About Shelagh

Donnelly, Shelagh - headshotShelagh is a professional speaker and trainer who’s walked the administrative walk. She presents internationally to career-focused executive assistants, and to governance professionals who support boards and directors.

Shelagh educates and inspires audiences on topics ranging from meetings and minutes to business acumen, cybersecurity and working with boards.

She also writes about administrative and governance careers for a number of publications.

How do you pronounce that name? 

“Shelagh” is the same name as “Sheila”, but with spelling that reflects Gaelic origins. Want some help remembering how to spell it? As you look at this photo, you may think to yourself, she laughs.

Put She and laugh together. Then pull out the “u”, and you have Shelagh!

You’d like to know more?

Shelagh has led teams. She’s been a direct report to four CEOs, and was accountable to four board Chairs. She began her career in the private sector, with a national company. As Executive Secretary to the company’s head of BC operations, she was so effective in creating and leading learning opportunities for the organization’s administrative staff that she was tapped for a role as corporate trainer. A few years later, having relocated to a smaller city, she rebooted her administrative career.

Long active in American and Canadian professional networks, Shelagh has experience as a mentor and a mentee. 

She is recognized for her governance expertise, having supported a public sector board of directors for a decade before launching a full time training and writing career in 2019. Shelagh also chaired the board of directors of a national professional association.  

Shelagh speaks from experience when it comes to effective business relations. She writes weekly business and governance articles for Diligent Insights, and also counts the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) among her training and writing clients.

Click here for a sampling of Shelagh’s keynotes and training presentations

A positive and inspirational trainer

Drawing on both formal education and corporate training in adult education, Shelagh customizes her presentations to your audience and your event goals. Audiences appreciate that Shelagh brings firsthand experience to sessions in which she educates, motivates and challenges them.

Employers and event organizers appreciate Shelagh’s presentations for the same reasons, and because she inspires resilience that supports high performance.

18_2015 Shelagh-at-ESL-LIVE-Conference-2018

London, March 2018: Shelagh with some of  IMA’s (International Management Assistants’) leaders and members from Belgium, England, Norway and The Netherlands during a break before her presentation at Executive Secretary LIVE

Shelagh and her audience members connect with one another because it’s clear that she understands their world and cares about their wellbeing and success. Pragmatism, empathy and humour are hallmarks of Shelagh’s presentations.

Click here to see what clients and audience members say about Shelagh

Professional affiliations

Donnelly-Shelagh-headshot2018Shelagh’s Canadian and American professional affiliations have included the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE). Through the Association of Governing Boards’ (AGB’s) Board Professionals Leadership Group, she has served as a board professional mentor.

She is a member of Governance Professionals of Canada (GPC) and has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of CICan:GPOP (GPOP), a national association affiliated with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).

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