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2011 Forty Under 40: Shannon Morris

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About me...
Shannon Morris
Executive director of business development
eImagine Technology Group
39
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
iPhone
Most-used apps:
Google Maps
Facebook
iPod
Notepad
safari
calendar
Shazam
IndyStar
Favorite stuff:
Books, including "Blink," "Outliers," "The Tipping Point," "The She Spot," "The Economies of Cities," "The Catcher and the Rye," "The Other Boleyn Girl," "The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine Boneparte," "This is where I Leave You"; movies, including "The American President," "Dave," "Wedding Crashers," "Grease," "Chocolat," "Four Weddings and a Funeral"; neighborhoods, including Mass Ave, Broad Ripple and Fountain Square; commentators, including Ann Marie Tiernon, Brian Williams and Christiane Amanpour.
 

As executive director of the technology consulting firm eImagine Technology Group, Shannon Morris puts together teams to work with clients.

“We do a lot with state government and federal government, the Department of Education and the financial sector. It’s custom-development application work,” she said.

Companies like eImagine have benefited from Gov. Mitch Daniels’ emphasis on technology as a way to make government more efficient.

For example, eImagine is working on a new licensing system for teachers in the state.

“When [teachers] graduate from the universities, they’ll put their information into the system, and it’ll track their professional development,” Morris said. “Technology really ends up providing better customer service and at a lower cost when it’s done right.”

Since Morris joined the company, her efforts to build partnerships with companies like Washington-based Microsoft and California-based Oracle, as well as relationships with other businesses and governments, have created double-digit growth for eImagine during the economic downturn.

“It’s a good relationship-building city, and that’s what I enjoy, connecting people,” she said.

She grew up in the northern Chicago suburb of Algonquin, and studied telecommunications and English at Indiana University. She held upper-management roles at Ameritech, a former AT&T spinoff, and Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, discovering along the way that she enjoyed cultivating clients and building business relationships.

When she stepped back from the work force to be home with her children, she took on volunteer leadership positions with The Children’s Museum and the Women of Riley Hospital, among others. Education is a key interest of hers, and she is on the board of TeachPlus, a group that encourages teacher development.

When she decided to re-enter the work force, she did it on her terms, negotiating flexible hours to be home after school with her children.

“It was very important to me that my kids saw me working, and that we had a 50-50 family environment, dad and mom are both contributing,” she said. Her husband runs his own business, so his hours are somewhat flexible, she said.

“I schedule client meetings during the day, then do follow-up work in the afternoon,” she said. “It is perfect.”•

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  1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

  2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

  3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

  4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

  5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?

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