Born at the Wasson Army Hospital in Fort Dix, New Jersey, Shawn spent his earliest years with his father and mother at the US Army Garrison Baumholder in the West German federal state of Rheinland. At the age of 4, they returned to the small western Massachusetts paper mill town of Woronoco, Massachusetts.
hawn left for California in 1989, after working as Deputy Connecticut Finance Director for the Presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis and serving on the successful campaign of Ron Brown to assume Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. After a three day bus ride to San Francisco, he arrived to assume the position of Scheduler for the newly elected California Democratic Party Chairman, Jerry Brown. As Scheduler, Shawn traveled to 28 rural California counties with Brown and had the honor of a personal blessing from Mother Teresa.
Shawn and his wife Kimberly live in a yurt as they build RiverSong Farm, a 32 acre organic restoration farm that sits above the Yuba River, with their three above average children, Skyler, Evan and Emma, their two dogs Chava and Bella, and a host of wild turkey, treefrogs, redtail hawk, visiting geese, a mountain lion, and a pack of coyotes. He provides weekly political commentary for public radio and assists businesses and non profit organizations through the start-up phase. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in Finance.
Shawn Garvey is the Founder of The Grant Farm and Chief Executive Officer of ThinkTank, a national public affairs and communication firm whose clients include a host of private business clients, dozens of elected officials at the state and federal level, and many national and regional organizations. At The Grant Farm, he leads a team that has created more than $120 million in state and federal funding submissions for companies and agencies seeking funds for biomass, waste-to-energy, wind, solar, hybrid and CNG vehicles, Smart-Grid, and other high profile renewable energy projects.
Garvey was the Founder of The Sierra Fund and served as CEO for four years, where he developed $2 million in private conservation investments and coordinated the successful campaign to pass Assembly Bill 2600, creating a Sierra Nevada Conservancy. At The Sierra Fund, he spearheaded efforts to develop $52 million in state and federal conservation and economic development investments throughout the Sierra Nevada region and assisted dozens of land trust, advocacy and community organizations in capacity building, organizational development, fund development, advocacy and communications.
For four years, Garvey served as the Executive Director of the grassroots South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), where he worked tirelessly to create one of the two largest watershed advocacy organizations in the United States, growing the annual organizational budget by 10-fold. He managed the successful campaign to designate the first new Wild and Scenic River in California in 14 years and helped negotiate an historic $90 million in restorative, non-dam flood control monies for Yuba County, ending the threat of new dams on the Yuba River permanently.
During the Clinton administration, Garvey served as a Special Projects Representative for the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development, where he assisted and evaluated economic development investments throughout rural Northern California and authored the California Review of the President’s $1.5 billion Northwest Economic Adjustment Initiative.
In 1992, Garvey founded SMART Campaigns, a premiere research and communications firm whose clients include dozens of national, state and local candidates, initiatives and businesses. As Managing Partner at SMART Campaigns, he authored more than 95 research and communication reports for his clients and compiled an electoral success record of 90 percent. Immediately prior, he honed his political communication and research skills as a Research Director at The Research Group, at the knee of now-Presidential Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel.