for youth development when I met her as she participated in an afterschool program for middle school girls. Her engagement with the students was immediately respected, welcomed and loved. She facilitated a class that encouraged young women to be successful. Her program taught young ladies the importance of goal setting, self-worth, self-awareness, and the importance of education. It also provided the girls with life-enrichment activities such as dining etiquette and personal branding. Shannon’s presence made an undeniable difference in the attitudes and behaviors of the girls who participated. Her ability to relate to and develop lasting bonds with the girls was absolutely sensational. She was loved by the girls so much that they coined a nickname for her… ‘Ms. Detroit’ which still lives on today!
Shanda Vaughn, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Adjunct, Grand Rapids Community College

“Professor Cohen is a strong teacher with a lot to offer students. I would gladly recommend her class to anyone looking to expand their knowledge of not only public and nonprofit administration but facilitating a group. Her PA 380 course encouraged me to take hold of my future as an emerging leader in the public and nonprofit sector. The essays and course work helped me perfect my writing skills and challenged me to go above and beyond. I will always be grateful for that.
Undergraduate student, Grand Valley State University

“Anyone who meets Shannon immediately experiences her infectious spirit and calm and welcoming nature. Shannon and I were co-speakers at the “I Matter Youth” conference, sponsored by Wyoming Public Schools. The way young people –especially young ladies gravitated toward Shannon showed exactly how influential she is! To this day, I still use her poem when I am speaking to groups of women around the country. Shannon, has inspired new levels of activism within me and she is a blessing and powerhouse!
Chris Sain, Founder Grand C.I.T.Y; Director of Retention-Grand Rapids Community College

“Shannon’s sweet spirit and outgoing personality make her approachable to a multitude of people. She is determined, organized, and clearly excited about her work.”
Takeelia Lynn Garrett, Assistant Director of Housing-Grand Valley State University

“Under Shannon’s leadership, the Kent County Prevention Coalition created a movie capturing the voices of over 500 Kent County teens making choices daily to live above the negative influences that surround them, created an annual Youth Summit, birthed out of a vision to empower community youth that has grown to an annual attendance of over 1,000 teens, and the formation of a model that has made the KCPC and indispensable partner and advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and a mentor of coalitions across the state, region, and nation.
Denise Herbert, Prevention Coordinator – Network180

“Shannon has an understanding of the issues as a prevention professional that certainly helped us better serve the community. She recently made a presentation to regional law enforcement professionals at our Executive Board meeting that exceeded our expectations.”
Abraham Azzam, Director, Michigan High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Agency