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Canandaigua hires assistant city manager bringing Marcus Whitman grad to local government

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Canandaigua has filled the long-vacant assistant city manager position, appointing Shawna Bonshak, who has spent the last two years as a planner with the town of Canandaigua. Bonshak, a Middlesex native and Marcus Whitman graduate, recently moved to the city after living in the town for 13 years.


Bonshak’s dream was to live and work in the same community, making her new appointment an ideal match. After studying geography at SUNY Geneseo and attending graduate school at the University of Buffalo, she took a planning job in Laurel, Maryland. Bonshak also worked for a home builder during her decade-long stay in Maryland.

Bonshak, a mother of three, balances her professional life with her children’s extracurricular activities and enjoys engaging in do-it-yourself projects, paddleboarding, and CrossFit training. Although she was not actively seeking a new job, the assistant city manager position appeared to be a natural progression in her career.

City Manager John Goodwin praised Bonshak’s diverse skill set and planning background in both the public and private sectors. He highlighted her positive relationship with the town of Canandaigua and her potential to help the city improve community engagement. Goodwin expressed excitement about Bonshak joining the team, sharing the workload, and taking on new challenges for the city.