Toni Shroyer knows what hard work is. She knows how to champion important causes. Born in 1967 at Marin General, she grew up in a church manse, a stone’s throw from the church where her father was a Presbyterian Minister. As she puts it, “The cupboards were bare, but we had a lot of love and chaos.”
She and her three older siblings grew up in church, making announcements for potlucks in “Hang Ten” shorts, roller skating down the center aisle and bringing their pets into the sanctuary for live nativity scenes. She also spent many hours trailing her father to hospitals to comfort the dying or tend to the elderly. Toni learned how to listen and hear the problems of others.
During her childhood summer visits to Oregon to visit “Grandma Sam” she listened and learned all about social justice. Her grandmother, a staunch supporter of Caesar Chavez’s movement, would send Toni and her siblings into the strawberry fields to work next to the farmworker children. Her mother, Sally, took up the cause as well. Hand in hand with their mother, Toni and her sister, Nikki, would leaflet downtown San Rafael and boycott companies and products harmful to the Third World and farm workers. Toni protested in front of Lawrence Livermore Labs and attended Helen Caldicott lectures.
By the 7th grade, she was tired of wearing her brother’s’ cast off Pop Warner jerseys. Her father told her if she wanted new clothes, to go get a job and pay for them, so she did and has worked hard ever since.
First, she babysat and earned enough money to buy her clothes. Then she bought a very old pony enabling her to give riding lessons. She and Nikki raised chickens in the Nicasio 4-H Club and sold the eggs to pay for their food.
Going to school and being employed was not enough for Toni. She also ran on the track team, played soccer, was a cheerleader, was elected Junior Class Vice-President, crowned Homecoming Queen and finally elected Student Body President at Drake High School (now Archie Williams High School. Archie was Toni’s beloved computer teacher). At the same time, she earned money necessary for her college tuition.
She started at Davis, and then transferred to UCLA where she carried more than a full load of classes to graduate in four years. Toni received her teaching credential at Sonoma State University and tutored a disadvantaged student living in the canal at that time.
Being a self-starter, Toni chose the home loan industry after she graduated from UCLA because she believed hard work would pay off and it did. Within a few years, she was one of the top account executives in the country with Countrywide Home Loans and JPMorgan Chase. Even the economic decline did not stop her. She re-invented herself as she had so many times before and went into selling real estate. Toni started out with Frank Howard Allen where she was awarded the Founder’s Award for excellence in community service. In 2011, Toni was honored with being the Novato Patch Person of The Year. She was one of the top producers for Bradley Real Estate. She currently works for Coldwell Banker where she is a top producer and received an award in 2021 for being one of the top one percent of the agents nationwide in sales within the company.
In 2001, she married Jim Shroyer. They have two children; Luke (21) who attends the College of Marin and works two jobs. Nicole (18), is a freshman at UC Davis, received accolades for getting straight A’s last quarter as a student athlete and is currently a trailblazer by being the first Native American-Filipina on the UCD Equestrian Team. Both attended the Novato public schools. As a mother, Toni embraced more activities. She founded the Indian Valley 4-H club. She has been active for the last 16 years in Novato’s Junior Horsemen’s effort and helped with the scholarships for underprivileged youth. She used to bring her large Newfoundland dog to shut-ins before he passed away at an amazing age of 12 (Newfoundland’s life expectancies are between 8-10 years old). Toni Sponsors workshops for seniors for parcel tax exemptions and utility discounts, downsizing and driving.
Currently Toni is on the church council at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Novato. She is the chairperson of the Outreach Committee. Her passion is raising money for Nayet Tesfay, a San Marin student who was severely injured in a car crash, with Noisy Offerings (bills and coins collected at the church) and visiting people who need good cheer. Toni is also on the Board of Novato Horsemen and spearheading efforts to bring horse riding and education to high risk youth and adults.
Toni has been a “School Fuel” ambassador and was the vice president of San Marin’s All-Sports Boosters. Toni was a board member for Novato Babe Ruth for two years and organized the players to sell local Homeward Bound Dog Treats, which benefitted the homeless as well as the youth ball players. Babe Ruth was the first Novato youth organization to partner with the non-profit in this way.
Toni also volunteers with the Gang Graffiti Abatement Program she founded with the help of other Novato residents. It is an ongoing problem, but they are successfully fighting the blight. She initiated and ran the “Pennies for Police Dogs” campaign which enabled the Novato PD to purchase their then-third K9 and have all three of the K9’s narcotics trained. For relaxation, she rides her adopted ponies, Treasure, Bee, Cracker Jack and Kelly.
With her family, Toni has rescued dozens of animals. Currently they have 7 feral cats from Marin Friends of Ferals, two pigs, feral peacocks, chickens, horses and an 18-year-old goat named Gus.
Toni and Jim built an affordable second unit for her mother, and challenged the county with an erroneous impact fee for building second units, resulting in 33 homeowners receiving thousands of dollars (including interest) that the county unlawfully kept from them.
Toni’s heroes are: Jesus, Jimmy Carter, her late parents: The Reverend Bill and Sally Frederickson and Royce Mclemore. Royce Mclemore has for decades advocated for racial equality and habitable housing in Golden Gate Village in Marin City. This wonderful community has had many challenges. We are in the year of 2023 and our county can do much better for this neighborhood. Currently the high-rise buildings designed by Aaron Greene, need 8 new boilers and has needed them since 2015. When one community suffers, we all do. For years Toni has collected and dropped off donations to Finders Keepers, the Marin City “Free Shop” for clothing and cookware for the residents and others. She also has organized litter clean up and voter registration drives in that community.
Toni’s dream is to have racial equality and justice in Marin City and throughout the world. There is much work to do. With public awareness, the leadership of incredible people like Royce McLemore, it can be done.
With appreciation and love, Toni dedicates and accepts her Induction to Marin Women’s Hall of Fame on behalf of Royce McLemore and the good people of Golden Gate Village, Marin City.