When I called Sharon Feigon ’74, the CEO of I-GO Car Sharing, she was, quite naturally, in a car. Feigon has taken I-GO from a small start-up with just ten cars in 2004 into a leading car-sharing nonprofit, going head-to-head with the for profit Zipcar. She spoke to the Independent about urban economics, study abroad, and her desire to be a co-op employer.
How did you first hear of Antioch College? What was your major?
I was an activist in high school, anti-Vietnam war stuff, and I was thinking about taking time off before college. Antioch seemed like the perfect compromise. My major was urban economics. Everything I did at Antioch led to what I do today.
What was your favorite co-op?
I don’t know which was my favorite–I loved all of them. I did an independent study where I went on the Trans-Siberian railroad across the then-USSR. I also looked at transportation systems in Tokyo and Moscow–it was all very fun.
I also did a quarter urban term in Europe, looking at new towns and development in England, Holland, Sweden … all those things had a big impact on my interests.
Who was your favorite professor?
Irwin Abrams, the person who led the urban term. He gave a great historical perspective on where we were and the history of the area. He was really great. David Ober–I still reference ideas from his classes. It was really engaging and demanding. Bob Devine–he was a video guy. I did a video about Amtrak, because Amtrak was just taking over public rails in America. I always wonder whatever became of it!
Tell us some of your favorite memories of being at Antioch College.
The Glen! I really liked walking in the Glen. I liked the Div dances. I was very happy at Antioch. I remember thinking, “Oh! There are other people in the world like me.” Every quarter though, it seemed the students went on strike, and then the workers would go on strike. It was exciting, but disruptive.
Would you ever consider having a co-op at I-GO?
Yeah. When I came back to Chicago, I did start having co-op folks come to where I worked. When we took co-op students, the school wanted us to find housing for them … and that seemed to be beyond what we could do.
Why do you give to Antioch College?
I give because I had a great experience, and I’d like others to do the same. The school addresses the core issues for the world. It’s very related to the work I do. We want more students getting educated about these issues.
Do you have any advice for the Horace Mann Fellows currently on campus?
I would say, take advantage of everything you can. There are these conversations and classes and books that I had that I still reference. Don’t sleep too much. Engage. The academics are really important. Theory and practice go together.