PITTSBURG, Kan. — Shawnee Lorenz grew up attending Pittsburg schools and in 2013 graduated with her bachelor of business administration degree from Pittsburg State University. Today, she is once again involved in local schools as a key coordinator of the Launch Program at Pittsburg High School.
The Launch Program is a personal and professional development course, Lorenz says, that aims “to help students prepare for their professional careers and kind of give them the opportunity to learn some of the things that all of us learned the hard way, give them the opportunity to learn how to problem solve and how to collaborate and network with other professionals in a way that’s kind of in a controlled environment.”
But helping students at the high school she attended to prepare for their future careers is just one of many projects Lorenz is involved with since founding Trajectory Strategies in 2017 and turning the company into a full-time business about a year later.
“It’s business strategy, marketing, communication, business development, kind of all of those things,” Lorenz says. “I just really enjoy getting to work with a variety of clients and help them be more successful.”
Another local organization Lorenz has had the opportunity to work with is the Career and Technical Education Center of Crawford County (CTEC).
“I’m actually really passionate about the skilled trades themselves,” Lorenz says, adding that many of her family members have worked in the trades. “I love that Southeast Kansas is really striving to promote that and equip the opportunities that are available to motivated individuals everywhere in our community, whether they choose a four-year degree program or they choose a life in the skilled trades.”
One person close to Lorenz who works in the skilled trades — specifically commercial construction — is her husband Josh, and together the couple have developed a passion for restoring historic buildings, which they spend much of their time doing when they’re not busy corralling their dogs Atticus, Truman and Stella.
“When we’re not restoring a historic building around town, you’ll probably find me trying to keep my dogs from eating toilet paper off of the roll like Fruit By The Foot,” Lorenz says.
One such building is located just off of North Broadway on East 7th Street, and up until recently was owned by the Morning Sun. Lorenz is now in the process of renovating it to turn it into office space that will be the new headquarters of Trajectory Strategies.
When Lorenz heard she had been selected as a 2021 Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce Woman of Distinction it was “truly humbling,” she says. It was an honor to be included in the same category as past recipients of the Woman of Distinction recognition such as Mindy Cloninger, Dawn McNay, Vonnie Corsini and Robin Mussa, Lorenz says.
“These are all women that have either, you know, been good friends or clients or mentors to me,” she says, “and I’ve just been so fortunate to have had their example of excellence.”
Lorenz added that she is also grateful to the person or people who nominated her as a Woman of Distinction. Ultimately, though, the thing she may be most thankful for is the community she grew up in that made her who she is today and that she is now able to give back to as a local small business owner.
“I am so grateful that the Pittsburg Area Chamber and really the Pittsburg community at large is so supportive of female entrepreneurs and women that want to drive businesses or initiatives in our community,” she says.