The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) has awarded the industry body’s honorary fellowship to Geraldine O’Leary, commercial director – RTÉ, and Ray Sheerin, co-founder and managing director of former agency Chemistry, who now operates the Ray Sheerin Consultancy. The honours were presented at a members’ away day.
O’Leary and Sheerin were honoured for their “exemplary commitment to the industry and demonstrating the highest standards of leadership and excellence”. The fellowship is IAPI’s way of honouring contributions from advertising practitioners deemed to have raised industry standards. Previous recipients are John Fanning, Alan Cox and Patrick Hickey.
IAPI president and Bonfire co-founder Seán Hynes said the fellowship was an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and to publicly recognise and celebrate those who have made a major contribution to the commercial communications industry. “It’s the highest honour bestowed by IAPI, and this year’s recipients could not be more deserving,” Hynes added.
O’Leary worked in advertising since graduation. She started at Brian Cronin & Associates, before moving on to DDFH&B, Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith Media. She first joined RTÉ in 1997 and is currently the group head of commercial. She is a fellow of the Marketing Institute, a founder of TAM Ireland and a council member of the Marketing Society.
She was president of the European Group of Television Advertising (EGTA) board. The EGTA is an international body which focuses on issues and opportunities that have impacts for the TV market. She chaired the Marketer of the Year judging panel. O’Leary will soon step down from her position in RTÉ as she retires from her full-time role in the business.
Sheerin has over 35 years’ experience of developing and leading brand and communications strategies for agency clients. He is regarded as one of the most experienced strategists right across the marketing sphere. He is a chartered director of the Institute of Directors, a director of The Organic Centre and a former board director of IAPI and Copyclear.
Pictured: Charley Stoney and Seán Hynes, IAPI with Ray Sheerin and Geraldine O’Leary