A first-generation college student, Jack Butler vividly remembers his first visit to La Salle’s campus with his parents. Just as they realized they were lost, Brother Gerry Fitzgerald, F.S.C., ’70, MBA, ’82, assistant professor of accounting, happened to be passing by and took the time to make them feel comfortable and get them where they needed to go.
“He noticed we were newcomers and embraced us into the community right there and then—that meant a lot to us, and particularly to my parents,” Butler said. “They worked hard to help make La Salle a reality for me, and from that day forward, took great pride in the fact that I was an Explorer and that my education accomplished what we all hoped it would.”
As Chief Operating Officer of Market Resource Partners (MRP), Butler regularly calls upon the collaborative skills he developed as a dual finance/accounting major at La Salle. Peer-learning opportunities and group projects taught him how to be a leader at times and a contributor at others.
“The School of Business taught me to have the confidence in myself, in my ability to assess a problem, and make recommendations and decisions that I felt good about,” Butler said. “There was quite a bit of opportunity in the curriculum to really flex that muscle—and these skills have served me well to this day.”
Those were the very strengths that MRP co-founders Kevin Cunningham and Jim Regan, ’94, sought to help make their then fledgling start-up a success. Close friends and former classmates, Regan and Butler regularly had discussions about the business while Butler pursued his MBA at the University of Virginia’s prestigious Darden School.
As Butler shares new insights and offered recommendations catalyzed by his entrepreneurship classes, Regan and Cunningham assessed their usefulness in the real world. “There was something really cool about discussing their business, the vision for the future, and their strategies for how MRP would get there,” Butler said. “It was like a real-life case study—like being back on a learning team at La Salle.”
After earning is MBA, Butler found himself with the opportunity to contribute to MRP directly. Since he joined the company as COO in 2003, Butler has seen MRP grow into an industry leader and spread its wings beyond North America. “I am really proud of what we have accomplished with MRP to date,” he said. “We’ve engaged with man of the best technology mavens in the world—our opinion matters and the insights and expertise provided by our best-in-class team of professionals resonates with our clients. That’s pretty awesome.”