Shannon Yasseri

Shannon Yasseri
Episode 111

Join host Japhet De Oliveira for an engaging conversation with Shannon Yasseri, Interim Revenue Cycle Executive, as they discuss her love for travel, her passion for healthcare, and the importance of kindness and being a good person in life.
Libsyn Podcast
"I think faith is a journey and an evolution and you are at different points in your life and my faith is really rooted in being a good person. You meet people of all walks of life and different backgrounds and just be open, welcoming and a good person in life."

Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story and Experience podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, welcome friends to another episode of the Story and Experience podcast. This guest has been rather elusive and I'm glad to finally magically corner them in a nice way, in a nice way as they are smiling for this particular episode. So I'm very excited that they're here. If you're brand new, we have a hundred questions. They progressively become more vulnerable and open closer to 100, and they're about stories and experiences that shape your life. Without any hesitation now let me dive into question number one. Could you tell us your name? I was nearly going to say your name. Could you tell us your name and does anybody ever mispronounce it or spell it wrong?

Shannon Yasseri: Perfect. My name is Shannon Yasseri, and I know this is a podcast so people can't see me, but they often are like, what's that last name when you look at a blonde, Polish-looking woman? The story behind it is my husband's Iranian.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really?

Shannon Yasseri: Uh-huh.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh wow.

Shannon Yasseri: He's first generation and we've been married for 19 years.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Shannon Yasseri: And as a child, I was looking for simplicity in my life. My maiden name is Warzeka. So, I chose not to make it more difficult and hyphenate. Can you imagine? Shannon Warzeka-Yasseri? See, I can't even say it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Did you feel as an upgrade or parallel pass?

Shannon Yasseri: Parallel. Well, a little bit of a downgrade if you go in the order of the alphabet. I was already at W and I downgraded to Y, but it's a cool last name.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really great. I've got to ask, that's not even on the questions here, but do you speak Farsi?

Shannon Yasseri: I do not.

Japhet De Oliveira: But you know some words?

Shannon Yasseri: A few.

Japhet De Oliveira: Like?

Shannon Yasseri: [foreign language 00:02:08].

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, what does that mean?

Shannon Yasseri: Ali is my husband's name and Ali [foreign language 00:02:12] is, where's Ali?

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's nice.

Shannon Yasseri: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's awesome.

Shannon Yasseri: And more importantly, I love the food.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah. The food is phenomenal. I can say thank you in Farsi.

Shannon Yasseri: Tell me.

Japhet De Oliveira: [foreign language 00:02:24].

Shannon Yasseri: Okay, I know that one.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, I know. This is good. It's good. Hey, that's really good. The food is amazing and the people are amazing as well, so hey, I'm really happy to hear that interesting story. That was just question number one. Hey, could you tell us what you do for work?

Shannon Yasseri: Sure. I have done revenue cycle operational improvement my entire life.

Japhet De Oliveira: Your entire life?

Shannon Yasseri: Well, since my entire professional life.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: Lasts 25 years, and oftentimes people, especially my family. Well, what's revenue cycle consulting?

Japhet De Oliveira: I was going to ask you.

Shannon Yasseri: It's actually very fun to play this game and say, Hey, tell me what you think I do. And a lot of people, it ranges from, I help collect medical bills to, I tell doctors what to do to, I don't know.

Japhet De Oliveira: To I don't know. Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: It's interesting. But the way that I look at it is healthcare's a really challenging environment, and I'm not clinical, but I'm passionate about healthcare. I'm passionate about the patients and the communities we serve, and the work that we do in the revenue cycle is to help fulfill the mission and to keep the organizational financially healthy.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's great. So how long have you been, you said 25 years in this particular role, and you've done this for lots of different companies?

Shannon Yasseri: I have.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: I actually started in healthcare when I was 16.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, isn't that illegal?

Shannon Yasseri: No.

Japhet De Oliveira: No.

Shannon Yasseri: No. Most states have child labor laws and you can work at 16.

Japhet De Oliveira: I check the laws.

Shannon Yasseri: In Georgia where I live, it's actually 14, you can start working.

Japhet De Oliveira: Is it really. Oh, wow. So you started when you're 16. That's fantastic.

