Happy Birthday J.D. Edwards!

Originally Published March 17, 2018

Originally Published March 17, 2018

Ed McVaney consistently declared St. Patrick’s Day in 1977 as the birth date of J.D. Edwards. 41 Years ago Jack Thompson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-thompson-5467835b/), Dan Gregory, and Ed McVaney founded J.D. Edwards. Ed was very clear, while he was involved with leading the organization, that the periods be put in place when using the company name. He did not want there to be a mistake about the original founders of this great place to work. Although Ed serviced as the President, CEO, and Chairman on the Board of Directors he wanted a obvious understanding that both Jack and Dan were the foundation and cornerstones of J.D. Edwards. Dan's life was cut short and he did not get to see much fruit from his labor.

Gustavo Barizon (https://www.linkedin.com/in/barizon/) took the time in late December 2017 to remind us about the beginning of J.D. Edwards, and I think it is worth the time to read what Gustavo posted (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/looking-back-moving-forward-gustavo-barizon). 

After J.D Edwards was sold to PeopleSoft, the periods were taken out of the name of the company and software label (was J.D. Edwards, now is JD Edwards). To this day, I still struggle with removing those periods. I guess this may be due to the fact that the founders of J.D. Edwards had such a passion for people. When working at corporate headquarters in the Denver Tech Center, as long as Ed was at the helm, I consistently felt a strong compassion from the management towards those they were expected to lead. 

In my first 5 weeks of employment of J.D. Edwards we had 4 separate “Happy Hour Fridays”, where the management team would roll a beverage cart through their department starting around 3:00PM to serve the employees. All of the meeting rooms would have hors d’oeuvres enough to cover dinner for the evening. At 4:00PM employees were encouraged to finish up the work for their day and congregate around the workplace to be social with their cohorts. Once a month The leadership team would provide a lunch for the men’s and women’s prayer groups. This was about more than providing a meal. Ed McVaney would join us and ask that we pray for him and that he would truly be guided in wisdom, integrity, and courage as he led J.D. Edwards. Wednesday mornings a large spread of pastries, fruits, breads, and juices were available for all corporate employees to enjoy. This is just a few of examples of how J.D. Edwards was built as a great company, and why, to this day, many people look back to their days at J.D. Edwards with fondness and smiles upon their face. 

Hundreds of thousands of people and thousands of companies have been significantly impacted by Jack Thompson, Dan Gregory, Ed McVaney and many more great leaders that helped form this company that began 41 years ago. Countless lives have been changed, lessons have been learned in professional and leadership development, and business communities have been enriched through J.D. Edwards both as a company and a software product. 

Thank you Jack, Dan, and Ed for your care, compassion, courage, and vision!


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