Meet Shannon Creekmur, the first Black president of the Junior League of Austin
If you’ve been part of this community for a while, you know that the Junior League of Austin is close to my heart. A while back, I noticed something about League member Shannon Creekmur, who is a senior advisor at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Shannon is a natural leader. People are just drawn to her. So I told her what I saw in her: I thought she could be the first Black president of the Junior League of Austin.
Fast-forward to today, and Shannon is wrapping up her year as League president. And I called it: She has done an incredible job.
I caught up with Shannon recently to talk about the League, leadership, and everything she’s learned as a #Firestarter and #MovementMaker.
Finding Her Calling Early
Both professionally and as a volunteer, Shannon’s mission is “trying to make the world around me a little bit better.” Volunteer opportunities in high school and college helped her recognize her calling. When Shannon returned to Austin after earning her master’s in public health, a friend suggested that Junior League would be a good fit for her gifts and passions. So she went to an interest meeting.
That was 16 years ago — 16 busy years. Early with the League, Shannon’s job with FEMA had her on the road, so she had to return to Austin on weekends to cover her volunteer shifts. She went on to hold a variety of leadership roles with the organization.
Like many others, I was paying attention to everything Shannon was achieving. When I suggested she run for president, Shannon said she laughed off the idea at first. But the more she thought about the idea, the more she warmed to it. “I was like, ‘Well, why not me? I love the League,’” she says.
Give Back and Grow
If all of this sounds interesting to you, and you’re an Austin woman between 25 and 45, Junior League of Austin might be a great avenue for you to give back, as it has been for Shannon. She assures all potential members, especially women of color, that there’s a place for them in Junior League. As a member, you can help get shoes, warm winter coats and weekend meals to kids in need. And while you’re helping the community, you will also be able to “learn and grow in a safe space.” Shannon shares an example from her own experience: “I hadn’t learned treasury and math, finances — all that kind of scared me” she says. “But I took the treasurer role on one of our councils, and I learned QuickBooks.”
As a nearly 20-year member of The Junior League, I couldn’t agree more. When this article posts, I will be at the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) Annual Conference. I won’t be there as a former AJLI Board Member (2016-2019), which I am, but as Shannon’s #1 cheerleader, sorority sister, and friend.
Time for a Me-Set
What’s next for Shannon after her term as League president ends? “I’m looking forward to a Me-Set after this!” she says. She’s planning to take some time to reflect on what she’s learned and accomplished and other ways she can make a contribution. Whatever she decides, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Shannon.
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