Meet MenLiving is an ongoing blog post providing more insight into the men who are members of our community. In our inaugural post, we introduce you to Shaun Emerson:
Let’s start with some basics about your story. Share the parts you’d like to share. Where are you from? Education? Career? Age? Family facts?
I was born in Lowell, MA in 1963 and grew up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I attended Holy Cross and then moved to Chicago in 1986. I spent my career in tech and entrepreneurship and I now volunteer full time in non-profit consulting. I’ve been married to Lisa for 26 years and we have three kids, Katie 25, Bizzy 23 and Jack 19. I’m also a certified yoga instructor and started teaching yoga 5 years ago.
What drew you to MenLiving when it first started?
I met Todd [Adams] in one of my yoga classes, and he introduced me to the group. I wasn’t sure MenLiving was for me, but I was curious and wanted to explore what I could learn from a MenLiving experience. What I found is MenLiving is a give or get proposition. The community is there to get support when you need it, but more importantly, it calls you to give when others are in need.
Talk about your passion for helping non-profits. How did that start?
When I was working in a traditional job, I didn’t make space for many positive activities outside the workplace. Now, I have the opportunity to offer my skills and experience to help others expand and grow their ideas to make the world a better place. In addition to serving on MenLiving’s board, I am an active board member for both Learning to Be Human and The PiEproject, two start-up non-profits. While I serve as a board member for these organizations, my desire is to assist the leadership in any way I can.
Are there recent MenLiving meeting topics or conversations that particularly resonated with you?
One of our most recent meetings focused on multiculturalism. It is so important to explore and understand our differences, but also realize we are all human beings, and so much the same. I would add that whether in-person or on-line, the listen/bless/counsel sessions (a quasi-therapy session) are powerful.
How would you describe MenLiving to a prospective member in five words or less?
Community. Engagement. Intellectual. Love.