Applying Mercy Lessons Everyday
“The Sisters of Mercy instilled in me a sense of social justice and desire for equality. I bring a bit of Mercy to my work every day,” said Shannon McClure ’95, Director of Research at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
In her role she provides data and analysis for businesses in a nine-county area and provides business intelligence to help recruit businesses from outside the market to choose Greater Omaha as a location to do business or to move headquarters.
“I want Omaha to be a great place to live for all people, not just some people. My research and analysis can help the Chamber to be more selective in what businesses we recruit to the region, making sure that we create job and wage growth that provides the opportunity of economic prosperity for all,” she added.
It’s not surprising that this graduate is applying her Mercy education both professionally and personally.
Although her two older sisters went to Duchesne, she attended a lock-in as an 8th grader and from that night on she was hooked on the school. While at Mercy she was participated in anything involved with music, from choral ensembles to school musicals. She was in several clubs, a member of the National Honor Society and a Eucharistic Minister.
She recalls fondly the impact teachers had on her formation as a person, her life’s journey and compassion for others.
“Two years of English classes with Sheri Hoffman instilled in me a great love of Willa Cather, Thoreau and Whitman and the ability never to end sentences with a preposition. Any 90s girls remember the preposition song?” she asked.
However, her love of the arts and especially music led to her degree at the University of Tulsa studying voice and the violin. After graduation she went into arts administration and spent 15 years in marketing for opera companies in cities throughout the country, including Washington, D.C., Santa Fe, New Mexico, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia. She also earned a MBA from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and moved back to Omaha in 2014.
“My Mercy Drama and Speech teacher, Hersh Rodasky, not only taught me about the basics of theatre but also about being part of a team, working incrementally toward a big goal and about expecting more of myself than I ever thought I could do. My music teacher Roy Stubbs showed me so much support and encouragement and always did his best to help me learn,” she said.
She puts her skills and talents to use in the community by serving as a volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Nebraska Community Blood Bank, as a marketing advisor for Opera Omaha and a grant reviewer for the Nebraska Arts Council.
Her volunteerism also extends to Mercy. In 2015 she taught a short voice master class to help students preparing for competition. She has also provided insight and research in community engagement to the Advancement team.
“Some alumnae may not have the financial resources to donate back to Mercy, but they can give back their gifts and talents to the school and support its mission,” she said.