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Work experience

Apr 2004Mar 2012

Senior Manager, Director, Vice President of Operations

The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group is a global market research firm providing consumer behavior and point-of-sale information and expertise across numerous industries. As a Vice President within Operations I was responsible for the management of the data collection, data confidentiality, and reporting activities carried out by a staff of 60 employees across eight domestic and international locations. I provided leadership, technical direction, and budget oversight to the operational staff that supported five primary Business Units accountable for more than 40% of company revenue. By working as a change agent I led the transformation of the back-room Operations department into a value-added service and consulting group. Through this transformation we were able to measurably lower costs while increasing output, reducing speed to market, and improving employee morale. This was accomplished through a series of initiatives designed to streamline our fulfillment practice, prioritize business initiatives across diverse needs, lower risk profiles on key production events, educate stakeholders, and align our structure to better serve business objectives. 

Selected Results:

 Analyzed Operational structure as part of a full system re-engineering project. Led review of current structural tension points and evaluated options against revised business requirements and new system capabilities. Proposed and led full department restructuring and process modifications. Results:

    o Structure successfully revised and implemented on 90-day horizon to minimize risk to production activities.

    o Significant reduction in cross-functional tension points within the department - measured through interviews vs. formal metrics.

    o Realized 20% increase in budgeted project revenue within one year and 10% cost savings through process changes.

 Designed and implemented a department budget analysis tool in MS Access by enhancing corporate budget tools and processes. Leveraged extracts from time reporting system and added customizations to enable reporting of key metrics to drive current year and long-term planning/forecasting. Results:

    o Tool and reports were piloted and shared across the full Operations and IT department.

    o Analysis and communication of cost drivers helped improve transparency to business partners resulting in 20% improvement in department scores.

    o Remained under budget ($3,000,000) while achieving fiscal departmental objectives for four consecutive years.

 Redefined corporate outsourcing strategy by establishing new metrics and a Service Level Agreement approach. Developed a weighted scoring system that transformed approach in outsourcing from a flat fee per FTE to a measured productivity with quality incentives and penalties approach. Results:

    o 25% savings in outsourcing costs by revised approach within six months.

    o Streamlined management reporting and oversight improved key manager morale. o Time to market on production activities reduced from 25 to 16 days within one year.

 Developed an executive business partner roadmap to ensure alignment on a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment in proprietary data processing and reporting systems. Synthesized complex technical requirements into clear and tangible benefits for executive team. Established communication and escalation protocols for on-going status and determined key stakeholders for inputs into requirements revisions and changes. Results:

    o Implemented data processing and reporting system on schedule and under budget with no significant internal or external client disruptions.

    o Benefits of revised reporting system led to product improvements resulting in 25% increase in price to broad client base. 

 Inherited the lowest performing Operations Unit struggling with declining team morale, poor quality output, disjointed process flows, and frustrated business leadership.  Initiated immediate changes in requirements gathering, prioritized quality validations, modified change request queues, and partnered with stakeholders to set clear accountability and timelines for improvement. Results:

    o Quality metrics transformed from worst operating unit to best in company in one year.

    o Increased product enhancement fulfillment by 50% with no cost implication within six months.

    o 80% decrease in change requests based upon original requirements within three months.

    o Implemented training and development for staff that improved morale by 25% in one year.

    o Received highest support department score from business unit metrics in year two.

Apr 2002Apr 2004

Principal / Managing Director

JMM Enterprises Ltd., Inc.
  • Independent consulting firm started and managed while a full-time MBA student.
  • Provided project management and business consulting services to commercial e-commerce clients focused on full-life cycle software development projects.
  • Proposed and implemented cost saving process improvements for organizations by streamlining requirements gathering for fixed price IT projects.
Jan 1999Apr 2002

Co-Founder / Director of Operations

Altum, Inc.

Altum provided consulting services to the National Institute of Health’s Grants Management program. We built three- tiered, web-based, custom software applications to enable reporting on funding spent in various areas of research. As a founding member I served in numerous roles in growing our consulting practice: Operations Director, Programmer, Quality Assurance Analyst, Client Manager, and Project Manager.

