Being an advocate for the collection industry is at the very core of who Sheila O’Leary is. As a Director for the GLCCA, she gets to do this on a daily basis and this is why she is honored to play a part in our association.
As a Director, Sheila is also the legislative chair for the association. This means she has her finger on the pulse of all legal matters that impact collectors from our three-state area. “I need to look out for our members because our industry has had some less than positive press. We need to educate our legislators about the many good things being done and come up with solutions that will continue to build on those things,” O’Leary notes.
Her position as a Director commenced when the GLCCA was formed two years ago; however, prior to that she played an active role in the Illinois Collector’s Association as a Director, Vice President, First Vice President and President. Her involvement in Illinois started in 2005.
As Manager of Creditors Resource Service, Sheila oversees all daily operations. “I wear all the hats. I work with the clients, collectors, oversee finances and many administrative duties, handle disputes and any other issues that impact our organization.” She holds back nothing when she talks about her passion for her job and credit unions with which she works. “I love what credit unions stand for. Their motto is ‘People Helping People’, something that I don’t think we hear enough about today.” She also says that this mantra assists her when working with debtors. “Credit unions have the philosophy of ‘once a member, always a member.’ When members cause their credit union a loss, we remind them that the union was always there for them and will still be there once they make good on their debt.”
Nothing brings O’Leary more joy than listening to her collectors talking with people on the phone. “I love hearing them discuss the issues in a common sense way and coming to a positive resolution – when they show someone that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we are here to help them.”
When Sheila is not busy advocating for GLCCA members or working with her valued clients, she enjoys her favorite role as grandmother to an amazing 5-year old boy, Jayden. “I love hearing the words ‘grandma Sheila.’ It makes my heart want to burst.” She is also an avid traveler, recently returning from a trip to Ireland this summer. She also has plans to visit the Panama Canal next year.
In the end, Sheila wants to see all GLCCA members involved in the association. “The more members who are active, the more powerful we are.”