“Understanding that you have the ability to impact other people is extraordinarily important.”
When Shawn White gets together with his brothers and sisters, there’s one thing he can count on. Elementary school photos of him dressed in a shirt and tie always surface, along with jokes about how he was destined to be an attorney at an early age.
Shawn takes it all in full stride.
“I don’t know if it’s because my parents encouraged it, but I did know at an early age that I was going to be an attorney,” he said with a laugh.
Today, as an attorney at the Fountain Hills firm of Sternels & White, he is counting his many blessings – as a professional as well as a father and community philanthropist.
An Arizona resident for more than 30 years, Shawn graduated from Arizona State University and received his law degree from California Western School of Law where he interned at the United States Attorney General’s office in San Diego. When he began looking for jobs in Arizona, law school connections led him to Bob Sternfels in the Town of Fountain Hills.
“We hit it off,” Shawn remembers, “and we developed a plan for him to mentor me. We worked side by side for nearly ten years until he decided to cut back on his workload. Along the way, we became more involved in the community and helped with any local activities that we were called upon to help with.”
Those requests include serving as a director of the Fountain Hills Theater and Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce. Shawn served as director of the Sunridge Foundation, the former name of the Fountain Hills Community Foundation, and continues to donate to the FHCF through Flutter at the Fountain.
These days the father of four kids – Carson (19), Allee (17), Brock (14) and Brady (11) – spends most of his volunteer hours coaching his kids’ sports teams. Shawn believes there are a lot of important lessons to be learned through sports, including how to win and lose gracefully. As the son of parents with humble means, he remembers and appreciates the families who helped pay his sports-related fees when he was young and is only too happy to return the favor.
“As my career has progressed, I’ve realized that you have the ability to influence someone else’s life in a positive way – financially as well as with time and energy,” he explained. “Understanding that you have that ability to impact other people is extraordinarily important and should not be overlooked.”