Professor Joe O'Grady has taught nearly a dozen different business courses during his 30+ year career at Champlain College. Currently he focuses on the fields of Human Resource Management, Problem Analysis & Decision Making, and Creativity & Innovation in Business. He also fulfilled a three-year term as Chair of the former Division of Business. He has led and served on numerous College committees and task forces influencing strategic planning, new curriculum development, hiring, and faculty compensation. Since 2017 he has served as the College's Faculty Ombudsman, providing advice and support to faculty. It is a role he describes as being "a sounding board, conflict resolver and all-purpose troubleshooter." Joe is a past recipient of the Edward P. Lyman Professorship in recognition of his outstanding contributions to teaching, service and student engagement at Champlain.
Before joining Champlain, Joe worked in various positions in the public and private sectors in two countries. For two years, he participated in research at the University of Vermont studying Vermont's farm and rural economy and guest lecturing in economics classes. While there, he developed an innovative methodology to measure the economic value of honeybee pollination to a rural economy which has since been applied by agronomists in four continents. Joe also worked in golf and resort operations, as a market researcher, and as a consultant with the Small Business Administration. He began his career as an analyst in a business development agency of the Canadian government.
Prof. O'Grady says the most satisfying thing about his job is watching his students grow in knowledge and confidence during their college years. In particular he enjoys seeing them pass through a class such as Human Resource Management and become inspired and enthusiastic about the field. They pursue further HR courses, acquire a HR internship, seek professional certification, and then land their first HR jobs. The circle is complete when they return to Champlain as recruiters for their organizations.
Joe lives in Burlington with his wife and cat; their grown daughter is a journalist in NH. He reads extensively, does his own home renovations, follows Notre Dame football, channels Sherlock Holmes, samples Vermont's many fine craft brews, and strives to learn the banjo. He has volunteered as a consultant with Vermont Catholic Charities and as a board member of Young Tradition Vermont, a non-profit that promotes traditional music for young people. Long before motor scooters became cool (again), Joe was an avid "scooterist," commuting to Champlain on his vintage Honda scooter! You might be surprised to know that he holds citizenships of both Canada and the United States.
Joe says the most satisfying thing about teaching in the Stiller School of Business is watching his students grow in expertise, confidence and career direction during their time here. In particular he enjoys seeing alumni return to our campus job fairs to recruit new employees for their own organizations. His students appreciate his broad business expertise and his dedication to teaching and mentoring.
He emphasizes that a strong business degree must offer much more than practical knowledge for a first job; it should provide a new lens for perceiving the world, interpreting current events, and framing problems. Joe embraces Peter Drucker's insightful observation that "every single social and global issue of our day is a business opportunity in disguise." In their very first class, students in his senior-level Problem Analysis & Decision Making course get acquainted with the empowering concept of recognizing "probortunities!" He believes the future belongs to those with the talent and ambition to out-innovate the rest of the world by converting societal problems into business opportunities.