Selected Results:

  • Designed and implemented key foundational policies and processes to support the Project Management Office. This included a third-party management system, resource-leveling process, and centralized information management plan.
  • Led the vendor selection process and facilitated the successful attainment of a GSA contract vehicle that enabled new revenue streams for the firm.

  • Established the company’s Performance Evaluation Process as we expanded from five co-founders to over forty employees in two years.

Jun 1997Dec 1998

Project Lead and Software Developer

American Management Systems, Inc.
  • Formally trained in COBOL programming and expanded to Visual Basic application development and relational database design.
  • Led implementation of large IT financial management reporting system for government client (U.S. Geological Survey) that was implemented at 12 additional government agencies.
Oct 1996Jun 1997

Environmental Regulatory Analyst

PCCI, Inc.

Education

Aug 2001Dec 2003

Master of Business Administration

George Mason University
Aug 1995Jan 1996

University of Virginia
Aug 1991May 1995

Bachelor of Science in Forestry & Wildlife

Virginia Tech

Skills

Change Management
Process Improvement
Project & Program Management
Systems Integration & Testing
Global Vendor Management
Strategic Planning
Knowledge Management
Operations and Data Management

References

George Ziegler

I had the pleasure of working with Jack in developing large scale retail point of sale business intelligence systems. As a strong operations executive you could always count on Jack to challenge the organization to put the client first in delivering high quality databases and tools delivered on time. Jack's leadership in bridging the gaps among technical, operational and business teams was critical to the success of several of our largest projects. It would be a great opportunity to work again with Jack.

Anthony Guacci

A few words come to mind when I think of Jack and his work ethic. Integrity, accountability and compassion. I worked with Jack in the Operations group of NPD and had a very good working relationship with him. Jack is a person who I trusted immensely, and we shared many of the same values and management principles. Jack understands what it takes to communicate effectively throughout the entire organization. He is as comfortable conversing with executive management as he is with subordinates. Jack is a driven individual that consistently delivers results. Jack’s ability to transform tactical information to drive strategic direction is second to none. He is calm under pressure and I have seen him on several occasions diffuse difficult situations. Jack epitomizes the consummate professional.

Ken Fang

It was great working with Jack in starting Altum. Jack was the 5th person in a start up company that is now a multi-million global firm. He was integral in getting processes and procedures in place to streamline operations. He is a versatile individual with great interpersonal skills and fantastic organizational skills.

Peter Greene

If you're looking for executive level leadership that will get the job done, Jack is your man. I had the pleasure of working with Jack at NPD and watched him move up in the organization over several years.   I have worked with many Operations leads over the years and after working with Jack for just a few weeks, it was clear he brought a fresh perspective to Operations.  He is a partner in the truest sense and up to the task of addressing the challenges of the day as well as leading his functional domain in new strategic directions.  One of his best assets is his ability to comprehend all of the technical aspects of his role and simplify them in a concise manner so that non-technical Senior Management can grasp the issues.  I have found Jack to be uniquely qualified to dig in and solve big problems.  He has also proven to be able to provide thought leadership and direction to lead and transform a team to meet the future head on.

Michael Pellet

Jack McGurk is an intelligent, professional and talented individual who I have had the pleasure of working with, and knowing, for several years. I first met Jack while working at Altum where we collaborated to help grow a small software development firm. Later, as the COO of FocalBase, I asked Jack to consult to our firm on project management and operational issues. Jack's analytical skills are unsurpassed and his ability to think strategically while minding the "details" are a rare quality that very few people possess. Consistently thorough, his problem solving skills are excellent and he can work in almost any environment with a range of different people. Jack has a great sense of humor, is easy to work with and is at ease in a range of environments from the "board room" to the "trenches." I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jack and would strongly recommend him as a key player in any organization.

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Summary

Program Manager | Technical Manager | Operations Executive

Accomplished and results driven Operations and Project Executive with over 15 years experience across numerous industries, company sizes, cultures and business models.  Dynamic leader, change agent, influencer and team builder consistently motivating others toward success across diverse operating needs.  Strengths in process improvement, talent development, communication, and relationship building that enable cost effective results.  Strong understanding of the inter-relationships between technology, people, and processes that can set the stage for organizations to thrive.

Certifications

Apr 2001Present

Relational Database Design

Learning Tree International