James D. O’Rourke, Bus Ad ’87, was elected to the Marquette University Board of Trustees in 2007.
He is the retired chairman of A&A Manufacturing Company, Inc. A&A manufactures machine tool accessories, fabricated metal and rubber products, and custom engineered protective covers.
Jim is a third-generation employee and owner of A&A. He joined the company in 1987 as a sales representative working in the mid- Atlantic states and retired in 2014. In 1990, he returned to New Berlin, Wis., 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 companywide Lean initiative.
Due to corporate and shareholder needs, Jim oversaw the sale of the family business in 2007. He was retained as president and chief executive officer until 2014, when the company was sold again.
He serves on the board of directors of Gustave A. Larson Company and is a former member of the board of trustees of Marquette University High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Marquette in 1987.
Jim enjoys the creative process in manufacturing, constantly tinkering and working to create better products. He holds several U.S. patents.
Jim and his wife, Maike, have a daughter, Grace. He is a member of the Marquette University Archbishop Henni Founders Society and Marquette University President’s Society.