Whenever CEO Dispute Resolution Official, Shannen Brown, is feeling overwhelmed by any challenges in her life or career, she reminds herself of the words of the bestselling author and award-winning adventurer Ross Edgley; “Fatigue is merely an emotional expression of the subjective symptoms that develop as these subconscious controls wage a fierce battle with the conscious mind to ensure that the conscious ultimately submits to the superior will of the subconscious.” (The Art of Resilience)

Of course, if Shannen were in search of an example of resilience and fight closer to home, she need look no further than her older sister, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 22! “She defied the odds against her, and, eight years on, she still amazes me with her positivity and determination,” she says emotionally. “She has taught me that no matter what life throws at you, if you have a positive attitude and a strong support system, you’ll have a fighting chance!”

Shannen’s parents are central figures in her, and her siblings’ determined attitudes and approach to life. “They always encouraged us to do our best in whatever we choose to do, and they have always been supportive.” Shannen has spent most of her life in Port Elizabeth. She matriculated from Wesering High School and then went on to study for her LLB at Nelson Mandela University. “I have a large extended family in Port Elizabeth, and we have always been a close family, spending a lot of time together. Time spent with family is among my fondest memories from childhood.”

Shannen chose a career in law because she says she always knew that she wanted to help people in one way or another. “I was drawn to the field because the legal profession aims to help others solve their problems and because law offers diverse career options with many opportunities.” Her career path brought her to CEO, where she’s part of a team of professionals dedicated to giving small and medium businesses a fighting chance in what is an extremely problematic and hostile economic environment. “The most pressing issue for employers currently is still the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, although loadshedding and wage challenges are certainly overtaking the pandemic fallout,” she explains. “CEO is a great environment with very understanding and helpful colleagues, all ready to fight for the rights of employers.”

Shannen was only recently promoted from legal assistant to the position of an official at CEO, and says she’s proud of her educational and career growth despite personal issues that sometimes made her want to give up. “I am proud of my growth in my career at CEO, but I would also like to grow in personal experiences and travel more and live in the moment.” Well, with the incredible support system from her family and the awesome examples of passion and determination around her, she’s got a fighting chance!