Second Stork founder draws on Marquette experience, fellow alums to equip new parents in need
Deb O’Halloran, Bus Ad ’ 80, is capitalizing on her Marquette formation and professional experience to give back to her community and alma mater in big ways. Her recent pledge of $50,000 to scholarship support for College of Business Administration students with financial need is just one example of her many generous contributions of time and treasure.
After graduating from Marquette, Deb earned her MBA at the University of Minnesota and went on to a successful 25-year, executive-level career in publicly held companies. Through it all, her Marquette formation stuck with her, driving her to Be the Difference in and beyond the office. She volunteered on several non-profit boards, financial committees, and fundraising efforts for human services and educational organizations.
Still, she wanted to give more.
“I was feeling the strong desire to get out of the loop of helping myself financially and instead apply my time and skills in more altruistic ways.” - Deb O’Halloran.
In 2009, she got her chance. A conversation with a hospital social worker made her aware of the many underprivileged parents forced to leave the hospital without the basic resources to keep their newborns safe and healthy.
With that, Deb’s expertise in marketing, communications, product management, human resources, and finance came together, and she founded an organization called Second Stork. The all-volunteer service provides parents in need with free and immediate access to essential care items for their newborns.
To ensure the survival of her new venture, Deb tapped her many business contacts and Marquette friends, a strategy that has proven wildly successful. “We now have four alumni on our current 10-person board, and they are so reliable, strategic, smart and fun too,” Deb explains.
“Marquette alumni have responded to supporting this mission tenfold.” — Deb O’Halloran
The enthusiastic support of her fellow alumni is no surprise to Deb. Recalling her days as a student she says, “Everyone merrily jumped on any campus fundraiser for a cause, really underscoring the desire to work for the ‘common benefit of the human community’.”
With her gift to the College of Business, Deb hopes to inspire students.
“The message is about leadership and making it more than leadership that serves you or your inner circle or your financial gain. It’s about applying leadership skills and knowledge you’ve gained to improve the situation of others who need that helping hand right now.” — Deb O’Halloran
Deb knows this firsthand. “Applying my education and professional experience in a non-profit setting has been so rewarding. I would like to inspire college students to consider always giving forward their skills to people in need.”
She has a message for her fellow alumni as well: “Consider what your life might be like had you not gone to Marquette. The more people in this world able to experience Jesuit education the way we did, the better this world will be. Help give that opportunity to others, and enrich the experience of the fabulous students, faculty and staff who make it come alive every day.”
Learn how other Marquette Business alumni are giving back. https://timetorise.marquette.edu/business