“Compartmentalized” thinking never seemed like the ticket to a good life for Sheila Boyington, president of North Shore-based Thinking Media.
“Family has to come first, and then treating the rest of your life as your life,” she said.
Blending family, work and volunteer work in a holistic way always has been her philosophy, she added.
Staff Photo by Tim Barber -- Sheila Boyington is president of Thinking Media, which develops computer-based instruction across the country.
So far, it’s been a remarkably winning approach.
Mrs. Boyington said her inspiration came from her mother, one of the first women of Indian descent to travel to and settle in the United States in the 1950s.
While earning a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Florida, Mrs. Boyington served as the first woman president of the India Students Organization.
After earning a master’s degree in environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, she moved with her husband to Chattanooga in 1988.
She also launched Thinking Media, which provides an Internet-based work readiness skills training program, a character training curriculum and a picture-based medication memory card.
KeyTrain, a Thinking Media product, is used by more than 2,500 organizations including hundreds of colleges, workforce agencies, school districts and many Fortune 500 companies.
* Name: Sheila Boyington
* Age: 46
* Occupation: President of Thinking Media, www.thinkingmedia.com
* Family: Husband, Dane Boyington; daughters Nisha and Priya
* Claim to fame: Successful entrepreneur, busy community activist
CharacterEd.Net, available in 2,000 schools nationwide, received a $1 million federal grant to expand the system and its use.
As a volunteer, Boyington has kept busy.
She became the first woman president of the India Association of Chattanooga, logged up to 400 hours per year with the Big Ridge PTA and rescued from bankruptcy a community pool that serves the Colonial Shores and Big Ridge neighborhoods.
She serves as president of the board of Girls Inc. of Chattanooga and a board member of the Women’s Leadership Institute of Chattanooga.
Among her many awards are the Chattanooga Engineer’s Club Award, Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2004, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce 2007 Small Business of the Year, the 2007 Chamber of Commerce Navigator for Entrepreneurship award. She was a nominee for the Athena Award.
“Sheila is a wonder woman,” said Girls Inc. president and CEO Bea Lurie. “She has been a great fundraiser yet also is extremely close with her family — she always makes time for them.”
Girls Inc. board member Jeff Olingy said, “In spite of owning her own very successful business, having a husband and raising two daughters, she has been able to show the same amount of energy, initiative and enthusiasm in her volunteer projects as she does in her very successful business.”