Meet Shannon Larson, Administrative Lead
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, spent my high school years living on an island on the Gulf coast of Florida, went back to Indiana to attend Indiana University, and have been a resident of Portland, Oregon since 2008.
What do you do at MFA?
I’m the administrative lead. This means I manage the workload and projects of our administrative staff, which consists of administrative assistants and editors. I also work on a lot of internal policies and procedures updates, facilities management, and projects related to making sure working at MFA is a streamlined and efficient experience for all employees.
What’s rewarding about your job?
It’s in my nature to be a helper, so administrative work has always made sense to me. I love being the person who works with others to figure out answers to questions and makes everyone’s day-to-day a bit easier. Working with others so a job can be done efficiently is very rewarding to me as is the ability to connect with every person I work with.
Why is what you do important?
I am a firm believer that administrative work is incredibly valuable and important, and that administrative professionals help keep MFA moving forward.
Whether it’s perfecting client deliverables, making sure our offices are comfortable and inviting for employees and guests, or answering last-minute pleas for help, administrative professionals do so much to help ensure that the company is running smoothly. I manage a team of wonderful, intelligent, helpful professionals who balance so many different projects and are always available to address urgent needs. Administrative work is important because it ensures our company processes are running smoothly and that our technical team members can focus on doing good work for our clients.
Where is your favorite place to go in your area?
My husband and I have a secret backpacking site on Mount Hood that has an amazing view of the mountain. We escape the city and go there because it is quiet, remote, and there’s no cell phone service. If I’m looking for an escape a bit closer to the city, I head out to the dog park at Sandy River Delta with my dog Flossie.
What skills do you bring to your work?
I am highly organized, both in my professional and personal life. I love a good task list, and I love checking tasks off said list even more. Connecting with people from all different backgrounds has also been something that has always come easily to me, so I love that I get the opportunity to work with people from so many different fields. I love making personal connections with others, learning about what my coworkers do, and making sure people feel helped, heard, and respected.
What do you like to do off the clock?
I have a yearly goal to get out of town at least once a month, so when I’m not actually going out of town, I spend a lot of time trying to find new and interesting places to go. I also love spending time in my small and productive garden and spending time with my close group of friends making and sharing beautiful meals.
If you were not an administrative lead, what would you be?
I graduated from college with degrees in English Literature and Classical Art and Archaeology so, if I were not in administrative work, I would probably be working for an English department somewhere. Or perhaps I would be studying Minoan ruins near the Aegean Sea.
What’s on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to go to Antarctica. I love snow and the idea of being somewhere so remote and beautiful sounds like a magical experience.
What was your favorite childhood movie/TV show?
Reading Rainbow. I’ve always loved books and that theme song still brings a smile to my face.
Explore Our Work
Oregon Wildfire Debris Cleanup and Sampling
Client: CDR Maguire Inc./Oregon Department of Transportation
Developing a Model Remedy for Historical Orchard Lands
Client: Chelan County Department of Natural Resources
Portland Brownfield Becomes Fabrication and Design Studio
Client: Acme Scenic & Display, Inc.