John O’Leary

     For John O’Leary, the decades since graduating from Northeastern bring to mind a well-known Grateful Dead lyric: “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

     A political science major at Northeastern, he never imagined that he would go into the business world. But a job in the administration of Massachusetts Gov. Frank Sargent showed him that he needed to gain some skills and credentials to continue in the public sector. 

     That led to an MBA from Harvard Business School followed by positions with companies including Proctor & Gamble and  toy-maker Parker Brothers, for which he was video games marketing director. It was at Parker Brothers where O’Leary met Monica, now his wife of 37 years.

     At age 62, O’Leary took another leap and started his own consulting company, O’Leary Marketing Associates, which he says has been “the most rewarding career experience of my life.”

     “I work on projects and programs that help people as they age,” he said. “One of my longest standing clients is the state of Minnesota, and I’m trying to help them evaluate some new and hopefully better options for funding long-term care for seniors.”

     Two of O’Leary’s major passions are music and sports, especially the Red Sox and Patriots, which he shares with his “two great and very different kids, who have taught me more about the important things in life than Harvard University did.” 

     He and his son Chris have shared their love of live music at many venues and festivals, including Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival.

     And with daughter Jen, O’Leary has shared his love of sports, including attending Game 4 of the 2018 World Series in Los Angeles, won by the Red Sox en route to the championship. 

     This year John and Monica took another leap, moving to California. 

     “In retrospect, I’ve had a rich and varied set of experiences and met a lot interesting and famous people, but the things I remember most are the memories I’ve been lucky enough to share with my family,” O’Leary says. “Thanks to the Northeastern News for helping me hone my writing skills. They have served me well for the past 50 years.”                                                                                                                    

(John O’Leary is a 1972 graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in Liberal Arts.)