• I’ve had the opportunity to work with Shannon Mason on several community development projects in Trenton and Hightstown-East Windsor. As a project leader, Shannon takes a methodical approach to determining the social service needs of a community. Shannon’s methodical approach involves working directly with citizens within the community that includes: (1) identifying and connecting with relevant community leaders and stakeholders; (2) conducting a community-lead forum to assess their unmet needs; (3) helping the citizens take an inventory of existing resources within the community; (4) identifying resources that are not available; and (5) helping the community establish and coordinate the specific services and programs to meet the unmet needs of its citizens. Shannon believes that sustained improvement of a community must be accomplished by building and strengthening its capacity from within. While serving as Executive Director of Mercer Street Friends and Interim Executive Director of Family Guidance Center, Shannon took that same approach within the two nonprofit organizations. Shannon genuinely understands that an organization is only as strong and effective as the team of people within the organization.  Shannon’s approach – Build capacity from the inside out.

    Calvin B. Thomas, Jr. Leadership Development Consultant, LodeStar Consulting
  • I have worked with Dr. Mason on a few levels. Whether leadership training, relationship empowerment, or personal development, her impact cannot be adequately measured by words. However, it is most certainly seen in the transitional change in the lives of people in the church that I serve. Her teaching, instruction and impartation, has challenged and changed the core of how people in our church think and process their daily life challenges. Personally, she has been a vital part of getting me through the most challenging season in my life. In personally supporting me, she helped to support my organization as without the head the body would collapse.  I could search the world and never find another Dr. Shannon Mason. Her worth is far greater than precious stones. When God created her, He definitely knew what I would need in the eye of my storm.

    Apostle Jeffrey Kearney Senior Pastor, Church of the New Covenant
  • I have known Dr. Mason over 20 yrs. as a colleague, a credible academician, fellow clergy-person, mental health clinician, community organizer, faith-based leader and dear friend. Her zeal and earnest desire to educate, inspire and  bridge community partnerships has been seen in the City of Trenton as she served many families. From The College of NJ, Mercer Street Friends, Family Guidance and within other academic settings, Dr. Mason has set a trend to spur other leaders to pursue academic excellence. I have witnessed Dr. Mason affect change in countless circles of influence, whereby many are encouraged to grasp concepts, basic life principles and strategic planning tools to improve their lives. I, along with my family have been blessed to know her and benefit from her work!  This 21st century trend-setter will astound the world and this next generation!

    Pastr. Ethan Evans Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church
  • Dr. Shannon Mason and I have had the privilege to be presenters as various conferences that have focused on the spiritual and emotional well-being of women. Shannon has an engaging presentation style that allows an impactful energy exchange to occur between her and the audience. Dr. Mason demonstrates a sense of authenticity and compassion for those she serves. I’ve observed Shannon being used in any capacity needed for the moment….she can leave the podium as a feature speaker and before the event is over – she may be comforting or counseling a participant in the corner of the room. Dr. Shannon Mason is an awesome woman of God and I look forward to receiving a ‘gem’ of knowledge and wisdom each time I hear her speak.

    Dr. Robin Eubanks, Ph.D. Minister, Faculty, Speaker, and Trainer
  • I had the privilege of working closely with Dr. Mason as Board Chair when she was Executive Director of Mercer Street Friends. She worked with the Board to help focus the agency’s work, and evolved a vision for the agency’s direction and future that effectively synthesized its strengths with the needs of the community. The results also strengthened the organization’s sustainability. I think her most valuable long-range service was to identify Community Schools as an important direction forward, both for Mercer Street Friends and for the city of Trenton. And my personal interactions with her were always enjoyable and enlightening.

    William Heinemann Former Board President, Mercer Street Friends
  • In my capacity as a member of the board of trustees for Mercer Street Friends, I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Shannon Mason for the past nine years. She is a remarkably able administrator, a dedicated teacher, and an inspiring community leader. The social services agency weathered difficult times that tested the financial resilience of the organization. As executive director, Dr. Mason patiently led the complex effort which united banks, foundations, private donors, and community partners in pointing the way toward fiscal solvency. Her administrative management of Mercer Street Friends was characterized by responsibility, clarity, and respect for all. Under her visionary leadership, the agency found new purpose in undertaking a community schools initiative which won a major multi-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. As she steered Mercer Street Friends in a new direction, Dr. Mason used her personal warmth, empathy, and extraordinary communication skills to make the process inclusive and nurturing for staff and clients alike. If I had the chance, I would gladly work with Dr. Shannon Mason on a future project. Her commitment to service and community are second to none. Dr. Delia C. Pitts retired after a thirty-year career in higher education administration, most recently at Rutgers University. Prior to that, she served as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. Dr. Pitts, who lives in central New Jersey, is the author of two mystery novels.

    Dr. Delia C. Pitts Education Administration, (Retired)
  • Dear Dr. Mason, The Trenton Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends would like to extend our sincere thanks to you for your skilled and inspiring facilitation of our recent retreat.  The feedback from those in attendance was very positive.  We appreciate your deep listening and support as we work with Spirit to “open up our humanity” and overcome racism at all levels.  Your support provided us with important insight and tools for continuing our work.  We look forward to the possibility of working with you in the future.

    Joan Ordille, Clerk Trenton Religious Society of Friends (Quaker)
  • Thank you for your outstanding guidance in preparing the Racial Equity in Conservation Report for FFNJ. It was a challenging task on several fronts, the lack of clarity of the assignment - particularly  with distinction between creating a racial equity agenda for conservation and the work of our environmental justice colleagues, and how this project was communicated to the EJ community.  That on top of a short timeline and limited funding. However, with each challenge you provided guidance and inspiration as to how to get to the best outcome given the circumstances and constraints… I am also thankful for the personal passion and compassion that you bring to your work… What I will take away most from having the opportunity to interact with you is how to overcome challenges with intelligence, information, humor and positivity.

    Greg Remaud Baykeeper & CEO, NY/NJ Baykeeper
  • After [consulting] with Dr. Mason and a conversation with the Board Chair, we engaged Dr. Mason to prepare the Board to be culturally sensitive to racial trauma. As a gifted communicator, Dr. Mason was able to walk the Board through an often divisive topic in a non-threatening manner. While non-threatening, Dr. Mason’s presentation still forced our board to wrestle with difficult truths that are often swept under the carpet. At the end of the virtual workshop, Dr. Mason helped the Board develop some organizational priorities and further discussion of how to engage with these issues collectively as a board. Afterwards, I heard all positive feedback including “That was amazing!” and “I want her to be my professional coach.” Her presentation was engaging and thought-provoking. Dr. Mason is a delight to work with. I would highly recommend Dr. Mason for any possible engagement. She would be an incredible asset to any organization or Board.

    Rev. Joseph O. Ardayfio, Esq. South Shore Christian Academy Board of Trustees
  • Shannon came to Isles to work with the organization and our Board of Directors during our transition from a founder-led organization. As a forty-year old organization, this was the first chief executive transition Isles experienced, and it came at a time of transition for both the executive leadership of the organization as well as the governing Board. Dr. Mason was especially well suited for the task of aiding us in this process. As a former nonprofit executive, she understands the particular challenges and needs of the nonprofit world… She helped shape the agenda for Board and Executive retreats, led remarkably effective discussion sessions amongst the organization leadership and Board, and outlined an effective strategy for moving the organization forward. Board members and staff commented on how skillfully she managed our group sessions and helped tease out important issues for further conversation. You can count Isles as one of Shannon’s biggest fans!

    Sean Jackson, CEO Isles, Inc.