Shannon Anderson

Director of Talent

Shannon Anderson

Shannon Anderson

Director of Talent

Shannon and her team teach recruiting self-sufficiency to Madrona portfolio companies and introduce them to amazing people for their leadership teams. Shannon ensures that Madrona’s talent efforts align across our portfolio, executive search firm partnerships, and as contributors to the VC talent partner community. She authors many of Madrona’s talent playbooks, provides interviewer training and other workshops, and designs and executes Madrona’s Annual People Leader Summit.

Journey to Madrona

Shannon has always been a hands-on recruiter working with companies at all stages, starting in the “go-go” days of Microsoft in the 1990s, where she helped grow the company from 8,000 to 40,000 employees. Prior to joining Madrona in 2018, Shannon was a principal at Recruiting Toolbox, teaching interviewer training to high-growth companies. Shannon started in venture with Ignition Partners at the firm’s inception in 2000. While there and through her executive recruiting firm, Velocity Search Partners, she made her mark on many global companies with offices in the greater Seattle region, including Amazon, Google, DocuSign, Snowflake, Apptio, and Ai2.

Lessons learned

I’ve learned to “Always be Recruiting” and “Always be Closing.” You never know when or where you will meet an amazing person who could positively change the trajectory of your life, your company, or your customers.

When she’s not in the office…

Shannon strives to be a great role model for her two daughters. Her devoted husband of 35 years keeps her grounded, fed and watered, and she trains with free weights to build muscles somewhere other than between her ears.


In 2014, Oren Etzioni received Geekwire’s “Hire of the Year” award, which is coveted in the Seattle tech community. He founded The Artificial Intelligence Institute (Ai2), which has since become the preeminent AI institute and spawned 10s and soon-to-be 100s of startups. Shannon’s search firm at the time, Velocity Search Partners, introduced Oren to Paul Allen.

The highest compliment Shannon has ever received came from a CTO who didn’t believe in her ability to find great candidates in the wild. Eventually, he discovered he was wrong, giving her the moniker “Lioness in the Jungle.” Please ask her about the story!

Shannon on Madrona

“The best time to talk to a VC talent partner is 1-2 years before you want to join a startup. Call me.”