“I will strive and get ready and perhaps one day my chance will come.” These words by President Abraham Lincoln, etched in the archway over the old auditorium stage of Central High School in Akron, Ohio, inspired Dr. Jack Harpool as a young man to excel in whatever he was to do in his life.
“My father was a factory worker in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He manually built tires, often working till midnight, in the hot and sweltering heat produced by the curing tire molds. This was a strong man’s job where the factory floor was rightly called the Pit.
“Abraham Lincoln’s words left an indelible mark on my young mind, as I remember my Dad coming home late at night, bone tired and covered with the black carbon soot of his work.
“‘If only that statement were true,’ I would wonder. My father had a 3rd grade education and my mother attended 9th grade twice. Hungry for a formal education, she had ‘begged’ her teacher to allow her to once again repeat her 9th grade, because there were no high schools in walking distance where she lived on a remote farm in the mountains of Tennessee.
“My brother and I grew up on Home Avenue located in the North Hill neighborhood (inner city Akron) and were taught and conditioned by both parents: ‘to study, to learn and to do.’ My parents were extraordinary hard workers, who both wanted their boys to ‘amount to something.’”
Professional and military service
“In the early 1960’s, I was a student at the University of Akron (UA), majoring in Industrial Management and working some 30 hours per week at a grocery store. During my Junior and Senior years, I received an ROTC Army scholarship and was later commissioned as a Reserve officer- 2nd Lt. in the US Army at 22 years old.
“The Vietnam War was at full tilt and I delayed entry into the military to achieve an MBA at UA. After spending two years on active duty (in California and Korea in Information Technology) I was honorably discharged. I returned to UA as a professor of their Computer Systems Program, and then completed a Ph.D.
“I was studying and learning and doing and Abraham Lincoln’s statement was becoming true for me, with God’s help. During my tenure at UA, I wrote numerous college-level text books that would be used at well over 350 US and international universities. I would later be called up in the 1970’s as an Army Reservist and ultimately retire as a Lt Colonel, having been assigned to special classified IT Pentagon ‘top secret” projects, while also being a full time Professor at UA. In addition to UA I was also a professor at Youngstown State University and Ashland University.
“I am happily married to Elaine, my dear wife of 45 years, who is my best friend and helpmate in life. She has been encouraging and faithful in many endeavors. Without her hard work and support, any measure my of success would not have been achieved: ‘two are better than one.’ We have two very successful children and are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren. My wife is my partner in our local business: Greensburg Park Self Storage, located in Green Ohio. My story includes so many others that have helped me in so many ways: financially, in teaching, helpful advice, encouragement, and support.”
You may be thinking, “That’s nice, but why would I want Jack to prepare me for the PMP Exam©? Perhaps a list of Jack’s credentials might answer that question:
- Over 25 years of experience in Information Technology
- Experience implementing Strategic Plans which utilize enterprise resources and current practices to cost effectively meet corporate objectives
- Exceptional communication (oral/written) and presentation skills in all areas of management systems (technology development) at all organizational levels
- Professional Project Management (PMP Certification) experience in full Life Cycle Projects
- Experience includes, but is not limited to:
- Executive-level consulting
- Senior Project Management (including people, process, technology controls and tracking mechanisms)
- Assessing and evaluating vendor capabilities
- Managing large-scale application development projects
- Computer systems assessments
- Point-solution package implementations and training
- Coordinating user buy-in at the enterprise level
Finally, Jack’s Certifications and Education:
- PMP, Project Management Professional, Certification – April, 2002 (current)
- Contractor License – Design and Build Services – Greensburg Park Self Storage (owner)
- Ph.D., Technical Education, The University of Akron, Ohio – December, 1988
- MBA, Business Administration, The University of Akron, Ohio – January, 1968
- B.S., Industrial Management, The University of Akron, Ohio – January, 1966
- Graduate, Command and General Staff College – December, 1983