Before graduating in 1966 with an aerospace engineering from the University of Kansas, Mike Shinn led the KU football team as co-captain and earned academic All-America and dean’s honor roll recognition. The Topeka native was hired as a process control engineer for General Electric in Cleveland. He earned an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and was made quality control supervisor at GE’s Memphis plant in 1972. Under his direction, the unit averaged $150 million annually in cost reductions.
From 1976 to 1979 Shinn worked as a production manager at Ford Motor Co. He returned to GE to manage corporate recruiting and university development. He spurred the creation of GE’s African-American Forum, a personal and professional development program for black employees. Shinn is a passionate supporter of the National Society of Black Engineers, having established scholarships for students and helped form NSBE’s Board of Corporate Affiliates.
Shinn retired from GE in 1999 and is a certified financial planner with Financial Network Investment Corporation and syndicated columnist.
Shinn is very involved within his community. At KU, he has provided scholarship support for minority engineering students, is a member of the School of Engineering Advisory Board and a trustee of KU Endowment. He is active in the KU Alumni Association, and served on its National Board of Advisers. In 2004, he received the Alumni Association’s Fred Ellsworth Medallion.