Culture News

Employee Spotlight: Shannon Walsh, Project Manager, Special Programs

July 15, 2022
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photo of Shannon Walsh

Shannon Walsh, LMI project manager, is the capability lead for logistics and technology concepts in Defense Special Programs as well as the DARPA LogX program manager. Discover how her passion and goal-driven mindset span from her personal life, from her love of sports and animal advocacy, to her professional career.

What were your first impressions of LMI?

  • My first impressions of LMI started at the interview. I had interviewed for countless roles, which seems to be the norm these days, but I really felt challenged by LMI. The questions weren’t your typical interview questions, and I respected that.

How would you describe LMI and its culture?

  • LMI’s culture is the best I have ever seen. There are so many people eager and willing to help not only support our customers, but support clubs, volunteer activities, events, anything to get our community engaged. The support I have received at LMI as an early-career professional has been unprecedented given the size of our growing organization, and I wish every young employee in our industry had that opportunity.

What aspect of your experience/expertise helps provide innovative solutions to clients?

  • Passion drives me, even when all motivation seems lost. Whether it be my work, my education, my Boston sports teams, or advocating for the things I believe in, my determination to see things through is not only an asset in my personal life but brings a level of confidence to our customers that LMI can and will deliver.

What is the most rewarding project you have supported/worked on while at LMI?

  • My DARPA program has been by far the most rewarding and most challenging project I have supported at LMI. Now almost three years in, I have been working on the program since its proposal. I am learning something new every day from ingenious thinkers both within LMI and at such an advanced industry like DARPA, and that push to learn drives me to be better and expand my understanding for this effort and everything I do for my portfolio.

What are you responsible for as a Project Manager at LMI?

  • I manage the majority of our special programs portfolio, most notably the DARPA LogX program. I am heavily involved in the growth within the special programs market as well.
  • How long have you been with LMI? 3 years
  • Why did you choose LMI? I chose LMI because of the engagement and challenging discussion in my interviews. It gave me the premonition that I was going to be continually challenged in the workplace, giving me opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

What was your first role as a Project Manager?

  • I took over the DARPA LogX program upon my promotion to project manager (PM), a program that I had been a task lead on since its inception in January of 2020.

What made you want to become a Project Manager?

  • I have always enjoyed opportunities for leadership and always sought opportunities to engage directly with our customers. PMs are at the forefront of customer satisfaction, employee development, and strategic growth. Although challenging, it's an incredibly rewarding role that gives me opportunity to engage with LMIers across all aspects of the company.

If you were not a Project Manager what would you be?

  • Within LMI, I would want to work in business development. There is a certain hunger that comes with every potential award, and being a competitive person, I love the satisfaction when the hard work pays off and LMI gets a win.
  • Outside of LMI, it goes back to my passion for the things I care about—I would work in sports or in dog training/advocacy. I love sports and I love understanding player styles, differing skillsets, how team chemistry and player mindsets play such a crucial role, and countless other factors. Working with dogs is really not that different in terms of analytics—understanding behavior and styles, different training styles for different breeds, and analyzing trends to educate owners, policy makers, and others alike.

What skills are essential to your daily work?

  • Patience, confidence, willingness to learn, and humor. I could describe skills like data science expertise, etc., but really if you are driven and confident that you can learn, you’ll be successful. Patience and humor are great assets to have—no one is going to say they have never had a rough day at work :)

Describe a typical day for us.

  • A typical day is free-flowing. Things evolve and change quickly, which keeps us on our toes and doesn’t allow you to be complacent. There is constant collaboration through calls, chats, and emails, which is absolutely critical given LMI’s cross-functional expertise.

What do you see as your greatest accomplishments, both professionally and personally?

  • Professionally, I am currently one of the youngest PMs at LMI, and I can’t express my thanks enough for my leadership giving me that opportunity to successfully prove myself.
  • Personally, I was able to grow my hockey podcast (Slapshot Sweethearts) to over 750 subscribers and 10,000 followers across our social platforms in its first 9 months. In the first year, we received NHL and ECHL press credentials and multiple sponsorships including Pure Hockey, Men’s League Socks, Texas Hockey Apparel, and Yeti.  

Describe what success means to you.

  • Success is challenging for me to describe because I am never satisfied. If I reach a milestone, I’m looking for the next goal on the horizon. But, success is different for everyone. Whether it be a big win like buying a car or a promotion, or a little win like doing laundry, it’s a success because it was a challenge you were able to overcome; be satisfied with that before moving onto your next challenge.

Who inspires you and why?

  • Female athletes, most notably those in the National Women’s Hockey League (PHF). The majority of those women were drafted while also seeking full-time jobs post-graduation and continue to work full-time jobs during the regular season, playoffs, and onward. This is because their salary starts at $10,000—and they need to work to live. I can’t fathom working that hard to become a professional athlete, and also needing to balance a career in industries like police, nursing, and consulting like LMI!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

  • I love cooking. I cooked at an Irish pub for four years. I’m a big fan of exploring local breweries, and if I’m not binge-watching TV (happily taking recommendations), I am likely playing with my dog. I also love to work out and try to work out at least five days a week.

Are there any favorite organizations that you support or volunteer with (or have in the past)?

  • I currently volunteer with the End Prince George’s County MD Breed-Specific Legislation groups, primarily comprised of teams from Washington, D.C.’s Humane Rescue Alliance and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
  • I volunteer with University of Alabama and York College of Pennsylvania chapters of Sigma Delta Tau. I primarily work on leadership development, marketing skills, and event planning with college women. I also support alumnae event planning in the DMV area.
  • Finally, I support a non-profit called Leveling The Playing Field, an organization originally based in Baltimore that collects gently used youth sports equipment to provide youth sports leagues in underserved communities. The organization was founded by a local teen, who was nominated for the NHL Man of the Year award this year, and has expanded his efforts to DC and Philadelphia.

Where did you grow up?

  • Wrentham, MA—five minutes down the road from Gillette Stadium, home-base for Patriots nation.

What is your favorite movie, book, TV series, and/or podcast?

  • Movie: We Are Marshall, Remember the Titans, Coach Carter (all classic sports movies; I have a type)
  • Book: Crossroads by Kaleb Dahlgren or The Lost Dogs. Crossroads is the true story of a survivor from the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, where the majority of the hockey team and its coaches died on their way to a playoff game. Kaleb tells an incredible story not only about the accident, but how he has persevered through his career playing with diabetes, and then the aftermath of the accident and his injuries. The Lost Dogs is also a true story from one of the rescue teams detailing the investigation and aftermath of the Michael Vick dogfighting case. Its hard to read in some areas but shows the incredible challenges rescues go through to rehabilitate from animal abuse of any kind.
  • TV Series: Friday Night Lights, Reba, Grey’s Anatomy, and all Real Housewives. Of all these, I highly recommend Reba; it’s a classic sitcom starring Reba McEntire and it’s a lost treasure.
  • Podcast: Reasonably Shady or Girls Gotta Eat—both light-hearted female-hosted lifestyle shows.

What is your favorite social media platform?

  • Instagram or Facebook

What is your preferred TED Talks genre?

  • I can’t say I’m well-versed in TED Talks, unless they’re assigned as a part of my masters.

What else would you like for us to know about you?

  • Thanks for reading! Feel free to reach out and get to know more; I love expanding my community and would love to hear about you.

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