Sheila O’Grady is a member of Spencer Stuart’s Consumer Practice, focusing on consumer businesses and franchised organizations. Her client work includes C-level leadership roles and board director assignments for leading restaurant, commercial services and consumer packaged goods firms. She also works with commercial aviation and hospitality companies. Sheila has advised both small and large organizations, ranging from community nonprofits to global corporations. She is also a member of the Education, Nonprofit & Government Practice.
In-depth hospitality and consumer knowledge
- Sheila served for five years as president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, representing the state’s largest private sector employer and focusing on issues impacting more than 400,000 employees. During her tenure, she served as trustee of the group’s education foundation and founded one of the best-attended food and wine events in the nation.
- Previously, Sheila served as chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, where she assisted in administering the City of Chicago’s $5 billion annual budget and managed nearly 40,000 employees across 40 city departments. She was also appointed to serve on the interim board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, tasked with recommending reform legislation to bolster the convention and tourism industry in Illinois.
- Sheila is a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, The Chicago Network and the Economic Club of Chicago. She also serves on the board of directors of the Big Shoulders Fund, The Joffrey Ballet Women’s Board and Loyola University Chicago’s Council of Regents.
Sheila was named one of “Chicago's 100 Most Influential Women” by Crain’s Chicago Business, as well as one of Today’s Chicago Woman magazine’s “100 Women Making a Difference.” A graduate of the London School of Economics, she holds a law degree from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in humanistic studies from Saint Mary's College in Indiana.