colleenEvery month we take a look at one of our employees who makes us the successful company we are today. Today, we profile Colleen Shanahan, an analyst who works out of the West Coast office in Seattle.

What are some memorable projects for you?

Currently, I work primarily on our mortgage-backed security cases. As an appraiser trainee, I perform Deep Dive analysis as well as various quality control work of our Credibility Assessment Model (CAM). I did get the opportunity to work on a rails–to-trails project that I found interesting. I have a forestry background, so anything outdoorsy or environment-related is fun for me.

What lessons have you learned over your career?

Whoever you meet, whatever your job is, listen to those around you and learn something from them. You never know which direction life is going to take you, so stay alert, stay positive, keep learning, and most of all, develop relationships with your colleagues. And, of course, it’s always good to have a beer or two.

What made you choose your career path?

As I said, you never know where life will lead. I exited college with a forester job at a private company on the quiet Redwood Coast of Northern California, ventured to the beautiful hills of Vermont for graduate school, had some amazing opportunities to work with refugees and work/travel in a third world country, and I’m now in the urban area of Seattle. I’ve always been drawn to valuation and analytics, so going from forestry to economic development to appraisal is not as far apart as one may think. Each involves valuation and spatial, human, and economic analytics that I find interesting.

Why did you choose to work for Greenfield Advisors?

I chose to work for Greenfield Advisors because I was drawn to the diversity of projects presented to me that would encompass my passions for valuation, environment, and people.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the small town of Rushville, Indiana, which has about 7,000 people in the town and 15,000 in the county.

What was your first job?

My first paid job was a newspaper route. I was in 7th grade and I delivered The Indianapolis Star, seven days a week, at about 6 a.m. in the morning. Admittedly, my Dad helped me on Sundays.

What are your favorite ways to spend your free time?

I like to spend time with my family, going to the beach, parks, riding bikes, etc. I like to spend time with my spouse eating and drinking well, and I like to spend my alone time working in the yard or doing house projects, like building or painting.

Tell us about your family.

My immediate Seattle family includes my wife and our 6-year-old girl-boy twins, Olive and Henry. I am the tenth child of ten. I have seven brothers and two sisters (yes, all from the same two parents). My Mom and siblings all live east of the Mississippi in various states. I am the only one who ventured west. All of my siblings are married and I have 20 nieces and nephews, some of whom have their own children now. We have a lot of fun together.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Any place that is fun, friendly and welcoming. I love to be around water, whether it be an ocean, a lake or a manmade pond. I find water very intriguing and relaxing.

What’s on your bucket list?

Many things but to name a few: a bike-riding tour through Thailand, taking my family to Kenya, and living/working abroad with my family for a year.

What’s one habit you do on a daily basis?

I listen to KUOW/NPR every morning.

Give us a few surprising facts about you that people may not know.

I have summited Mt. Shasta in California and descended to the base of the Grand Canyon. I completed a half Ironman triathlon in 6 hours and 24 minutes two months before getting pregnant; thus, the full Ironman that I had signed up for six months later was put on hold…indefinitely.