Shannon Yasseri: I did. I grew up in a really small rural farming community, and my father was like, well, if you want a car, you got to get a job. And I really wasn't into retail or food service, and there aren't a lot of options in a town of 700 people. So my friend said, go get a job at the local nursing home. They'll pay for your certification to be a nursing assistant, and they pay 50 cents more than minimum wage.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. Wow.

Shannon Yasseri: Which at the time was 5,25.

Japhet De Oliveira: I remember when minimum wage has been a little bit less than that, but yes.

Shannon Yasseri: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's fantastic. That's good. All right. In the morning when you get up, really simple thing. First drink of the day, coffee, tea, liquid green smoothie. What?

Shannon Yasseri: Great question. It's evolved over time.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Shannon Yasseri: I used to drink coffee every morning. I don't really drink a lot of coffee anymore. It's mostly a sparkling water.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice, nice. Not everybody gets a sparkling water. I like it. Yeah, that's good. Yeah. So you were born where?

Shannon Yasseri: Minnesota.

Japhet De Oliveira: Minnesota, very warm. Great.

Shannon Yasseri: Well, I actually felt like I was in Portland or Seattle over Christmas. It was 45 and raining.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. When you were a child in Minnesota, what did you imagine you would've grow up to be?

Shannon Yasseri: That's a great question. To be honest with you, growing up in a small community and not a lot of experiences or exposure, I thought I would just go to a local college and get my nine to five job and I had no idea I would be on the path that I am. And-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's interesting.

Shannon Yasseri: ... have had the opportunities that I've had.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. Wow. That's fantastic. Okay, I've got to ask then. How did you end up in rev cycle? Is there a story that brought you in your career this way?

Shannon Yasseri: There is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Okay. Okay. That's not on here, but we got to ask.

Shannon Yasseri: I was a senior in college and I was actually going to go, straight to grad school, but naive me didn't realize all the grad schools I wanted to go to you needed work experience. And this was 1998. I had already missed all the campus recruiting, but the job market was hot,, all that good stuff. And so I was running on the treadmill one day next to one of my friends and she said, "Hey, well, I applied to this little boutique consulting company based in Portland, Oregon. You should too." So I sent my resume to two companies. One was the one in Portland, one was another large insurance company in Chicago, and they both brought me on for a site visit.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, wow. Okay.

Shannon Yasseri: And one job was I could wear my jeans to work and sit in a cubicle in Chicago, or the other job was fly around the country and help health systems improve their financial health.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow, okay. That was a very difficult decision.

Shannon Yasseri: I'm like, which one do I take?

Japhet De Oliveira: And you chose at that point, just for the record, just so that we understand each other a little bit clearer here. You chose the wrong airline to fly with, right?

Shannon Yasseri: Well, yeah. I started out with United now.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, Delta. All right.

Shannon Yasseri: I'm Delta.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Hey, that's amazing. That's amazing. Oh, wow. What a wonderful entry. Yeah, that's good. All right, back to the regular questions here. Personality Shannon, would people describe you as an extrovert or an introvert? And would you agree with them?

Shannon Yasseri: Extrovert, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm just checking. All right. And then habits. Are you an early riser, late night owl?

Shannon Yasseri: Night owl.

Japhet De Oliveira: And what's night?

Shannon Yasseri: Well, it depends. This week when I'm here in Roseville, it was a challenge to stay up till 11, which was at two in the morning East Coast?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: But at home I try to go to bed between 12 and one. And I have drive kids to school in the morning, all that good stuff.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. Sounds really wonderful. Does not. Okay. And this morning when you woke up, first thought that went through your mind today.

Shannon Yasseri: First thought that went through my mind. Well, I actually woke up at one 30 in the morning for the first time, and it was all of the things that I didn't get to before I fell asleep that I needed to do.

Japhet De Oliveira: I understand. That's good. That's good. All right, leadership question and then I'm going to hand over to you to pick a number. Are you a backseat driver?

Shannon Yasseri: I would not say I'm a backseat driver, but I definitely like to set a vision and a tone and an end goal and let people shape how we get there.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, that's good. Brilliant. Where do you want to go? 11 to 100.

Shannon Yasseri: I'm going to go with loved ones ages in my life.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, nice.

Shannon Yasseri: And I'm going to start with 14.

