Shannon_RogersShannon Rogers is a 39-year-old go-getter. Formerly executive director at the Senior Resource Council, Rogers recently accepted a new position as sales and relationship manager with Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado.

Tell us how you professionally grew with your previous job.

The Senior Resource Council executive director position was a great introduction into the nonprofit world. The position required me to act in many different roles and by doing so, my learning curve was steep and diversified. I was the event planner, sales person, administrative assistant and janitor. I was able to help seniors and businesses that serve seniors become more educated about the issues surrounding aging.

In my position at Discover Goodwill, I am engaged with the aging population and those businesses that serve them, so everything I learned with the Senior Resource Council became the foundation for where I am today. It really helped me create a strategy as I set out to learn a whole new world of connections and being an advocate for people with disabilities, one of the other programs I am responsible for at Goodwill.

What do you like most about the Springs?

As a second-generation Colorado Springs native, I love it here. We have great open spaces, trails and beautiful scenery to look at each day. We also have many quality people that make up our community. There are many nonprofits here that employ people who are incredibly passionate about their field, and I think that shows within our community. I like the fact that every time I go to the grocery store, I see someone I know. I also like that my parents still live in the same house that I was born in. I am Westsider through and through.

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What are the benefits of being a young professional here?

I greatly benefit from wonderful, accessible mentors. Folks that have been in business here for a long time are present and willing to share their experiences and their advice. To get connected you don’t just have to know who’s who; there are several organizations that you can join to meet new people and learn from them.

As a young professional, I joined Artemis, a nonprofit organization for women in Colorado Springs, and then I joined a forum group. It was there that I discovered how important women mentors can be in your life both personally and professionally. Colorado Springs, with its abundance of nonprofits, gives young professionals great opportunities to volunteer.

What are the challenges?

Even though I am glad we are raising our kiddos here, I am not sure that a large majority of our city leadership is focused on a future for the children of this city. There is a lot of talk about keeping young professionals in town, but I am not clear on what is actually being done to attract and keep young professionals with families. I am hopeful that we can continue to educate voters why it’s extremely important to vote for education, parks and open space, and cultural projects.

Tell us about your family.

I have been married to my husband, Sundance, for 11 years, and we have two wonderful daughters, 8 and 10. We are very involved in the community and are teaching our kids the importance of giving back. We love living here and can’t see moving anywhere else (I wouldn’t mind moving abroad for a few years some day, but I would definitely come back). We also have the best dog in the whole wide world, our golden-doodle, Molly.

What do you do in your spare time?

My husband and I are avid foodies! We love eating out and then recreating the dishes at home. In addition we both love to travel nationally and internationally. We love running the local races in town and traveling to destination half-marathons.

We’ve got an amazing friend base (many of whom I’ve known since high school) and we enjoy playing sports, running races and getting our kids together. Now that our kids are getting older, we are starting to focus more on their sports and activities.