My short bio:

My Story: I began my career in 1957 working for my father-in-law at Nordstrom, then a specialty shoe store in Seattle. I started off as a woman's shoe salesman. I didn't know much about selling, shoes, or women. I'm still learning on that last one.

Eventually, I worked my way up into senior leadership with the Nordstrom cousins Bruce, Jim, and John. We formed the core of the 3rd generation of leadership at Nordstrom and collectively served as Co-Presidents and then Co-Chairmen from 1971 to 1995. I also introduced the first Nordstrom Rack in 1973 and led that department until 1995.

In 1976, 8 members of the Nordstrom family, myself included, collectively purchased the Seahawks for 16 million dollars before selling it in 1988. As a sports fan, this was a lifelong dream to bring football to Seattle. To this day, I still go to every home game. Go Hawks!

When I was 45, I found Jesus at a marriage encounter conference with my wife at and committed my life to Him. My life has never been the same. Recently, I took part in filming a 3.5 minute "Centered" Story that captures some snapshots of my life. I'd love for you to take a look at my story and others at centered.org.

Centered.org is a just-launched website that aims to capture the short stories and life lessons of Jesus-centered leaders in the marketplace and equip everyday people to follow Jesus, love God, and love people through your work. In the coming months, Centered will be highlighting stories from Ed Moy - Former Director of the US Mint, David Beasley - Former Governor of South Carolina, and many many more.

If you'd like to stay connected with Centered, please:

Download the mobile app for iOS, Android, WP

Sign up for our newsletter

Like us on Facebook

If you are in the greater Seattle area and would like to meet with me in person, please join the Centered Meetup Group and RSVP to a free Boardroom Lunch at Nordstrom. If this event fills up, there will be additional opportunities to meet in the future as well, so please sign up regardless. Centered Meetups are opportunities for people of every age and background to gather in community around the person of Jesus. You do not need to be a person of faith or someone who is "practicing" to attend an event.

Eddie Wang, founder of centered.org, will be typing responses on my behalf. Please direct any Centered partnership inquiries, questions, or suggestions to [email protected].

My Proof:

Photos of Jack McMillan from Nordstrom

Centered Video

Jack McMillan with Reddit AMA Sign

Update 2:45pm PDT: You are welcome to continue asking questions for the duration of Wednesday 1/14. Questions will be answered every ~two hours from this point on.

Comments: 186 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

centered_dot_org19 karma

How did the Seahawk name come about? (someone asked this question and then deleted the comment. Jack's response was so intriguing I had to repost it still)

We had a long discussion among the ownership group, not only among the Nordstrom group, but among the minority owners, and my favorite name was the "Seattle Olympics." That didn't get very far...

Another side note is that our original name we selected as a group was the "Seattle Sockeyes" - a reference to Sockeye Salmon. We called that into the NFL in NY when Pete Rozelle was commissioner. There was a long silence back there because no one knew what a Sockeye was. They persuaded us to move on. That was the origination of the Seahawk name. It could've been good "Sockeyes."

ehhhceee15 karma

What are your thoughts regarding corporations having a public stance on religious beliefs? For example, Chick-Fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy publicly speaking out against gay marriage, and the related backlash against the company.

Corporations do have ethical values that they instill in their company to mesh with their mission/vision. Is including subtle religious overtones acceptable as well?

centered_dot_org35 karma

First off, I am not speaking on behalf of Nordstrom, the Seahawks, or any organization - only myself. When I was at Nordstrom, we typically did not want to get in the middle of a dispute that would cause stress to our customers. We're in the business of satisfying customers in retail. There's a personal level and a corporate level. I personally don't think interjecting messages like Chick-Fil-A has done it is appropriate for a business.

Eternally6512 karma

Have you done any research on Reddit demograhics? Are you familiar with Reddit yourself? Genuinely curious about this.

centered_dot_org8 karma

No, I am not. First time!