Japhet De Oliveira: 14, okay. Tell us about what you enjoy doing outside of work.

Shannon Yasseri: That is a great question, and sadly I will admit I'm a workaholic, so I work a lot.

Japhet De Oliveira: So you do extra work?

Shannon Yasseri: Yes, I do extra work. But travel, I have to say travel is top of my list. My family and I have been adventurous our whole life. And going back to my youth, my family didn't have a lot of money. And the first time I was on airplane when I was 13 years old and we did the quintessential family trip to Disney World and then my next trip was when I was 20 and I went to Europe.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow, okay.

Shannon Yasseri: And then when I was 21, I started my healthcare consulting career and just have loved to travel. Beyond that I like hiking, I like being outdoors. I love being by the ocean, but I don't go in. So yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's great. Travel's good for you. Maybe there'll be a question about travel sometime inside here, which would be really fantastic to hear. So where do you want to go after that?

Shannon Yasseri: There's no 16.9, so I'm going to go with 17.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. Share. What day is the most special to you on the calendar and why? A single day on the entire calendar. This is it.

Shannon Yasseri: I am going to go with February 12th.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh really? Okay. So why?

Shannon Yasseri: And it's not because I love one child more than the other.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh no, it's a child. Okay, go on.

Shannon Yasseri: No, it's because it's February 12th is when I became a mother for the first time.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that is really special. Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: And that really just changes your whole perspective and outlook on life.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Oh, that's good. It's about the whole big picture. That's wonderful.

Shannon Yasseri: The irony of that is number 17 was first child's birthday.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, that's great. It actually all worked out fine. All right. After 17, where next?

Shannon Yasseri: 47.

Japhet De Oliveira: 47. Okay. You just met someone. What would you want them to know about you and why?

Shannon Yasseri: What would I want them to know about me and why? I think when people meet me, I'm pretty intense. I'm outgoing.

Japhet De Oliveira: I wouldn't put intense, but okay, all right. Fine.

Shannon Yasseri: But I think as people get to know me, it's probably because of deep convictions and very passionate about life, passionate about the things I work hard for, the things I believe in, and just know that I'm extremely caring and compassionate person.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah. That's really good. You also have a very complicated job and complex in any field. And so yeah, it's great. It's great to mix them together. That was 47. So where next

Shannon Yasseri: We'll go to 49.

Japhet De Oliveira: What are you currently learning about and why?

Shannon Yasseri: What am I currently learning about and why? Well, I think I'm continually learning about how to raise teenagers. It's challenging. They're so funny, so quirky, so challenging. It's great. On a personal level, I always continue to learn about myself. Life changes and where you were 30 years ago versus yesterday is always an evolution.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Let's imagine your kids are listening to this podcast right now. What would you say to them that you would wish for them for this year?

Shannon Yasseri: For this year?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, just for this.

Shannon Yasseri: They both have different ages, different stages in life, but they both have, I think, similar ambitions. And they're ambitious about independence and next chapters in their life and go after it and work hard. We tell our children whatever they do, work hard and finish what you started.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's a secret. That's a secret for everyone. If you start it, finish it. All right, great. Where next.

Shannon Yasseri: I'll go with 66.

Japhet De Oliveira: 66. All right, here we go. Tell us about one of your favorite songs and what do you love about it? Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: Oh, that's a great one. I don't know if I should reveal all this, but reminds me of when we're graduating from high school and I, again, small town, maybe, I don't know. Maybe some small thinkers, I don't know. And very rebellious. Our class was rebellious. And so we had two songs that were up for our class song and majority wins vote. And I chose My Life by Billy Joel and I don't remember the particular reasons for it, but just thinking about it now and in my life and just live your life. Be a good human being, be a good soul. Be good to your friends, your family, your community. The one that actually won-

Japhet De Oliveira: I was going to ask you which one? Okay.

Shannon Yasseri: We're Not Going to Take it Quiet Riot.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good.

Shannon Yasseri: My new music obsession though is Pink.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: I think she's a beautiful artist, a strong woman.

Japhet De Oliveira: She is.

Shannon Yasseri: A lot of just deep emotional songs. And my favorite song of hers right now is called Turbulence.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm trying to remember some of her early work and I thought she had some really amazing lyrics. Yeah. Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: Turbulence is from her latest album.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, I haven't heard that. I will catch up at some point. Where next?

