St. Rita has announced the hiring of John O’Neill ’79 as the Director of Institutional Advancement. O’Neill, a graduate of St. Rita in 1979, has spent the last 30 years serving in key roles with highly admired companies such as IBM and Xerox. A highly respected leader and manager, O’Neill’s main responsibilities included the sale of software products which peaked into the millions on a yearly basis. For his accomplishments, IBM previously recognized him as the Worldwide Account Executive of the Year. O’Neill believes these experiences will propel him into success in his new role.
“When this opportunity arose, I thought it would be the perfect chance to apply the lessons I've learned over the past 30 years in business to further advance the mission of St. Rita and build on our proud 108-year old history,” O’Neill commented.
John is also a highly regarded college football referee. For the last 11 years he has been a member of the Big Ten Football officiating staff and has refereed many bowl games, including the 2009 Orange Bowl and this past years’ Big Ten Championship game.
John is no stranger to the St. Rita family, having served as a valued contributor to the Board of Directors for the last five years. His intimate knowledge of both the opportunities and challenges at St. Rita made him a standout among other candidates.
“This role is both challenging and humbling at the same time,” O’Neill stated. “I look forward to hitting the ground running, meeting with our students, faculty and staff, alumni and friends of St. Rita to help carry on the mission and traditions of this wonderful institution.”
Long before this, he walked the halls of St. Rita where he built a lasting legacy serving as a captain on the school’s first IHSA state championship football team in 1978. John’s success on the field carried over into his business career and President Ernie Mrozek, feels that consistency will carry over into his role at St. Rita.
“John is very passionate about St. Rita, our mission, and the great opportunities that lie ahead,” Mrozek stated. “This passion, combined with his strong communication and interpersonal skills and ability to cultivate relationships, will be invaluable to St. Rita in his new role.”
John is the middle link in a three generation St. Rita family, following in the footsteps of his late father, Bill O’Neill, ’41, and paving the way for his sons Danny, ’09 and Mike, ’11. He and his wife, Peg, have been married for 25 years, and also have two wonderful daughters, Megan and Molly Rose. The O’Neill’s have lived on the southwest side of Chicago for many years and currently reside in Evergreen Park.
When asked what St. Rita has meant to him John O’Neill simply stated, “Not many people get the opportunity to go home again. I've been part of several winning organizations in my life and I just re-joined one of the best.”