Leading the Leader Within

President/CEO of United Way of Pueblo County, Shanna Farmer shares some experiences from her life to highlight the need to start with leading self and discovering the leader within and then working to see the leader within all the people you encounter. Shanna is a true servant leader who has dedicated her life to the community of Pueblo, Colorado and has worked to create opportunities for others to grow in their leadership ability. She highlights the need to build trust and not just rely on brand recognition, but always be working to be better by being willing to learn. The idea of humility is so important to servant leadership and Shanna reminds us of the need to seek out experts, but also to look at every person and experience as someone or something that we can learn from, learn to be a better leader and a better human. She eloquently states that there is not enough money in the world to address every need, so we need to focus on building the capacity of people, our community, and organizations. We begin by leading self, then leading others, then hopefully leading in our communities and organizations. 

Shanna M. Farmer has served as President/CEO of United Way of Pueblo County since 2019 and has extensive experience working in Southern Colorado and has dedicated her career to this community. She was born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado and has served as a board member for several nonprofit organizations and has volunteered thousands of hours to local and statewide nonprofit organizations. Shanna has a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. During graduate school, she earned a Servant Leadership Certificate from research in service-learning and studies in service-based leadership practices. She received her undergraduate degree from CSU-Pueblo in Political Science with minors in Mass Communication and Leadership Studies.  Since 2015, Shanna has been an Adjunct Faculty member at CSU-Pueblo in the President’s Leadership Program.

Prior to joining United Way of Pueblo County, Shanna worked as the Director of Advancement at Catholic Charities – Pueblo’s Family Resource Center, where she oversaw all fundraising, grants/contracts, marketing, and public relations for the agency. Previously, Shanna was employed at Colorado College as the Community Partnerships Program Coordinator in the Collaborative for Community Engagement. The majority of her work was spent advising students and developing mutually beneficial partnerships between community partners and the campus. Prior to joining Colorado College, Shanna worked at CSU-Pueblo as the Community-Based Research Coordinator for a program aimed at increasing access to and success in graduate school, and she focused on developing partnerships between the University and Southern Colorado nonprofits, businesses, and governmental entities. Before entering the world of higher education, Shanna served as a Regional Representative for the United States Congress, Third Congressional District. This district spanned twenty-nine diverse Colorado counties, which included Pueblo, many rural communities in Southeastern Colorado, the San Luis Valley, and the Western Slope. During her tenure there, she supported constituents and organizations to address issues of concern and helped them navigate the federal government. She specialized in casework related to healthcare, immigration, taxes, education, and Social Security and assisted with several legislative issue areas.

Shanna is married to Sean T. Wolff, and they are the proud parents of several rescued special needs dogs and cats. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, bike riding, photography, and traveling.


United Way of Pueblo County – Mission and Values Statements https://www.pueblounitedway.org/about-us

Dr. Christa Kirsch & Dr. Janet Peters – Leadership from the Inside Out: Student Leadership Development within Authentic Leadership and Servant Leadership Frameworks https://journalofleadershiped.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/16_1_peters.pdf

Colorado State University at Pueblo – President’s Leadership Program https://www.csupueblo.edu/center-for-honors-and-leadership/presidents-leadership-program/index.html 

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