John J. “Jack” Kahl Jr. was not only a visionary leader in business, but also a devout Catholic. Jack was born and raised on the West Side of Cleveland and attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood and furthered his education at John Carroll University in University Heights. Jack passed away at the age of 78 in 2018, and is buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Avon, Ohio (Section 3, Lot 419, Grave #2).
During his senior year at John Carroll, Jack was looking for a career path. This is when Jack met Melvin Anderson, whom he began to work for at Manco Inc. in 1963. After working there for 8 years, Jack bought the business. Nearly thirty years later, he sold the business to the Henkel Group. Jack used his business knowledge and skills to grow Manco, Inc. into a national corporation. Manco Inc. is famously known for Duck Tape Brand Duct Tape.
Throughout Jack’s 37 years as the CEO of Manco, Inc. he built the business through his servant leadership and fostering a caring culture. His book, “Leading from the Heart: Choosing to be a Servant Leader” is a true testament to his passion for his faith. Jack was named one of “America’s Most Admired CEOs” by Industry Week magazine in 1993 and Inc. Magazine recognized him as one of three CEOs in America to “benchmark leadership practices.” Much of Jack’s leadership manners were attributed to his strong faith.
To say that Jack Kahl lived a full life would be an understatement. From when he first began at Manco to when he retired, Jack did it all. While he pursued and advanced his career, he was able to keep his faith close to his heart. Today, many think that you have to separate the two – but Jack was a prime example of someone who used his faith and learnings at work. To his credit, he did a great job of utilizing both his business knowledge and strong faith to become successful.
Post written by Joe Marques