Shay Onorio '99


“Radford University was a game changer in my life. I was at a fork in the road -- by deciding to turn down Tyler Ave, I knew my life was about to change,” said Shay Carson Onorio ’99.

Onorio was a media studies and communications major at Radford University. “I have such a passion for my alma mater and the underlying belief it has in students and their futures.”

To this day, Onorio’s closest friends are the ones she made at Radford University. “My husband always says that he has never met anyone else that had such a wonderful college experience as my friends and I did, we are thick as thieves,” said Onorio.  “I can honestly say that attending Radford University is easily one of the top five best decisions in my life.”

Onorio is the co-owner and president of Red Thinking LLC, an all virtual privately held digital, branding, and creative firm.

“I joined forces with another redhead and we launched a full-service advertising and graphic design agency,” said Onorio. “We really wanted to hang our hats on a few specialties in order to provide our clients with top-notch client service and exceptional creativity.”

Onorio and her business partner faced numerous preconceived notions about an all virtual company, but they defend their organization and work proudly. “Virtual offices offer flexibility and the comfort of working independently without having to conform to traditional work rules,” said Onorio. “It ignites gratitude towards each other and sparks unique creativity.”

Red Thinking is made up of ten employees and is 100% virtual.  They are an organization with the values to work to live, do what you love, give back, be proactive and deliver what you promise.

“We decided we wanted to quit the norm,” said Onorio. “The stress from a traffic filled commute does not exist for us and we are not distracted by co-worker drama. We are able to be home with our sick children and able to enjoy our mornings and afternoons.”

At the beginning of her journey to start a virtual company, failure was never something that crossed Onorio’s mind.

“I believe that you should never let anyone tell you no,” said Onorio. “You should never second guess yourself, because once you do, that doubt becomes a hurdle to overcome.  You should always trust your gut and go with it.”