Alumni-Athlete Spotlight: Jack Sheehan | New England College

Alumni-Athlete Spotlight: Jack Sheehan

March 31, 2023
Alumnus Jack Sheehan

This article appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of New England College Magazine.

Political Science and Secondary Education ’75
Founder, Sheehans Office Interiors, Rhode Island
Sports Played at NEC: Basketball, Lacrosse

Jack arrived at New England College with his competitive nature in tow. He had been an athlete, a competitor, all his life.

“The need to perform, and the discipline, commitment, and passion required to perform well have been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember,” he says. “That need was only further cemented at NEC.”

As a two-sport athlete most of his time at NEC, Jack’s academic and athletic pursuits taught him some valuable lessons about how to achieve success, in sports and in life.

Managing the workload: To be successful as both a student and an athlete, he had to sharpen his focus and dedication and learn how to prioritize and multi-task, skills that are invaluable to his role as a business owner.

Being a team player: Whether it was a group project for class or with his team on the field, Jack’s team experiences have proven critical to helping him be successful in his business and as a husband and father.

Learning from those who know more: He gained both knowledge and leadership skills from the professors and coaches he looked up to, and he now pays that forward by helping and guiding his employees, children, and grandchildren.

Possessing fortitude: Being a student-athlete required the mental and physical fortitude to show up and compete—every single day—and he continues to show up every day for his employees and family.

Competing at a high level: Competing in college athletics gave him the confidence to never shy away when presented with a new opportunity.

A new opportunity Jack did not see coming was the founding of Sheehans Office Interiors, but he confidently moved forward. He intended to go into teaching and coaching. He coached lacrosse at Harvard for several years after graduating from NEC, but the family business called him home to Rhode Island. Sheehans Office began with Jack’s father as a stationery and office supply company. Jack left Harvard with the short-term plan to help revive the company, but something unexpected happened: The company became his everything.

Jack transformed the company into a full-service office furniture dealership that serves Fortune 50 clients across the country. Over the last 40 years, he has grown the company to offer design, project management, contract furniture, ergonomic solutions, prefabricated interior construction, and an e-commerce channel.

Even with all his professional accomplishments, Jack’s greatest success revolves around his family. “I was able to inspire my children to leave their successful careers in consulting and investment banking in New York City to come to Sheehans and help steer the company into its next chapter of transformation and growth. It’s been a thrill to work together and have a lot more time to hang out with my grandkids…and to play golf.”

He still has his competitive edge.

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