Never underestimate the effect that a strong sense of community can have on a person. Shannon Walker of the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce attributes much of her success to her roots in La Porte. Now, she’s giving back to the community where it all began.
Much of Walker’s youth was spent living in La Porte. Through her collaboration on the high school’s yearbook and newspaper, Walker laid the groundwork for her future career during her time at La Porte High School.
“It’s so important for me to give back to the community and to be involved because, like a lot of people, I grew up in this community,” commented Walker. “My family lives here, and I am now raising my own family here. I feel a personal stake in doing what I can to be a part of the positive growth in the community.”
With a clear goal in mind, Walker enrolled at Franklin College, just south of Indianapolis, and completed her studies with degrees in Journalism and Public Relations. Post-graduation, she built a career in marketing and communication roles, working in healthcare, manufacturing, and higher education. She started her family living in the Greater Lafayette area.
While she loved her time there, her heart pulled her back to La Porte. When the opportunity arose in her personal and professional life, Walker eagerly moved her family back home and became the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce.
“I really try to promote everything that is going on in the chamber,” said Walker. “We have a lot of chamber-driven events, such as a monthly Coffee Talk, some large events like the hiring event in October, as well as a candidate forum. There is so much going on, and I love that!”
Walker fosters mutually beneficial relationships with the chamber members to encourage the success and livelihood of La Porte. With a strong focus on the quality of life in the community, Walker provides local businesses with the skills needed to thrive.
“Whether they are small businesses or large businesses, a big part of my role is to empower chamber members and to give them extra marketing tools to help them leverage exposure, visibility, and credibility to get the best possible results for our community.”
Walker’s passion for helping the businesses of the chamber stems from her deep love of the area.
“The La Porte community is so unique. There are so many great opportunities. We have a strong manufacturing base and we have some great small businesses. We have some great natural resources, like the lakes here, that draw large visitor crowds. We’re a hybrid of a lot of different activities,” Walker said. “We are at a great location, too. We’re close by some bigger cities, but yet we have our own unique niche and a very unique downtown that has a mix of historic and newer businesses. La Porte has a lot of opportunity to play on its history but also move forward with more modern touches. I think that’s great. There is opportunity for everyone to grow and make La Porte their own.”
Walker urges members of La Porte to recognize their civic importance. She believes each person can contribute to the prosperity and growth of the community, and she encourages everyone to get involved.
“I think there is just so much that everyone can do. I think that no matter who they are or what their background is, everyone has something to offer,” said Walker. “Everyone can do something. We are all a part of the positive growth that is happening in La Porte.”
When Walker isn’t working, she loves spending time with her family, spoiling her 7-month-old English Bulldog named Roxy, and enjoying downtown La Porte.
“I love being a part of the downtown area and everything that’s happening. Everyone here is so friendly, and there’s a lot of people who want to make it better. You can see the pride in everyone from young to old.”
Walker expresses profound excitement for the changes in the community as she looks forward to the future of La Porte.
“La Porte has really shown a lot of progress over the last ten years, and it continues to happen,” she said.
Walker’s love for her community is clear to all who meet her, and it is with this appreciation for La Porte that she continues to pay it forward to the businesses of the Chamber of Commerce. Giving credit to La Porte for her strong foundation, Shannon Walker strives to give back to the town that set her on her way.
“I am very grateful to the folks and educators at La Porte High School who helped push me along into my career path,” Walker commented. “It’s great to come back and to see how far the schools and businesses have come in La Porte. This is a great place, and I am so glad to be a part of it.”