Member Profile: Shana Trager

Current job or job title: General Manager of Pressed.

Hometown: Chillicothe, MO

First job: Assistant Gymnastics Coach at the age of 15 1/2

College/degree(s): Mizzou, B.S. in Hospitality Management, emphasis Conference & Events, Minor in Business

What led you to your career?  
Where do I start? I was a stay at home mom for about 8 years before I decided at the age of 29 that I wanted to go to college. With a preschooler and a 2nd grader, I had to start one class at a time at Columbia College. It took me 6 years and 3 degree changes to finally graduate from Mizzou in 2016. During my time in college I tried to gain as much work experience as I could working at Old Hawthorne, The Hartsburg Grand, and Columbia Country Club. I had the pleasure of training under Chef Adam Wells-Morgan on pastries and desserts for several years.

I accepted my first post-college position with Fresh Ideas at Westminster College as Event Catering Specialist, 9 months later I was promoted to Director of Dining & Catering Services. During my time there I had the privilege of leading the catering on some once in a lifetime events, such as the former governor’s pre-inauguration dinner, a breakfast and reception for Bernie Sanders, and a luncheon for the Ambassador of Israel to name a few.  

I left Fresh Ideas after a couple of years needing a break from what is an exhausting industry to work in. I took a position at Central Bank of Boone County for a short stint before accepting a role in Private Services. During my time working in private services I attended formal butler training in Philadelphia and had the pleasure of being the Estate Manager and Personal Assistant to a High Net-worth Individual.  

In the beginning of March last year I decided that I missed the events industry and began working for bleu Events, two weeks in COVID hit and shut the entire industry down. I was devastated, as was the rest of our community, I had never had to file for unemployment before, I’d never been out of work like that before, it was all very humbling. I tried to hold on, knowing that my calling was events, and worked in various roles at bleu Events over the course of a year. I was presented with the opportunity to purchase Pressed from bleu last fall, my initial thought was, “I don’t know the first thing about running a bar” but being a business owner has always been a dream of mine. Shortly thereafter Matt Beckett and Dave Baugher, who own the 803 E. Walnut Bldg decided to purchase Pressed and presented me with the opportunity to operate it. It really is the perfect situation, they entrust me to run the business as if it were my own and give me free creative reign to make it a success. I’ve learned a lot these last 10 months and there’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that has gone into growing Pressed. The hard work is paying off though, we continue to grow in clients from everyday regulars to spectacular events to reoccurring Happy Hour groups!

Best part of your job:  
The best part of my job is my staff and the view. I love my employees and appreciate what they contribute everyday. I recently sent about 45% of my staff off to the next chapter of their lives due to graduation and such and have had to regrow my team, it’s a little tedious in the beginning but I have some amazing new team members that continue to go above and beyond in service. And come on, how can you beat that view any hour of the day?

Things that occupy your free time: 
What free time lol? I used to play roller derby (8 years with CoMo Roller Derby) but after 4 concussions I knew it was time to retire.  

Hardest thing you’ve ever done: 
Lose my father in a freak accident while on the job at ESS. I was 28 and I was definitely a daddy’s girl. It devastated our whole family. I’m sad that my children have very vague memories of the amazing grandfather he was. He was loved by many. ESS even created the Lance Trager Memorial Safety Award in honor of him.

Family/children/furry children:
Soon-to-be wife, Mel Heibel. My 19 year child Ollie, 16 year old child Gavin, 2 dogs – Sammi the Huskylab (she has her own IG) and Khalee (Khaleesi, mother of dragons) the 3 pound teacup Yorkie, oh and 3 cats, Tesla, Jasper, and Norman.

Favorite place you’ve visited:
I love to travel and cannot wait for more adventures! My favorite place that I’ve visited so far was Tulum. We snorkeled with sea turtles, climbed a pyramid in Coba, and swam in a cenote.  

Best piece of advice someone has given you:
Advice I actually gave but need to take myself, Stop working/living for the “some day when I retire” or “when life gets easier”. If (when) you die, yes your work may mourn you, but they will find someone to replace you, your family can never replace you. It’s something I told my father the year before he passed. I might be a bit of a workaholic like he was and I need to listen to my own advise more often. Time with your loved ones is precious and you never know when it’ll be gone. Live each day to the fullest!

Describe a scene of your vision for the future: Living beachfront in a mild tropical climate with my love and fur babies. Bliss!

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