On July 26, 1976, bursting with resolve, Jack Dougherty, a newly minted MBA, from the College of William and Mary, reported for his first day at W. L. Gore & Associates. Jack presented himself to Bill Gore, shook hands firmly, looked Bill in the eye, and said he was ready for anything. Jack was not ready, however, for what happened next. Bill replied, “That’s fine, Jack, fine. Why don’t you look around and find something you’d like to do?” Three frustrating weeks later Jack found that something: Trading in his dark blue suit for jeans, he loaded material into the mouth of a machine that laminated fabric with the company’s patented Gore-Tex® membrane.
Later, by 1982, Jack had become responsible for all advertising and marketing in the fabrics group and the story of his experience as a new Associate was part of the folklore at W. L. Gore.
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