FEATURED EMPLOYEE: Meet Shannon Simpson – Senior Marketing Communications Specialist, Adventurist
Shannon Simpson, a 17-year member of the V3 team, grew up in Willow Springs, IL as the youngest of three, with two older siblings 5+ years her senior. It was a difficult childhood, and, at just 17 years old, she lost her mom to mental illness. This major life event motivated Shannon to get into the workforce to help support herself – and informed her mindset that she won’t let fear stand in her way.
“I started working at an animal shelter during high school,” said Shannon. “My boss, Sandy, became my mentor. She also had a tough upbringing, but you’d never know it by looking at her. She helped me realize that you’re not what you come from, you’re who you become. You can pave a road for yourself.”
Shannon also cites her father as another highly influential person role model. He was a beacon of light during hard times and impressed upon her the importance of hard work and a positive attitude.
“I used to go to work with my Dad all the time as a kid,” said Shannon. “He was a jack-of-all-trades and worked in maintenance at the Willowbrook Ballroom for 50+ years. I learned from him that you don’t need a handbook to figure things out. He taught me a lot about internal fortitude and strength.”
These qualities have served Shannon well over the years. Her willingness to roll up her sleeves and de-code new things has been a strength both in her role at V3, and as she pursued new passions, like photography.
“I started my own photography business five years ago,” said Shannon. “I taught myself how to operate a DSLR camera by taking online courses, and trial and error before eventually enrolling in a photography program to learn more. Because of my mother’s illness I have very few pictures of my childhood. I’m really passionate about helping people capture moments in their lives.”
“My dad passed away in June this year,” said Shannon. “He shaped my whole life with how hard working he was … but he was also a homebody. Most of my family was growing up. I don’t want to look back and have regrets, I want to make him proud by being adventurous.”
She’s found many opportunities to do just that, facing her fear of heights and racking up an impressive resume of adrenaline-pumping activities, including downhill skiing, skydiving, and even jumping off the stratosphere in Las Vegas last year.
“Running a marathon was another bucket list item of mine,” said Shannon. “In 2010 I started training for my first half marathon. Now I’ve run two Chicago marathons and six half marathons.”
“I’m also scuba certified,” she said, “though that wasn’t easy. I would hyperventilate under the water until I worked through it. Conquering fears – not letting them prevent me from doing things – is really important to me.”
Today, Shannon, her husband and stepson are enjoying exploring the country in their travel trailer. So far, they have explored parts of both coasts and several roller coaster parks.
Anyone who has the opportunity to spend even a few minutes with Shannon would agree that she has not only excelled at paving her own life path, she is living proof that with a positive attitude, hard work, and drive … you can even take flight.