Board Member Spotlight: Jon Shearer

A data leader is a well-informed, dependable manager with a penchant for answers to the most fundamental questions. How many? How much? How often?

As a data leader himself, Survivor Fitness board member Jon Shearer helps other leaders grow their businesses while they grow themselves. As a business consultant and founder of CADENCE CO., he’s helped scale startups towards sustainable growth and successful exit strategies.

“Early on in my career, I ran from leadership,” said Jon. “I didn’t want anything to do with it, mostly because of the examples I had around me. But somehow it caught up to me.”

Despite a 25-year-long career, Jon Shearer can easily breeze through the number of clients he’s served, their revenue growth, their funding history, and other highly specific stats—both big and small—that he’s locked away in his brain over the years.

He’s also quick to turn to data when he shares his cancer story.

“I was 21 years old when I was diagnosed with a 30 percent chance to survive,” said Jon. “That was 23 years ago. I was 6’3” and weighed the same as I did in sixth grade. It wasn’t pretty.”

Like too many cancer survivors, Jon was left to his own devices when the treatment was over with no real direction on where to go or what to do next.

“There’s so much that’s out of your control when you’re going through cancer,” said Jon. “Control seems like an illusion, but there are things you want to take back when the treatment is over, including your mental and physical health.”

Survivor Fitness was founded in 2013 with a mission to empower cancer survivors and a hope to help people heal, physically and mentally, through personal fitness training and nutritional advice. 

Jon was first introduced to Survivor Fitness by his friend and former co-worker, Meg Grunke, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Survivor Fitness. After assisting her with a grant application, he became a board member in 2018 and currently serves as its operations chair.

“Survivor Fitness is really something I wished that I had when I was going through my own journey,” said Jon.

He points to the sense of community that Survivor Fitness provides as an essential part of the recovery program.

“When you’re first diagnosed, there are a lot of people there for you at the beginning,” Jon explained. “There’s a smaller group there during your treatment. And after you’re clear and free and healed, that support goes away. But the journey isn’t over just because you’ve been declared cancer-free.”

“Survivor Fitness gives you the community, the plan, and the built-in support system you need to continue your journey back to wellness,” he said.

Survivor Fitness has served more than 250 cancer survivors to date with programs in Nashville and Knoxville and plans to grow. Like all his fellow board members, Jon has a vision for the program to spread nationwide.

“At the end of the day, Survivor Fitness is great for the patient and for their families,” said Jon. “It’s great for hospitals because of lower readmittance rates. And it’s great for insurers because there’s less recurrence of disease. We have a really great story to share.”

And with the right data, Jon Shearer’s going to help share those stories of wellness, wholeness, and hope beyond cancer.

Jon Shearer is the founder of CADENCE CO., an executive coaching and business consulting firm based in Nashville. Click here for a complete list of Survivor Fitness board members and other members of the leadership team.