When William "Bill" Sheedy speaks to more than 600 undergraduate and graduate students participating in the 2014 Commencement at the WVU Coliseum on May 10, he'll remember being right where they are.
He'll flash back to 1988 when he graduated from B&E with a finance degree. He'll remember what it was that drew him to Morgantown and WVU, when his older sister attended WVU and his family drove the two hours from Hollidaysburg, Pa., to campus. Morgantown appealed to him, he said. "It felt like the right place for me." His younger brother followed him in attending WVU.
Now Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy, M&A, Government Relations and Europe for Visa, Sheedy will reflect on the journey from his WVU graduation to where he stands today. And for those students graduating on May 10 and the family and friends that fill the Coliseum for that ceremonial event, all will benefit from hearing an address from a Mountaineer who has excelled thanks to his own recipe: hard work, a willingness to solve problems and learn, ethics, communication and the ability to successfully collaborate.
"We are extremely fortunate to have Bill Sheedy as our commencement speaker this year," said Jose "Zito" Sartarelli, B&E Milan Puskar Dean. "He exemplifies everything that we try to emphasize to our students during their time here at B&E. As a result of his hard work and commitment, he has had great success both professionally and personally. He feels a deep connection to WVU, and I really think anyone who hears him speak at Commencement will feel like they have benefited from it. He just has that kind of effect on people."
Sheedy leads Visa's corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions efforts, global policy and government relations, and oversees strategic initiatives for the company, including Visa's relationships and interests in Europe. In this role, he is responsible for charting the company's strategic direction and driving growth;
expanding the company's relationships with governments and regulators globally; and leading critical initiatives and transactions with clients and partners around the world.
Sheedy was previously Group President, Americas, and oversaw Visa's business in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, across nearly 50 countries. In this role, Sheedy was responsible for issuer, merchant, acquirer and third-party processor relationships and led efforts to expand card issuance, merchant acceptance and usage of Visa-branded products and services across the Americas. He also had responsibility for Visa's core credit, debit, prepaid, commercial/small business and co-brand businesses.
Prior to that, Sheedy served as President of the company's North America region. He also played a leadership role in managing Visa's corporate restructuring that merged multiple regional Visa entities into a single global company, culminating in Visa's successful initial public offering in 2008. Earlier in his career, Sheedy managed Visa's U.S. pricing and economics strategies. He joined the company in 1993 as an executive in Visa's strategy and pricing division.
In addition to a B.S. from West Virginia University, Sheedy earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
B&E Commencement starts at 6 p.m. on May 10 at the WVU Coliseum.