Shawn M. Verdoni is the author of “Canoodling Up North-Book One”, “Canoodling Out West-Book Two,” and is working on her third book. She attended UW Whitewater for her degree in secondary education and MSOE to complete her Master’s in Business Administration. Her best days are spent with her husband, children and two dogs just hanging out. She loves living in Wisconsin, especially in fall when you can find her in a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard collecting tart baking apples for her famous crumble crust apple pie. Shawn has volunteered for the Mukwonago Community Library expansion capital campaign, Act 150 Committee, MHS Choir Booster Club, Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce, Mukwonago Area Community Choir, and Mukwonago Education Foundation. As a firm believer in giving back to her community, Shawn has a portion of the proceeds from her book sales fund a local charity. In 2020, book sales went to the Mukwonago Community Library Fund in the Waukesha County Community Foundation. In 2021, book sales will support Soaring Minds, a local mental health nonprofit started by high school students.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I met my husband, Rich, while we were both students at UW-Whitewater. We just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary last month by going to Gus’ Drive In in East Troy to enjoy a burger and fries and the cool classic car show. Our oldest, Erin, is a 2015 MHS graduate and married this past Halloween at the Pinewoods Campground. Jonah is a 2016 MHS graduate who is a welder at Super Products and competes in strongman competitions in this spare time. Rich and I also have two dogs who love going up north just as much as we do.
Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
I have two careers, currently. I am a 20+ year professional fundraiser and grant writer. The past decade has been with the ProHealth Care Foundation. I love building relationships between those who heal and those who have the financial means to positively impact our community. Recently, I’ve also become a published author. So now I am also a small business owner. As a published author of “Canoodling Up North,” and “Canoodling Out West,” which will be out this fall, I enjoy crafting stories about the places and things I love about Mukwonago, Wisconsin and other places, through the eyes of my characters. Now, I am blessed with a following of readers who fell in love with the first book and share their up north and Mukwonago experiences with me. It is so rewarding!
Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
The Fork in the Road and David Alan Alan’s Smokehouse. I also love our coffee shops: Shannahan’s Coffee House and Espresso Love Coffee are the two I used to write/edit my books.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Italy to visit our relatives.
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
Favorite movie is “The Sound of Music.” Favorite TV show is “This is Us.”
Q: What advice would you give to people?
Be grateful for at least one thing every day.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A family vacation with our adult children to Italy to visit our relatives.
Q: What is your go to band when you can’t decide what to listen to?
Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
The Fork in the Road
Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Melinda Dejewski. We’ve been friends since high school and with the pandemic, we haven’t seen each other in almost a year. Since we are both Irish girls, I would say Shannahan’s Coffee House
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
I love the musicality of Mukwonago.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Living Up North and retired.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I am a published author.
Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Up North; in the Lake Tomahawk, Minocoqua, Eagle River area.
Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
October, Christmas, December 25
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Love, Safe, Hugs