Credera, a global, boutique consulting firm focused on strategy, transformation, data, and technology, is pleased to announce the addition of Riley Sheehan to Credera’s partner team.
“We are really excited to have Riley as a part of our Partner team because of his unique impact on people, expertise in his craft, and deep agency knowledge,” said Credera Global CEO Justin Bell. “He is a strong addition to our firm and our culture.”
Riley joined Credera in the Chicago office in 2021 and is focused on external market development, new client acquisition, client delivery, and working with the rest of the leadership team in the growth and development of Credera’s Chicago offering.
Prior to joining Credera, Riley co-founded and led the technology and design agency MERGE in 2003, overseeing all aspects of the business as CEO and leading its technology offerings until the successful acquisition of the company in 2017. His experiences, expertise, and passion are all focused on helping teams maximize how they think about and leverage technology to solve a wide variety of modern challenges. He has worked in a multitude of industries, with clients including Marriott International, Harley-Davidson, IU Health, Marco’s Pizza, Keurig, Dr Pepper, and Snapple, to name a few.
Outside of work, Riley enjoys spending time with his wife Lauren, and their two girls, Harper and Chloe. He enjoys outdoor adventures and is an avid CrossFitter, endurance athlete, skier, and golfer. He also is known for being a mean mixologist and BBQ smokemaster.
We sat down with Riley to learn more about his journey toward joining the Credera partner team.
Q&A With Riley Sheehan:
What is your focus at Credera?
My primary focus is the development of our Chicago market presence, new client acquisition, client delivery, and team leadership.
What were you doing prior to joining Credera?
Prior to joining Credera, I was the CEO of the Chicago-based technology and design agency, MERGE, which I co-founded back in 2003. In addition to my responsibilities overseeing the organization, I led our technology operations and service offering. After 15 successful years of growth and amazing experiences, we sold the company in 2017 when I took on the role of chief technology officer until 2020, helping grow the company to a national, full-service agency.
What led to your decision to join Credera?
First, the culture and people at Credera. My entire career I have had a people-first mindset. It was the foundation of the company I built prior to joining Credera. Finding a place built on similar values that were authentically seen and felt was truly magnetic.
Second, Credera has an incredible history that has led to this moment in time where there is an evolution in so many areas. I love to build things, and I love growing and nurturing teams. Joining Credera gave me the opportunity to do the things I love while making an impact both on the business and on individual people. At the same time, Credera is full of whip-smart and incredibly talented folks, and I knew after just a handful of initial conversations that this was a place where I’d learn and stretch in new ways myself. Win-win.
How would you describe your approach to leadership?
For me, leadership has always started with a genuine focus on people. Regardless of the challenge or project at hand, focusing on what the individual people on my team need to succeed—rationally and emotionally—as well as the health of the team dynamic as a whole has always led to success, and often in unexpected ways. Open and honest communication, facing the fires of change head on, being encouraging versus discouraging—these are things I try to bring into every day.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
That it’s OK to fail. It’s how you respond when you fail or when you are under pressure that makes the experience something you can learn and grow from—meaningful growth doesn’t happen in the comfort zone of the status quo. When my wife and I started our company back in 2003, we were young, green, and had so much to learn. But it was our shared passion for the “what could be” that gave us a safe space to reach beyond our limits, push to work in spaces we rightly weren’t ready for, and not let the fear of failure be a barrier to growth. When you know your team always has each other’s backs, fear of failure is trumped by a fearlessness to try something new, and sometimes something even crazy.
What are you most excited about now that you’re a part of the Credera team?
New relationships, new friendships, and creating something great in Chicago that builds on the amazing foundation Credera has in place today. It’s going to be a lot of hard work and a whole lot of fun.
Learn more about Riley.
Credera is a global, boutique consulting firm focused on strategy, innovation, data, and technology. As a part of Omnicom Precision Marketing Group, our approximately 3,000 consultants across the globe partner with clients ranging from long-time market leaders to emerging companies delivering strategy and execution leadership to create tangible business results. Credera's deep business acumen and technical expertise, combined with a deep dedication to building trusted relationships, unlocks extraordinary business performance for our clients. Our mission is to make an extraordinary impact for our clients, people, and communities.