Shannon Yasseri: 93.

Japhet De Oliveira: 93. Okay, here we go. Paint us a picture of success.

Shannon Yasseri: Paint us a picture of success. Well, when I think about success, it's about happiness and being fulfilled. A lot of people think it's about money or how grandiose you get in life, but it is nice to obviously live comfortably. But at the same token, it's about how you feel every day in that life. And are you fulfilled in your day-to-day? Are you fulfilled by helping others, serving your community, serving God, everyone you love in? So for me, I just want to be happy and I want the people around me to be happy and I want to make people feel that I contribute to their lives and bring them up as well.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. I like that. That's really good. All right, that was 93. Have you run out of family members, friends?

Shannon Yasseri: 87.

Japhet De Oliveira: 87. Okay. All right. I was like kidding up there. A 165. When you're under incredible stress, what helps to ground you?

Shannon Yasseri: Deep breaths.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: And I think I like just to get out and take a walk around the block and clear my head. I wouldn't say people like to get massages and meditate. I like to get massages too, but my mind never stops. So I like to take a walk, take some deep breaths, get some fresh air. That really helps me clear my head.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's good practice as well. That's good. All right. That was 87. So where next?

Shannon Yasseri: 67.

Japhet De Oliveira: 67. What is the best picture that you've ever taken and why?

Shannon Yasseri: The best picture that I've ever taken, it is, it was really a special picture. I guess it would've been 10 years ago, maybe 11 years ago.

Japhet De Oliveira: Very specific. I like this.

Shannon Yasseri: It was my grandfather's 85th birthday, and he was early onset dementia, Alzheimer's. And we had a party for him and have a picture of him holding all of his birthday cards tied around his chest, walking out from the birthday celebration. And he had always had the sweetest grin, these little buck front teeth and just the kindest, sweetest soul. And he was so happy on that day.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's a beautiful memory. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that with us. All right, where next?

Shannon Yasseri: Let's see. Let's go to 48.

Japhet De Oliveira: 48. All right. Tell us about your best personality trait. Yours.

Shannon Yasseri: Best personality trait.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: Well, my opinion or other people's opinion.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, maybe we should hear both.

Shannon Yasseri: I would say my best personality trait is that I'm thoughtful and inclusive of others and want to make sure people feel welcome, included and are having fun. I don't know if this is a best trait, but to me life's-

Japhet De Oliveira: It's good.

Shannon Yasseri: ... enjoying it and having fun.

Japhet De Oliveira: You bring that into work as well.

Shannon Yasseri: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's good.

Shannon Yasseri: Keep things light, have a good sense of humor.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Flow with it as best we can. All right, brilliant. Where next?

Shannon Yasseri: 72.

Japhet De Oliveira: 72. Tell us about what you want to do when you retire, and then why are you waiting?

Shannon Yasseri: When I retire, so this goes back to what I talked about earlier, is traveling. There's just so many parts of the world that I haven't been to that I want to see. And then also, I mentioned this, I'm a lover of oceans, but don't go in. I imagine that I'll have somewhat of a transient retirement in Skedaddling around the world to parts I want to be in, especially where the weather's warm. I don't like the cold. And some people say, Oh, I can never stop working. I can't slow it down. I don't envision myself being like that. I think I'll do just fine in retirement when it comes. And why aren't I there yet? Well, look at the price of colleges.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, fair enough. I got to ask you about the ocean. Are you a person who likes to float on the ocean, be on a big ship, boat, or do you like to dive deep or?

Shannon Yasseri: Yeah, that's great. Well, a little bit of context. So I grew up on a lake in Minnesota.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, a frozen one? Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: Yeah, a frozen one. Nine months out of the year, there's about four weeks you can go into it where it's warm enough. So growing up I would swim in lakes, I would water ski, do all the sporting activities on the lake, but nothing was going to eat me in a lake.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good.

Shannon Yasseri: And for whatever reason, I get statistics, I get the odds, but I have phobia of the ocean and what's in the ocean and what can get me. So I like being at the ocean. I love being on a catamaran. I don't get seasick or any of that, but I just-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's not too open for you.

Shannon Yasseri: No. No.

Japhet De Oliveira: And Jaws jumps out.

