SCN's 2015 Hall of Fame: Catherine Shanahan
By Jim Beaugez On January 08, 2015
People may talk about having AV in their blood to show their dedication to the industry, but few can make that claim literal. Catherine Shanahan rises to the top of the list.
Although Shanahan began her career in law enforcement, she never truly found satisfaction in her work and began to evaluate her career. While she figured out her next move, her brother offered her an interim position as office manager at Shanahan Sound & Electronics, which opened as Shanahan Radio and Television in 1951 and evolved into the video and audio integration provider it is today.
That was all it took. She realized she had found her calling through the close interaction with customers and her commitment to go the extra mile in exceeding their expectations.
“When a pastor from a small, Bostonbased parish drove all the way to Lowell [Massachusetts] to personally thank me with a big hug and a kiss, telling me how much he appreciated the work we had done for his parish, I was very touched,” said Shanahan. “This was the first and most personal thank you I had ever received.”
Shanahan attributes the continued success of the company she took over from her father in 1987 to maintaining that customer focus, but also surrounding herself with talented, quality people—both her senior engineer and senior systems consultant have been with the company now for nearly 25 years—and by forging strong alliances in the industry.
“We recognize who we are and work to be the best in our niche,” she said, quickly adding, “we also recognize what we don’t know and develop relationships with business partners and continually reinvest and reinvent the business.” Andrew M. Musci, President and CEO of Altel, recognizes the same qualities in Shanhan’s leadership. “Catherine has adeptly steered her small business through a treacherous economy these past several years,” he said. “Like other successful small business owners who have survived, Catherine deserves recognition for her fortitude, competence and integrity.”
Jim Beaugez, APR, is a freelance writer and accredited communications