Whiteley brings entrepreneurial drive, local roots to Board


Shana Whiteley was named to Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative's Board of Directors in December to represent District 2, which includes eastern Travis County. She is a business owner and community leader in Manor. Behind her is Manor's historic water tower. Sarah Beal photo

By Janet Wilson
Shana Whiteley of Travis County, a successful businesswoman known for her deep local roots and enthusiastic support for the community, has been appointed to Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s 11-member Board of Directors. 
Whiteley represents District 2, which includes the co-op’s service area in eastern Travis County, formerly represented by Suanna Tumlinson.
“We are thrilled to welcome Shana to Bluebonnet’s Board of Directors,” said Ben Flencher, Board chairman. “Bluebonnet’s members, particularly those in Travis County, are very fortunate to have Shana joining the organization. She made quite an impression on the Board and clearly cares deeply for and believes in serving her community. I am confident she will have an immediate positive impact on the co-op.”
Whiteley grew up on a 100-acre corn farm between Pflugerville and Manor in Travis County, where she still lives with her son, Wesley Bocanegra, 12, and her father, James Whiteley. She owns two restaurants that serve casual comfort food: the Good Luck Grill in Manor and the Lucky Duck Cafe in Taylor.
At times, her business experience has taken her far from home. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in restaurant, hotel and institutional management from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in business administration from Texas State University, she traveled to Ukraine as a business development volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps. She studied the Russian language and helped Eastern Europeans improve business skills as Ukraine, formerly part of the Soviet Union, transitioned to independence after the Cold War.
Whiteley returned to the United States in 1998 and worked as a sales executive for the Lubbock Convention and Visitors Bureau. Later, she was general manager of the Boat House Grill near Lake Travis.  
In 2007 she wanted a challenge – and got one. She began fulfilling a long-held dream of owning a restaurant. She chose a 10-acre site on FM 973 just north of Manor and opened the Good Luck Grill, handling every detail, including working as the general contractor. In 2015 she opened a second restaurant, the Lucky Duck Cafe in Taylor in Williamson County. 
“I’m a project person,” Whiteley said, describing some of the skills she will bring to the Bluebonnet Board. “When I get a project, I’m going to make it happen.”
She’s also a philanthropist. She learned the importance of giving back from her mother, Nadine Whiteley, a passionate volunteer and founding member of the Friends of the Pflugerville Library who was instrumental in the creation of the Pflugerville Public Library. She died in 2010.
As a child, Shana Whiteley was active in 4-H, excelled in its leadership programs and raised pigs, chickens, sheep and turkeys on the family farm. Her son is in 4-H as well and she continues supporting the program today.
Whiteley also contributes to the Travis County Youth Show, Rodeo Austin and a long list of other nonprofits. She is a member of the Taylor and Manor chambers of commerce, and served as president of the Manor chamber in 2012.
Whiteley is delighted to serve Bluebonnet and wants co-op members to know she is extremely hard working, a person of integrity and a dedicated mother to her son.
“I love what Bluebonnet is doing, their involvement in the community, their scholarship programs and their can-do attitude,” she said. “I want to be part of that.
“It’s a privilege to serve others and being on the Board seems like a natural progression, another way for me to serve and do great things for my community.” 

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