top of page

Moving On... WIA Director Transitions to Advisory Role

By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (May 26, 2022)

Today we announce that Women in Agribusiness’s own Joy O’Shaughnessy, event director and COO of the Agribusiness division of HighQuest Partners, will transition her role to WIA Advisory Board member, where her creative ideas and constructive suggestions will continue to guide WIA as it moves forward on its path of success.

O’Shaughnessy came to HighQuest in 2012 from having been a television producer who had created political and educational programs for which she received national recognition, including two Emmy nominations. She helped build WIA to include international events and multiple initiatives to support women in various aspects of the industry.

As of June 6, O’Shaughnessy will start her role as a principal at The Context Network, a management consulting firm. We wish her well in her new endeavor as we share the common goal of advancing agriculture.

WIA Today took a few minutes to sit with Joy to talk about her WIA journey.

1). What is your favorite memory of the WIA Summit?

My favorite memory from the WIA Summit is when a longtime attendee approached me and told me she was there because her goal was to get a board position with a privately held company. While at the conference, she decided to go on one of our “blind date” dinners, which for those of you who have attended the Summit know that this happens by meeting at a “purple star” that we put in the lobby at the conference. Attendees who might be traveling alone, or those who want to get to know someone new, are encouraged to meet there, then go out to dinner with whomever else shows up.

So this attendee did that, and someone else showed up, and the two of them went out to dinner. It turned out that the woman's company was searching for board members, and this resulted in the woman I had encouraged to go on this “blind date” getting her board position! I was ecstatic! What I like about this most is that it’s a demonstration of the power of what happens when you gather strong, resourceful women together who are part of a connected community that is dedicated to the idea of helping each other out.

2). Can you give us your Top 3 list for proudest moments during your time directing WIA?

There are many things I am proud of during my tenure with HighQuest/WIA, especially the amazing team we have created that always gets the job done, and then some, but if I had to pick three, they’d be:

First, that we have built a platform for women that has brought all these amazing individuals together who have formed an incredible community that engages, interacts, and supports each other all year long. Women in Agribusiness is not just an event that they come to once a year, it’s a year-round resource for guidance and connection.

Second, I'm proud to have been on the team that created the WIA Demeter Award of Excellence in order to recognize the outstanding accomplishments that women in the ag sector are achieving, most times going above and beyond their “day” jobs. It’s a great way to shine a spotlight on the multitude of achievements that are pushing the industry, and women, forward in the sector.

Third, I am deeply proud of helping our company – HighQuest Partners – get through the pandemic with our team intact and our product remaining strong.

One final note, I have loved getting to know this community of people – attendees, sponsors, and all of those involved. It has been my absolute pleasure and honor to have been able to steer the ship, and I am grateful for the friendship of this group and the lessons learned and shared. I foresee a future that’s bright for WIA as I shift into the role of benefiting as an attendee.

3). How are the events shaping up at this time?

I care very deeply about all the magnificent women I’ve met, and the programs and offerings we’ve implemented to serve the unique WIA population, and so I have no intention of walking away fully. The team and I have created this year’s agenda with as much dedication and care as always, and everything is set to go – it's thoroughly planned to be a spectacular return to fully in-person, and the WIA team is spot-on with what still needs to be done.

We are encouraged by the robust support from long-time and new sponsors alike. WIA registrations are strong and there is excitement building for the event, which this year will take place in Dallas for the first time. I will be there in my capacity as WIA Advisory Board Member to greet all on that center stage at this 11th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit! Can’t wait to see everyone there.

- Michelle Pelletier Marshall is contributing editor and author for HighQuest Partners’ GAI News and Unconventional Ag, and managing editor for its WIA Today blog. Additionally, she is the company’s Senior PR/Media Manager. She can be reached at


Do you have a story you'd like to contribute to WIA Today? Or a suggestion for a story, or comments about an article? Please reach out to Michelle Marshall at and share your thoughts. We'd love to hear from you.

bottom of page