Shannon Yasseri: Thanks for the visualization, Japhet.

Japhet De Oliveira: You're welcome. I just wanted to make it very special for you. That's good. Okay, so on top of the water.

Shannon Yasseri: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Great. All right, where next?

Shannon Yasseri: Let's go to 85.

Japhet De Oliveira: 85. All right. Describe a role model you aspire to be like.

Shannon Yasseri: That's a good question. A role model that I would like to be like. So if you can't tell, I like to talk. So people that I admire are the people that they have words to say, but they're intense listeners and can really connect with what other people are feeling or where they're point in time or their perspective is. And so I guess that listening quality and then really amplifying to where that person's at.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. I like that you're self-aware of that. Oh, that's good. All right. Where next?

Shannon Yasseri: Let's go to 25.

Japhet De Oliveira: 25. All right, here we go. Share the most beautiful thing that you've ever seen.

Shannon Yasseri: The most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: It's a compilation of things. And I'm actually going to go to last summer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: We took a trip to Africa.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh wow. Where in Africa?

Shannon Yasseri: We started out in Tanzania and then we went to Uganda.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, nice. All right.

Shannon Yasseri: And Uganda was one of the most beautiful countries I've ever been to. Physically beautiful, beautiful people, beautiful community. Seeing the primates and the mountain gorillas.

Japhet De Oliveira: Was that a big hike to go out there or?

Shannon Yasseri: Actually it wasn't too bad, they drive you to a trailhead where you're going to hike in to see the gorilla family. And so we hiked for about 45 minutes. It was a little bit steep, but once we got there it was great. It was fantastic. And what I'd say is we had people help us arrange it, and the group is really about supporting local communities. And so we did a lot of things stopping at local organizations and organizations that supported women. There was one really cool one in Bwindi called Ride for a Woman, and it was basically a safe haven for women to come to during the day that had disease or violence at home, or they crafted, made bags and different clothing and just different souvenirs. And you went there and you got to observe them in the work that they did and partake in singing with them and learning about their stories. And then, of course, at the end you could support the organization.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah, that's beautiful.

Shannon Yasseri: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's amazing. All right, where next?

Shannon Yasseri: You pick a number for me?

Japhet De Oliveira: I would love to, but I've done this for over a 100 episodes.

Shannon Yasseri: Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, you're welcome.

Shannon Yasseri: Okay. Let's go to 29.

Japhet De Oliveira: 29. All right. 29 it is. Share three things that make you instantly happy.

Shannon Yasseri: Instantly happy.

Japhet De Oliveira: Instantly happy, off on.

Shannon Yasseri: I would say music.

Japhet De Oliveira: Music. Okay.

Shannon Yasseri: I like music.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: I would say when I go to Minnesota, I'm the only-

Japhet De Oliveira: You're the only one. No, I'm kidding.

Shannon Yasseri: I'm the only one who lives away from my family. And when I say family, I'm talking aunts, cousins, grandparents.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? Oh, you have a big family?

Shannon Yasseri: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. And you're the only one away.

Shannon Yasseri: And I'm the only one away.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, the stray sheep.

Shannon Yasseri: Yes, yes, yes. And this one is going to sound odd, but I love to play Bingo.

Japhet De Oliveira: Bingo.

Shannon Yasseri: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Bingo.

Shannon Yasseri: Bingo.

Japhet De Oliveira: Huh? Yeah. Yeah. That sounds amazing. Do you have markers and the little sheets and...

Shannon Yasseri: Not personally.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, okay. Okay.

Shannon Yasseri: But there are other folks that have purses specifically for their markers.

Japhet De Oliveira: Bingo. All right. We should actually use that in the podcast. That's a great idea. Bingo. All right. All right. Where'd you want to go next?

Shannon Yasseri: 55.

Japhet De Oliveira: 55. Huh? Share about something that frightens you.

Shannon Yasseri: Something that frightens me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Other than the sharks in the ocean.

Shannon Yasseri: The sharks in the ocean.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: What frightens me is I think everyone has their journey in life and people go through hard times, and it's somewhat to be expected, but I think as a parent, the thing that frightens me the most is something, not even the ultimate worst thing, but just something bad happening to your child and things happen in life and learn from it. You recover from it, but you always want to just protect your children.

