Leadership and Life

Jack Ouellette is current chairman, previous president and former CEO of American Textile, a multinational company that manufactures protective and allergen barrier bedding products.  He’s also a Duquesne MBA alumnus who came to campus to discuss life and business lessons with students.


Jack Ouellette (middle) accompanied by MBA Students from the Donohue Graduate School of Business

As Jack noted, he used to think that “education was from a book or a classroom” (but) “now realizes that a lot of things that happen in real life are really great learning experiences.”

Jack got us thinking by posing five questions:

  • Do you take full responsibilities for your action at all times?
  • Are you at your very best when things are seemingly at their worst?
  • Do you know when good enough, is good enough?
  • With people, are you controlling or over-controlling?
  • Do you take care of your people?

“Leadership is all about people, and business is all about people,” according to Jack who was proud to describe the company he helped build by respecting associates, customers, and suppliers.

After 38 years at American Textile, Jack still has the spark of a fresh MBA graduate.   His most memorable piece of wisdom:  “Others respect you when you stand up in the storm.”

As sustainability students, we are attempting to change the world, impact it for the better, and create a more prosperous future for our children in a time of great chaos.  I challenge all of you to be the one who stands up in the storm, and become the change you want to see in the world.


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