Mary Lou O’Reilly Senior Vice President, Issues Management & CommunicationsInsurance Bureau of Canada
Mary Lou’s career has been dedicated to making a difference on a broad range of national and community-based public policy issues from a number of perspectives – as a government strategist and a senior communications executive.
After receiving degrees from the University of Windsor, she began her career as a journalist, working for the Antigonish Casket. There, the publication of her popular weekly columns provided the genesis of her book, “In Profile” which shed a spotlight on characters in the Antigonish area.
A strong interest in the workings of government led to communications positions for Members of Parliament, where she learned the importance of consensus building with all stakeholders.
Later, Mary Lou managed communications for St. Michael’s, St. Joseph’s, and Providence Hospitals in Toronto where she was involved in both internal and external health care communications.
Since joining the Insurance Bureau of Canada in 1990, Mary Lou has spearheaded the national campaign for graduated driver licensing, successfully opposed government-run auto insurance monopolies in Ontario and New Brunswick, and helped establish the Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CCAIF). She also served as the National Director of the industry’s injury prevention initiative, the award winning ‘Be Smart, Be Safe’ Community Outreach Program. Th is included the introduction of a driving simulator, which started a national conversation on the biggest road safety issue in Canada – distracted driving.
As Senior Vice-President, Mary Lou’s work focuses on an ongoing financial literacy program designed to improve the relationship between insurers and consumers. She is advancing the industry’s leadership in adaptation to severe weather through speaking tours and consultation work with municipal governments to encourage adoption of a tool that measures our country’s infrastructure vulnerabilities to flood. She is also responsible for IBC’s strategic planning, a process that ensures that IBC addresses the priority issues of Canada’s p&c insurance industry.
Mary Lou is a published author, a frequent public speaker, a mother, and a grandmother