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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Longtime Recorder leader sets on new journey

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Shannon Williams’ next stop is The Mind Trust

Shannon Williams is leaving the Recorder.

Let that sink in.

Williams, who began her career with the Indianapolis Recorder in September 2000, will become senior vice president of community engagement at The Mind Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving education,  starting July 9.

“I’ll be working to educate and engage the community about the transformative initiatives at The Mind Trust,” Williams said. “I’m specifically interested in working with parents of children who may not currently have access to quality education.”

Fresh out of college, Williams started her career at the Recorder as marketing and circulation manager. She’s held various titles over the years — assistant editor, editor, vice president, and president and general manager. 

“It’s very emotional,” Williams said. “I’ve been at the Recorder my entire professional career. While I’m excited for this new opportunity, it’s very difficult to leave an institution that has such a rich legacy and a team of individuals who I consider family.

“I just think this opportunity perfectly aligns with what I’ve always wanted my career to be post Recorder,” she continued. “The fact that I can still educate people and be an advocate in the community is very important to me. I’m excited about challenging myself in a different way. In addition, this position will allow me to have more balance in my work and personal life.”

Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust, said Williams’ expertise, community involvement and advocacy for minorities, specifically the Black community, make her the perfect person to fill the role.

“There’s nobody in this city that has more authentic relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders than Shannon,” Brown said. “Shannon really encapsulates many of the traits that we value … We’re just so excited. I can’t think of anybody more qualified to take on this incredibly important role.”

Upon her departure, Williams leaves the Recorder and Indiana Minority Business Magazine in good hands. Robert Shegog and José Lusende will fill her shoes as vice president and COO, and vice president of strategy and external relations, respectively.

“Shannon has served the Recorder extremely well over the years,” said Rose Mays, owner of the Recorder and Indiana Minority Business Magazine. “She effectively maintained the newspaper’s legacy and journalistic integrity, has been a strong advocate in the community and enhanced the brand nationwide. While I am saddened to see her go, the role at The Mind Trust perfectly aligns with her passion and skill set. She will be great in this new capacity.” 

Williams says she is indebted to the Mays family for giving her an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. 

“I understand in life that opportunities matter,” Williams said. “I don’t take for granted the opportunities that Carolene Mays-Medley and Bill Mays afforded me. Their trust in me is invaluable and I will be forever grateful to them and the entire Mays family.”

 Contact editor Oseye Boyd at 317-762-7850. Follow her on Twitter@oseye_boyd 

Recorder President Shannon Williams (left) chats with Sales and Marketing Manager Lisa Shoemake and Rapheal Mathew, business office assistant. Williams has been with the Recorder for nearly 20 years.

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