Shawn was born and raised in Sierra Vista, Arizona. He played many varsity sports at Buena High School and was elected Vice President of the National Honor Society his senior year. After graduating in 1994, he attended New Mexico State University on a tuition scholarship. Shawn was active in many campus volunteer groups and played on many intramural sports teams. He graduated with honors earning a business degree from New Mexico State University in 1998.

After college, Shawn was hired by Del Webb’s private Anthem Country Club in Las Vegas, Nevada as an Assistant Golf Professional and later became a Class A PGA Golf Professional in 1999. While working at Anthem Country Club, Shawn saved enough money to take flying lessons at North Las Vegas Airport and earned his Private Pilot License in early 2001.

Shawn McKeown and family

After completing the qualifying aptitude and physical tests, Shawn was selected for the Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida as a Navy Pilot. He earned his Wings of Gold as a helicopter pilot in 2004 and flew hundreds of missions for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom while deployed to the Middle East and the North Arabian Gulf, earning two Air Medals. He returned from his second six-month deployment and married his wife Carolyn (Fairbanks, Alaska) and assumed the role of Standardization Instructor and Aviation Safety Officer for his squadron. Shawn then left for a one year staff tour for Navy Fifth Fleet and Navy Central Command (NAVCENT), managing a $1,000,000,000 Cost of War fuel budget for every squadron in the NAVCENT area of responsibility. During this tour, Shawn earned his MBA in Project Management from Norwich University and received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He then took orders back to the Pensacola area and became a helicopter Instructor Pilot, mentoring Navy and Marine Corps men and women while helping them earn their Wings of Gold. During this tour, Shawn earned another post graduate degree in Strategy and Policy from the Naval War College.

After fulfilling his Navy obligation, Shawn became a Manager of Yard Operations for Union Pacific Railroad, working in Omaha, Nebraska, Phoenix, Arizona and Topeka, Kansas before settling in Yuma. He worked for Yuma Investment Group for almost five years before venturing out on his own to start Southern Pacific Asset Management (an ode to his great-grandfather who spent most of his adult life working for the Southern Pacific Railroad in the Yuma area). Shawn and Carolyn are blessed to have four healthy children; three daughters and a son. When not working at Southern Pacific Asset Management, you can find Shawn spending time with his family, at the golf course and the gym.

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