2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: Brooke O'Reilly
Big Red Investments & Junior League of Springfield
Thursday, May 17, 2012 9:32 AM
Armed with degrees in psychology and biomedical sciences, Brooke O’Reilly juggles a managerial role for family businesses with myriad efforts to help others, primarily through Junior League of Springfield.
Education: Bachelor’s in psychology, University of Illinois, and master’s in biomedical sciences, Missouri State University
Family: I have been married to Tim for 13 years. Our very active children are Alec, Charlie, Liam and Grace. My family is the best part of my life.
Recent travels: Our last travel was a family vacation to Colorado [to go] skiing. I treasure that our family was together and that we all enjoy skiing.
Just for Fun: If you were throwing a party and could invite any two people, who would be your must-have guests? It wouldn’t be a party without my husband, and I’d also like Jesus there. The three of us would have a great conversation.
Professionally, O’Reilly is the managing owner of several businesses, including Big Red Investments LLC, focused on rental properties. “I supervise more than 100 area residences, apartments and town homes in the southwest Missouri area,” she says.
Though she has undertaken numerous community endeavors, perhaps her most pressing now is the president’s role for the local Junior League chapter. “This is a 30- to 40-hour per week volunteer commitment,” O’Reilly says, noting that she represents the chapter’s 600-plus members as the group works to fulfill the league’s three-fold mission of promoting voluntarism, developing women’s potential and improving the community.
“I am able to organize and implement educational training for women,” O’Reilly adds. “I have led a team to hire a store manager and part-time staff of The Plaid Door Resale Boutique business owned and operated by JLS.” O’Reilly says The Plaid Door is vital to the group’s efforts, bringing more than 80 percent of the group’s annual revenues.
She has been involved with JLS since 2002 and has filled several roles. She is most proud of serving as the founding president of the board for Isabel’s House, the Crisis Nursery of the Ozarks, 2006–08. Isabel’s House, a JLS community impact endeavor, provides a safe haven for children when their parents are faced with situations that could lead to abuse or neglect.
O’Reilly says thousands of children have been taken from harm’s way since Isabel’s House opened in 2007.
“Ninety percent of families who have benefited from Isabel’s House services have successfully improved their home and personal situations, including increasing home safety and reduction of stress,” she adds.
A graduate of Leadership Springfield Class XXVI in 2011, O’Reilly has received numerous honors for her work on behalf of children and the community. In November, she became the third recipient of Court Appointed Special Advocates’ Champion for Children honor, and in 2010, she was one of 10 recipients of the Gift of Time Award from Council of Churches of the Ozarks.
She isn’t yet done helping others, though. In February, O’Reilly supervised a JLS-hosted Lobby Day in Jefferson City. Represented by 65 women, the league met with legislators to discuss bills that could provide financial relief to crisis nurseries, CASA and child advocacy centers statewide.
“I continue to lobby for these bills through a call campaign to state senators,” O’Reilly says.
Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.