Shannon Hair : 2017 Community Strong Person of the Year

What makes Shannon Hair community strong?

“Shannon is the Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Development at Danville Community College (DCC). He is also the Executive Director of the DCC Educational Foundation. Shannon has raised over $25 million for DCC’s Educational Foundation, used mostly to award scholarships. He serves as a director of SOVAH Health and on several non-profit boards.

I chose Shannon for a 2017 Community Strong Person of the Year because he has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the Dan River Region, DCC, and his family. He is having a strong positive impact throughout our community.”

-Rick Barker, 2016 Showcase Magazine Community Strong Person of the Year.

Why is community involvement so important to you?

My parents instilled in me a strong sense of community service. It takes the vision and contribution of a wide variety of individuals to move a community forward.

What inspires you to volunteer?

I truly want to make a difference in the lives of the people in this community. I believe that Servant Leadership is the foundation on which strong communities are built that will enrich the lives of all that reside in our area.

How do you balance life, work, and community involvement?

It is a difficult juggling act. There are times that work takes precedence, but there are times my family life must come before anything else. It isn’t easy to do, but the rewards are worth the sacrifice.

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

The best advice I have ever been given came from my parents when they told me, “If something really matters to you, don’t give up on it, fight for it and make it a reality.”

Who are your real-life heroes and why?

My real-life hero is my father, Richard. With the values he taught me, the unconditional love and support he has given me, and the caring he has shown for others, he is everything I aspire to be in a father, husband, and a man.

What is it about Danville that makes it special to you?

Danville is my home. It is where I am raising my family. I have always compared Danville to Mayberry. Danville has that small-town feel, where values matter, family and friends matter, and where neighbors are still willing to help their neighbor. This is very difficult to find in the fast-paced world we live in today.

How do you recharge? What do you like to do outside of work and volunteerism?

My boys are involved in sports. My time outside of work is spent on coaching, attending games or taking them to sporting events, particularly anything associated with the North Caroline Tar Heels, GO HEELS!!

What is your idea of happiness?

My definition of happiness changes depending on the context. When it comes to family, my happiness lies in my children being healthy, being able to live a useful and productive life and finding a love that sustains and supports them, whether this is in their personal life or through their career. When it comes to my professional life, my happiness lies in being able to advance the college’s mission and provide opportunities for DCC students to achieve their educational goals. Finally, when considering my community, my happiness lies in helping our community to become the best it can be for all of our citizens.

Do you have a favorite quote, and if so what is it?

My favorite quote is by Mark Twain, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” While I believe the answer to “why” changes as we change, my “why” at the moment, is to do everything I can to make Danville a better place for our children’s future.

What are your favorite things to do in Danville?

Being active. Danville’s new bike share program allows my family to enjoy the outdoors along the walking trail. Also having the activities available with the Danville Braves and Danville Science Center provides unique opportunities to spend time together as a family.

What are your visions for the future of Danville?

When I think about the future of Danville, my parents’ advice comes into play. We, together, can make Danville an amazing place to work and live. But in order to accomplish this, we must all work together to overcome the challenges of our area. Some of the challenges we are faced with include escalating crime, gangs and drugs, educational attainment and economic development. If we, as a community, can control the crime rate, gangs and drugs and increase our educational attainment, economic development opportunities will follow.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

As Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Development for Danville Community College, I am especially looking forward to the partnerships we will be building in the community as the college embarks on its next Major Gifts Campaign – Pathways to Regional Success. Through these partnerships and pathways, Danville Community College and the DCC Educational Foundation will be working with community leaders to advance workforce development, economic development and quality of life for our citizens.