Shonn Brown, 46, started her career as an associate in the Locke Lord law firm and worked her way up to partner.
Brown practiced at Locke Lord for 14 years, then two different litigation boutiques, before transitioning her practice in the last year to serve as an in-house lawyer for Kimberly-Clark. There, she’s responsible for global litigation and public policy issues facing the multinational personal care corporation.
“I was drawn to the company because (Kimberly-Clark) is focused on making strong progress in advancing women in management roles and has targeted programs to recruit, retain, and advance women in leadership,” she said. “I hope to be an example for other girls growing up in our community, particularly girls of color, to demonstrate what is possible.”
In addition to her day job, Brown serves as a board chairwoman for the Texas Women’s Foundation.
“It is important for me to give back to the community in ways that were poured into me. Additionally, it is very important for me to be involved with the Texas Women’s Foundation because we are both strategic and intentional about the ways in which we engage with the community and the manner in which we impact girls and women,” she said.
She’s lived in the Preston Hollow area since 2001.
Below is an extended conversation with Brown.
People Newspapers: What’s your connection to the Preston Hollow neighborhood?
Shonn Brown: Our family loves the area because it is close to (our children) schools. We love the trees and the close proximity to all of our close friends. We love the neighborhood restaurants, especially the non-chain restaurants like Princi Italia, TJ’s Seafood Market, and we miss the Family Pizza at Preston Royal.
PN: What impact do you hope your work has on your community?
SB: I developed a mission statement some time ago, aligning with my purpose and passion for advocating and the advancement of girls and women, education and the arts.
PN: Why is it important for you to be involved with organizations like the Texas Women’s Foundation?
SB: Our focus on leadership, in particular, speaks to me because we impact leadership at every level. The Economic Leadership Council and our focus on executive women who are being impactful both in their profession and in the community is a model for women’s leadership.
PN: What do you feel is your biggest success?
SB: I hope that my biggest success is yet to come as I think success is a journey and not a destination. To date, if I can say that I was able to launch three adults (now teens) into this world as mindful, caring individuals who want to make a difference, then I will have done a good job.
PN: Biggest inspirations in your professional or personal life?
SB: In my personal life, my grandmother. She was hard working and had so many obstacles, yet she persevered. In my professional life, I have many: women lawyers who not only lead their organizations but also invest in our community with their time and financially. A few who come to mind: Jerry Clements, Julia Simon, and Harriet Miers.
PN: What factors have been the most important to your success?
SB: Sheer desire to win while being mindful of the path that I take. Additionally, I think learning resilience and how to fail forward, get up, and move on have served me well.
PN: What’s a fun fact about you?
SB: I wanted to be a lawyer or a dancer when I was growing up. I would practice dance routines at home in my room. There were two things standing in the way of either of those professions requiring extreme attention to either what I was saying or how I was moving — I was extremely shy. So, when I went to college, I was determined to force myself out of my shell and immersed myself into various leadership positions at SMU.