NSBE - Convention 2018 - 41

MARCH 21-25, 2018 * PITTSBURGH, PA.

IGNITE * IMAGINE * INNOVATE

NATIONAL
A
SOCIETY OF BLACK ENGINEERS

Continuing a Commitment to NSBE's Mission
NSBE's 2018 National Chair Council Awardee Joyce Shinn
By Cindy Atoji

W

hen Joyce Shinn receives the National Chair Council Award at the 44th Annual NSBE Convention, in
Pittsburgh, Pa., it will be as if her late husband, Mike Shinn, is right there next to her. Mike Shinn, a longtime GE engineer who spent his professional and personal life advocating for Black Engineers, passed away
three years ago, but his influence more than lives on.
"Mike was committed to supporting NSBE's mission," says Joyce, pointing to the plaques, awards and pictures in
his office in their Highland Heights, Ohio, home. The stately residence is far from Joyce's Australian Aboriginal roots
in North Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Brisbane, Queensland, but her meager beginnings have always taught her
the importance of gratitude and resilience. She came to the U.S. more than five decades ago to attend school and met
Mike three days after arriving. They married two years later and were married for 50 years.
Mike attended the University of Kansas in the 1960s, when segregation was still both flagrant and rampant. He
and his African-American classmates experienced resistance and overt discrimination, but that didn't stop him from
graduating with a degree in aerospace engineering, says Joyce, who pursued a career in banking, starting in an entryJoyce Shinn
level position and working her way up to vice president and trust officer in the trust department.
Joyce herself was a forerunner, becoming the first African-American female trust administrative officer for
Ameritrust Company, and was instrumental in helping change policy for equal pay rights for women at the Cleveland
Trust Company, in Ohio. She has received several awards and recognitions over the years. In the meantime, Mike
joined GE, eventually managing corporate recruiting and university development and spurring the creation of GE's
African American Forum, a development program for the company's black employees. Even after his retirement almost
20 years ago, Mike was working long hours as a certified financial planner and columnist who wrote about money
matters.
Both he and Joyce, with their bank"Mike exemplified NSBE's tenets of advancing opportunities for
ing interests and financial planning
backgrounds, believed that providing
African Americans and served as a role model for aspiring engineers.
endowments to increase diversity
His accomplishments will continue to live on."
was a key responsibility. Thirty years
ago, as part of their estate plan, they
established scholarship funds for
minority engineers at the University of Kansas and also locally in Cleveland. They also established a scholarship for
graduating high school seniors at their church, in the name of their deceased daughter, Colynn.
Joyce, 74, is very outspoken about her plans for a NSBE bequest from her estate after her death. Mike was a NSBE
lifetime member and one of the early organizers of NSBE's Board of Corporate Affiliates, a strategic alliance between
the Society and its top-level supporters. His commitment to NSBE is why Joyce fully supports the Society and its
ongoing initiatives.
Joyce's days continue to be busy, with frequent trips back to Mike's alma mater, KU, and even journeys back to
Australia, where she visits family and friends. Her leadership roles at her church - Mt. Zion Congregational United
Church of Christ, in Cleveland - and other charitable organizations, ensure that she continues to live her philosophy
of giving back. She'll travel to NSBE's Annual Convention this year with her son Stephen, who works with special
needs students in the Shaker Heights City School District. Unlike her last visit to a NSBE convention in 2012, Mike will
not be with her, but in many ways, he will still be present.
"Mike exemplified NSBE's tenets of advancing opportunities for African Americans and served as a role model for
aspiring engineers," says Joyce. "His accomplishments will continue to live on."
And so, indeed, will Joyce's, as an equal partner in positively impacting the community. ■
www.nsbe.org

NSBE MAGAZINE * CONVENTION 2018

* 41


http://www.nsbe.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NSBE - Convention 2018

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