About Shelagh

A highly regarded speaker and trainer, Shelagh Donnelly walked the walk for almost three decades. She’s authentic, inspiring and positive. When you hear Shelagh speak, you know she understands the career and has good insights on its ongoing evolution.  

Virtually and in person, Shelagh delivers quality, customized keynotes and education. Whether she’s facilitating a retreat, delivering a course by webinar or standing in front of hundreds of people, Shelagh brings expertise and fun to the serious matters of high performance and career satisfaction.

Click here for Shelagh’s bio

Navigating change

Shelagh understands that careers also evolve. She was a direct report to a COO at 21, and became a software trainer for that same corporation. Later, in a smaller city and with young ones in school, Shelagh returned to the assistant career – at the bottom of the org chart. Ultimately wrapping up her office career with a decade in governance, Shelagh has been a direct report to four CEOs and accountable to four board chairs.

She knows what it’s like to navigate, survive and thrive in times of uncertainty and change. Shelagh’s successful career spanned a corporate merger, economic recessions, the dissolution of one institution, and helping establish the culture of its successor.

Clients in multiple countries

Shelagh founded her globally read Exceptional EA website in 2013. A recognized thought leader, she also writes for other publications. She’s launched and co-launched internal networks. Long active in American and Canadian professional networks, she’s served as a mentor and been a mentee. She’s led multiple committees and chaired a national board of directors.

The year 2019 marked Shelagh’s first full year of speaking, training and writing for clients. Her keynote and conference presentations that year saw Shelagh travelling within Canada and to Barbados, England, Scotland and the USA. Following early 2020 keynote and corporate presentations in Canada and the US, Shelagh shifted gears along with the rest of the world.

She now routinely delivers training in person and webinars. Shelagh’s webinar clients include corporations, professional associations, institutional and individual clients and audiences in Australia, Canada, England, France, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the USA. That’s in addition to individuals Shelagh’s trained in other countries through virtual conference presentations.

Shelagh tailors presentations to meet your needs

Whether it’s a keynote address, a conference or workshop session, facilitating a retreat or delivering team training, Shelagh works closely with conference and event organisers to deliver presentations tailored to their audiences’ needs. Shelagh’s client list also includes professional associations, government, healthcare, higher education and governance bodies, and corporations such as the NBA.

How do you pronounce her name? 

“Shelagh” is the same name as “Sheila”, but with spelling that reflects Gaelic origins. Want some help remembering how to spell it? Think of Shelagh laughing, which she enjoys. Put She and laughs together. Then pull out the “u” and the second “s”, and you have Shelagh!

Explore the drop-down tabs under “Webinars” for a sampling of Shelagh’s keynotes and training presentations

Professional affiliations

Shelagh’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).

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

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