When you first hear her voice, you can actually hear her smile, and the immediate rush of warmth those first few words convey make you feel instantly at ease. This, you find yourself thinking, is someone I really want on my side – which is perfect, because that is exactly where she wants to be. Meet Shannon, Admissions Administrator with La Ventana Treatment Programs, and an impassioned woman with as many gleaming facets as the Star of Africa diamond.
A self-proclaimed overachiever, Shannon draws her boundless energy from the rich team environment fueling all levels of the work at La Ventana and the adrenaline rush of the successes of all shapes and sizes that fill each day. “It’s the TRIUMPHS!”, says Shannon. “So many variations, from micro to BIG, that compound all the time, and keep me driven!” The list of responsibilities for the Admissions Administrator is long and complex, but for this dynamic human, it begins and ends with one question: “How can we help?” Behind the scenes, Shannon is listening – to clients and their families, building deep and lasting relationships of trust and support surrounding lifestyle changes that accompany each person’s journey into recovery, to the founder and CEO of La Ventana (Steve Zamarripa and Diahann Klein respectively); and to the evolving community framework in which all of this comes together. She is also talking: asking for the continued ability to facilitate the powerful healing work happening at La Ventana – negotiating with insurance companies to try to bridge the often cold and confusing gap between business and humanity; and advocating for the success of families in recovery at every level, straight up to Congress, because “Everyone has their part in making this dire need for treatment accessible.”
When not immersed in the creative, life-affirming work at La Ventana, this veritable candidate for sainthood is a raucous, spunky devil for speed. Mom to twin 10 year-old boys, she juggles hats and helmets along with homework and lunchboxes. You aren’t likely to find her doing daring feats at great heights – Shannon leaves those in the virtual world of tackling misperceptions and lack of education in her working world – but she will challenge you fearlessly on the track. Her friends laugh when they speak of her joking nature and contagious zeal for life; but they also tear up when speaking of her humility and boundless capacity for kindness.
Shannon loves La Ventana. Drawn in right away by the welcoming connection with Diahann and Steve, she was quickly swept up into the enthusiasm of feeling wanted and encouraged to be creative, diverse, and pro-integration at all levels of the organization. She has found a haven and a professional home here, and is looking forward to delving deeper into our communities, to impact the trajectory of increasing mental health and substance abuse crises and decrease the seemingly endless stigma and misguided information that coincides with both. If you haven’t already, please welcome Shannon to La Ventana, and be prepared to be as energized and uplifted as she feels to be here.