Japhet De Oliveira: Absolutely. I'm with you on that. All right, we have time for two more numbers. The final two numbers. Where do you want to go?

Shannon Yasseri: I'm going to go to 95.

Japhet De Oliveira: 95. All right. Tell us about how you see your faith and life intersecting.

Shannon Yasseri: That's great. I think faith is a journey and an evolution and you are at different points in your life and my faith is really rooted in being a good person. You meet people of all walks of life and different backgrounds and just be open, welcoming and a good person in life.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. I like that because that plays into everything. Good. All right, last one. Where's you going to go?

Shannon Yasseri: 50.

Japhet De Oliveira: 50. That's mack in the middle. All right, here we go. 50. Oh, share about who has influenced you professionally. Oh, this is great.

Shannon Yasseri: All right

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Go on.

Shannon Yasseri: This is actually one of my favorite stories.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: Yeah. So I told you about starting working when I was 16 and I was at a nursing home and I started out as a nursing assistant and quickly realized that the clinical care side wasn't for me, but I loved healthcare. And so I transitioned to be the evening and night receptionist at the nursing home. Got to do more administration stuff like typing care plans and filing medical records and processing physician orders. And the summer after I graduated from high school, my boss, she had a baby and her maternity leave aligned pretty well with my summer vacation and they didn't have anyone to fill in for her, so I said, I'll do it. So I got to be the executive assistant to the CEO and owner of the nursing home for the summer. And who knows what he saw in that 18-year-old fresh out of high school. But he took me under his wing.

So I worked with him for the summer. And then all through college I would come home for every break, summers, holidays, and he would create work for me and allow me to work at the nursing home. And the summer after my freshman year in high school, he asked me, Shannon, and he had big stature, tall guy, strong presence. He's like, "Shannon, what are you doing?" And I said, his name is Hollis, I'm like Hollis, and I'll never forget it, he had this huge oak desk and I put my forehead on the corner of his desk and I, "Hollis, I don't know." And he looked at me and he said, "Well, can I tell you what I think you should do?" And I'm like, "Absolutely." And I was going to University of North Dakota at the time, and he said, "You should transfer to Concordia College in Morehead, Minnesota and go through their undergraduate healthcare administration program." And at the time, Concordia had one of the only undergraduate healthcare administration programs.

And I said to him, I said, "Well, Hollis, that's a private school. My family doesn't have a lot of money. I don't know if I could afford that." And he said, "Well, do all the financial aid stuff and then put together a budget on your living expenses." So I put together a spreadsheet. I think this might have even been before Excel or before we had Excel.

Japhet De Oliveira: Before we had a computer.

Shannon Yasseri: And I had this printout and I went in into his office and he got out his red pen and he started going through my budget, crossed off cable, crossed off this, crossed, who knew? I was like 19. I'm like, well, cable is essential, isn't it? No. But at the end of the day, we got to a number and he ended up paying my living expenses.

Japhet De Oliveira: No way. My goodness. Wow.

Shannon Yasseri: And helped make it possible for me to go there. And that's how I got into healthcare.

Japhet De Oliveira: That is amazing.

Shannon Yasseri: He was an awesome mentor and advocate, and I was just personally sad for myself that I wasn't able to share more of the journey I've been on professionally with him because he passed away when I was 25.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. But what a legacy.

Shannon Yasseri: Absolutely.

Japhet De Oliveira: What an amazing legacy in your life. That's amazing. That's fantastic. Maybe do you think that that's actually spoken to you why you believe kindness is so important? Yeah.

Shannon Yasseri: Yeah, absolutely. And you just don't know anyone's story and never assume. And I certainly believe in paying it forward and helping others out.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for taking the time to do this with us. And so it's been wonderful. I want to encourage people to do the same thing. Sit down, talk with a friend, ask good questions, learn about them because we are changed and transformed by this kind of stuff. And so I really encourage people to do that. It's been a privilege to talk to you and to hear amazing stories and experiences that shaped you into the great leader that you are today. And to all our guests, we will connect another time.

Shannon Yasseri: Thank you, Japhet. It's always great spending time with you and I appreciate the opportunity.

Japhet De Oliveira: No worries.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for the Story and Experience podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at The story and Experience podcast was brought to you by Eventus Health through the Office of Culture.