Interview with Shannon Marsh

If you ever have the urge to chat with someone about roller derby, the Midwest, Afghanistan, singing gigs, living in South Seattle, hosting at the Hub, or educational OD, Shannon's your go-to!

Q: Who are you? Introduce yourself as you would at a dinner party.


A: Depending on the type of party and the guests, I love that I have different ways to introduce myself. Hi, I'm Shannon and I'm...

     -a midwest transplant who's been living in Seattle for the last seven years.

     -an organizational development consultant (similar to consulting, but more sociology-focused).

     -a singer and a junior roller derby coach (rat city Juniors' Tootsy Rollers Division, age 7-12).

     -the one with blue hair

     -a Black Rock City Ranger

Q: What is your background? How does it differ from what you are doing now?

A: My first job out of college was teaching in Memphis City Schools. As part of the charter corps of Teach for America, I had done an internship with the Kauffman Foundation (Kansas City's version of Gates) in education research and policy. After teaching, I moved to Seattle to attend the Evans School at UW and focus on education policy. Then of course, life got cheeky and threw a lovely curveball of a marriage proposal and a move to Korea in the works. After a few years abroad, I moved back to Seattle and ended up stepping sideways into consulting in the OD world with tribal clients in health care. I've recently started blending my worlds by beginning to do OD consulting for some local and public charter schools, which brings me great joy.

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: I’m building a practice in educational OD, looking for a new opportunity to sing, coaching my derby girls toward the end of the season championship game, preparing for a trip to Afghanistan, and improving/fixing my fantastically quirky home in South Seattle.

Q: Why did you join Impact Hub?

A: I was fortunate to find the Impact Hub in a tricky time just after moving back to the US and reinventing my work life. I was a host for about a year and loved seeing the Hub grow and change in the early stages. Fun Hub fact #1: Lindsey Engh is responsible for allowing my ambitious self to start the Member Wall on the first floor, which I declared to be done in "a month or so". (The member wall is never really done, but the dynamic feel is part of the fun!) Fun Hub fact #2: Sarah Studer and I spent many Thursdays tweaking the formula for Member Lunch back in the day. Sarah's mastery of this fun, complex, vital Hub event makes my heart infinitely happy. Fun Hub fact #3: Susan Lloyd and I were hosts together! She's just been better about keeping on with the Hub awesomeness than I am.

Q: How do you make money?

A: I do my consulting through an engineering firm called Terracon, where I learn more each day about everything from construction materials testing to facilitating municipal government workshops to strategic planning on school boards.

Q: What is something that really excites you right now (a trend, life development, time of year, food, etc.)?

A: Right now, I'm very thrilled to have my awesome partner in the country, as he spends much of his time improving the legal infrastructure of Afghanistan (from Afghanistan, of course).

Q: You have $10M to spend in the next year, and you can’t spend it on you, your friends or your family. How do you spend it?

A: At this exact moment, I'd probably split it between supplementing the Indian Health Service budget (an amazing client of mine that does so much on so little) and one of a million ways I could think to level the playing field for underserved kids as far as I could geographically reach (teacher salaries? enrichment programs? challenge grants? genius grants specifically in education? so many options...).

Q: What’s on the horizon for you (a new project, career path, personal development)?

A: The two big things on my list are helping coach a new charter school into its first year this fall, and finding a new home to sing. I recently left a choir and am debating between finding opera, a bluegrass band, a lounge singer gig or some other fun arena to sing in.

Q: Where do you usually hang out when you are at Impact Hub? How often are you here?

A: I'm never too far away from the hosts and coffee by habit, but I really love the expansion and sometimes perch by the phone booths at the sunny tables.


Q: What is something we don’t know? (Either about you, or something else)

A: Well, I know this question probably came from the Dinner Party Download podcast, one of my favorites of the twenty I listen to! But unknown- I once had a cat named DK, after a certain episode of the TV show "It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia." I will buy coffee for anyone who can identify the reference. ;)

Q: Give us your top three Seattle gems!

A: 1) My FAVORITE guilty pleasure when it comes to touristy things is the Underground Tour, just around the corner-I've probably been on it a dozen    times.

    2) Kubota Garden is walking distance from my house in South Seattle, and one of my favorite places to see gorgeous flowers, walk, think, get lost and feel like I'm far away from the city.

     3) The Le Faux female impersonator show at Julia's on Capitol Hill is something I haven't seen anywhere else. If you like campy fun from some seriously talented performers, it's definitely worth a visit.



Contact Shannon at [email protected] .