James D. O'Rourke, Bus Ad '87, was elected to the Marquette University Board of Trustees in 2007. He is the chief executive officer of A&A Manufacturing Company. A&A manufactures machine tool accessories, fabricated metal and rubber products, and custom engineered protective covers.
He is a third generation employee and owner of A&A. Jim joined the company in 1987 as a sales representative working in the mid-Atlantic states. In 1990 he returned to New Berlin to lead the firm's cable and hose carrier division and helped it grow from $4.2 million in sales in 1990 to $13.3 million in 2000.
In 2000 Jim's father Jerry retired and Jim assumed the role of company president. While historically profitable, there were many organizational changes necessary in Jim's early tenure including the departure of several long-term employees. The collapse of the machine tool industry in 2002 forced many changes in the business. Jim directed significant resources toward product development to diversify A&A's offerings. Also during that time, the company launched and completed ISO 9000 and a company-wide Lean initiative.
Due to corporate and shareholder needs, Jim oversaw the sale of the family business in 2007. Jim was retained as president and chief executive officer and he continues to maintain significant ownership interests.
He serves on the board of directors of Gustave A. Larson Company and is a member of the board of trustees of Marquette University High School. He is an active member of Vistage International. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from Marquette University in 1987.
Jim fashions himself a "shop rat," learning how to use the equipment at the company as a child to satisfy his curiosity, develop his mechanical aptitude, and nurture his entrepreneurial spirit. He holds several United States patents.
Jim and his wife Maike have a daughter named Grace. He is a member of the Marquette University President's Society.