Shawnna L. Silvius, PCED
“I truly believe I am ‘Home in Montgomery County’…Growing Our Own is absolutely the best way for all our people and companies to experience economic prosperity. I believe my life experiences and background have equipped me to genuinely understand the issues and challenges our citizens and our communities face in our rural southwest area. Inclusion and engagement of our own youth, citizens, leaders, and businesses passionately driving positive social change is the key to our success as a unified county with our wonderful, unique neighborhoods (communities). Collectively, we possess many amazing assets, but the number one, most important one is our people. Ultimately, we all want the same things for ourselves and our families; and, as long as we focus on the shared vision, we will accomplish great things…it really does take a village of everyone with their own unique gifts, talents, interests, experiences and passions to pave the path for our future.”
In August 2017, Shawnna Silvius left Southeast Nebraska and her position as a Site Selection and Economic Development Consultant with a national site selection firm to become the Executive Director for the Montgomery County Development Corporation in Southwest Iowa. Silvius has thirteen years of experience in rural community and economic development and entrepreneurship; and more than twenty years in marketing, communications, program and leadership development. Her areas of expertise are on workforce/talent development, entrepreneurial and business development, business retention and attraction, community and board leadership development, strategic planning and visioning, digital marketing and social media integration, event planning, public relations and communications.
Silvius earned her professional certification as a Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED) from Midwest Community Development Institute and the Community Development Council. She also earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management with concentration in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship from Peru State College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She holds numerous other economic, business and leadership development and training certifications.
Most recently, Silvius served as the Economic Development Director for a municipality serving as a public official for the City of Crete, NE; and prior to this she was the Director of Talent Solutions for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development where she focused on attraction, retention, engagement and development of talent for Lincoln NE’s workforce needs. She’s also been self-employed for eight years as a community and leadership development consultant and trainer, and as a convention planner for non-profit organizations, state agencies and municipalities. Previous positions include being the Marketing and Program coordinator for Nebraska City Area Economic Development Corporation (Nebraska City, NE), the Community Development Specialist for the Boulder County American Cancer Society (Longmont, CO); the Marketing and Special Events Director for the Kearney Hub Publishing Co., the Sales Division Manager for Curtis and Associates, Inc. and the Advertising Director for Morris Publishing (each in Kearney, NE).
Silvius is a member of Professional Developers of Iowa, Mid America Economic Development Council, and National Rural Economic Developers Association. She also served four years on the Greater NE Workforce Investment Board, as a business representative serving on the executive committee and as the youth council chair.
In Montgomery County, Silvius is focusing her development efforts on Housing, Childcare, Talent/Pipeline Development and County-wide Fiber Optics to position the area for talent and people attraction strategies. She is a member of the Housing 360 and Creative Placemaking Steering Committees for Stanton and Villisca and represents these issues for all of Montgomery County.
Silvius has two children and many furkids. Her son Sheridan is a junior at the College of Architecture at Kansas State University and her daughter Alison is a sophomore at Stanton High School. In 2013, she started a non-profit animal rescue serving southeastern Nebraska. In her spare time, she is an advocate for animals, loves to paint, enjoys bicycling the open highway and cheering on her kids in their extra-curricular sporting and academic activities.