Meet Shannon Lee, long-time friend of Founder and Principal Hayley Nichols. Shannon is the new Senior Director of Operations at Allovus. We sat down with her to find out what convinced her to leave California and return home to Washington State.
Allovus: How did you meet Hayley?
Shannon: Well, I was born and raised in Gig Harbor. In 5th grade, I transferred schools to Evergreen Elementary. I was the only one sitting in the classroom on my first day of school. I wasn’t nervous—I was a confident kid. I had the run of the roost at my old school. Hayley walked in wearing parachute pants, feathered hair–she looked like Farrah Fawcett—at 10 years old. She was stunningly gorgeous. I realized I had met my match. I figured I had better get along with this girl or else things wouldn’t work out so well for me.
Allovus: Sounds like that can be a story for another article! But for now, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Shannon: I went to college in Arizona and got a BS in Accountancy with an Emphasis in Computer Information Systems. I was recruited back to my home state to work in the office of a construction company. After that, I moved to a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) manufacturer, then onto Philips Electronics where I started as an Analyst for Sonicare and eventually moved to CA within their Medical Systems division. In 2008, I stayed in manufacturing but joined a privately-held company located in northern California wine country.
Allovus: Why did you move to California?
Shannon: I met a boy. No, seriously, I did! The boy I met later became my husband. My family grew up sailing and my brother was selling J boats – a kind of sail boat, and there was an upcoming race called J Fest that our dad had agreed to use his boat to host the VIPs. J Vineyards & Winery was sponsoring the event, and my husband was the VP of Sales at the winery… you see where this is going, right? That’s how we met. Although he was from the Pacific Northwest, he lived in California, so a short time later, I requested a transfer with Philips to their Nuclear Medicine division in the bay area.
Allovus: What made you decide to move back home?
Shannon: So many reasons! But mainly, last February, Hayley had been talking to me about joining the team. I wasn’t ready; life was good in California. But, after thinking about it for a while, I realized I was in fact ready; I was burned out at my company.
Allovus: Did you move up right away?
Shannon: No. I asked her how much time it would take to make this happen. How soon could she absorb me? And she gave one of her famous Hayley answers, “If they build it, they will come.” I rolled my eyes and said, “How long?” She said 3 months. It actually took 6 months.
Allovus: How did your husband feel about the move?
Shannon: My husband was excited—he was going back to family. It wound up being perfect timing for us. Our son will be going to kindergarten next year, and it was a good time to move. Within 5 months, my husband had a job working for people he’s known for 30 years.
Allovus: Did you have any help moving up?
Shannon: Of course! Several family members made trips down to help, but Hayley flew down, and GOT me as she will say. She helped me pack up the U-Haul, load the car on the trailer and off we were; my 4-year-old son, 2 cats, and too much stuff. It was a fun trip. A long time coming. We made it here in a day and a half!