By Pat Higgins | The Duquesne Duke
John “Jack” Mason has been hired as the new director of entrepreneurial studies in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business.
Mason has more than 40 years of technical and management experience from serving as an executive, consultant, researcher and educator. Mason graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1966 and earned a Doctor of Science in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976. Mason also earned a master’s degree in management from the MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1990.
Mason took the position at Duquesne because of the chance to guide students to the successes he enjoyed in the market.
“I think Duquesne can have a particular unique niche in this area,” Mason said. “I think with the mission of this school, with its strong commitment to community service, I think it can be really uniquely positioned. I also think there’s economic evidence that the Pittsburgh area has really recovered.”
He also said he realized the range his guidance could reach as a director mentoring young students who are aspiring to become entrepreneurs in recovering business markets.
“As I got here and had gotten into the position, the thing I’ve realized is that if I started one more business, that’s just one more business,” Mason said. “But I have a chance here to start many, many businesses by helping students to start their own.”
He has experience with start-ups, turn-arounds, and merger and performance improvement, in addition to experience from working within utility, commercial, industrial, academic and system and service provider organizations.
As a Sloan Fellow, Mason studied with managers and executives from 25 countries and conducted research in France, Germany, Japan and the U.S.
Steven Greenberg, the chair of the Entrepreneurship Division in the business school, was part of the search committee that brought Mason to Duquesne. He believes Mason will add a great deal to the program.
“I think that Jack is multi-talented in obviously a number of ways,” he said. “His educational background, not only has provided him an outstanding education, and the understanding of management and how it works, but has provided him a network of an incredible amount of people that we can work with.”
He is a principal of Mason Energy and Management, a consulting firm based out of Boulder, Colo., that provides advice and support to companies and organizations looking to become more energy efficient. Mason said he wants to involve the faculty and employees more in energy conservation to create a culture at the school, instead of having an independent contractor come in and set up programs.
“There’s a unique opportunity for Duquesne to position itself around those issues, and to help small businesses align their businesses with those values,” he said.
Mason said his job is to provide students with skills that on their most basic levels, will allow graduates to set up and run their own small businesses in the future.
“My belief in terms of what we teach, I’m a nuts and bolts manager,” he said. “I believe in providing students with very simple tools and models that they can use in the future.”
Greenberg said he thinks Mason will prove to be a viable asset.
“I think with his educational attributes, networking attributes and educational experience, everything he has to be successful and provide the best possible benefit to our students, will really give our entrepreneurial program a chance to be as successful as it can be,” Greenberg said.
Photo: Fred Blauth / Photo Editor
John “Jack” Mason was named the new director of entrepeneurial studies in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business. Mason has more than 40 years of technical and management experience.