Eternally659 karma

[deleted]

centered_dot_org7 karma

Thanks Eternally65! Though it seems this post isn't quite catching on so far.

Eternally653 karma

[deleted]

centered_dot_org4 karma

Eddie speaking: Feel free to. It seems this account has hit it's cross-posting limit for the time being.

Eternally651 karma

Naw, I don't enjoy seeing drama like that in this sub, but I'll cross post to Seahawks if you haven't already.

centered_dot_org2 karma

I just posted to NFL, but feel free to do so with Seahawks.

Eternally652 karma

Done, and good luck.

centered_dot_org2 karma

Eddie: Scratch that. Won't let me post to NFL due to poor submissions, if you don't mind, would you be able to crosspost r/NFL?

JF42511 karma

Obviously, Seattle is not a very religious area of the world/country. What challenges do you believe this cultural attitude creates for your website and its goals?

Additionally, I believe that most employees don't want religion in their place of work. Am I misunderstanding your websites goals by assuming that's what you want to do? Do you believe managers/owners should invoke their religion among their employees?

Thanks for taking the time! Have a good day.

centered_dot_org8 karma

Jack: I think the northwest in terms of church attendance doesn't measure up to other areas of the country, but people in the northwest are good people and I don't think that presents problem per se, and a person of faith can prosper in this environment, just as much as he can in any other place in the country.

Eddie Writing: The idea isn't to bring "religion" into the workplace, but rather to lift up the name of Jesus in our everyday lives. Many churchgoers struggle with reconciling faith and work and having to spend 40+ hours a week in the office. Centered is seeking to equip these people to be followers of Jesus where they're at.

Flying_Tac011 karma

Hi Jack, thanks for doing this, I was wondering when you sold the Seahawks to Ken Behring, were you aware of the intentions to move the team to Anaheim?

centered_dot_org26 karma

No, that was our condition in selling the team was that we wanted a certain price and that he wouldn't move the team. Ken Behring, at the time he purchased the team, thought he had a superbowl-quality team. When that didn't happen, he started looking for alternatives. It was very disturbing for us when he threatened to move the team, but fortunately, the league stopped him from doing that.

Flying_Tac06 karma

And I think we're all happy the league did step in! Thanks for answering. You should also stop by /r/Seahawks sometime. I'm sure a lot of people would love hearing from someone so influential to the franchise.

centered_dot_org7 karma

We've crossposted on http://www.reddit.com/r/Seahawks/ already :)

mister_pjm9 karma

Are you, by any chance, not able to make it to the game this week and needing someone to give your tickets to? Go Hawks!

In all reality, as an experienced business person, if you could give advice to anyone in the beginning of their professional career, what would that advice be?

centered_dot_org3 karma

Thanks for the interest, but we'll be there! I wish you could join us. Advice: I think in the beginning of your career, you need to be available and enthusiastic about the purposes of the company and the people that work there. Look upon yourself more or else as an apprentice who needs to learn the culture and the ways and the principles and the basic beliefs of those that drive the company. The thing that that companies are looking for in new employees is an enthusiastic approach to learning the business, which all of us need to do at the beginning of our career.

mister_pjm2 karma

Wonderful. Thanks so much for your reply!

Cheer loud for me on Sunday. Go Hawks!

centered_dot_org3 karma

Will do - Go Hawks!

blumagic8 karma

What is you opinion on healthcare for players during and after their contracts in regard to accessibility and support?

centered_dot_org5 karma

I think it's clear that there needs to be more support. I think there's an understanding on the part of the NFL and the general public that more needs to be done to combat the violence a sport like football creates. I think it's only a matter of time before that agreement between player's needs and ownership are resolved. You can see the steps being taken towards concussions and serious injuries on the field today compared to just a few years ago.

Interestingly, when you talk to veteran, retired players, almost all of them say they would do it all over again - in spite of the many injuries that result from their career.

blumagic2 karma

Is there any kind of health information exchange for players to help collaborate on treatment methods and help them track previous injury when they transition to new teams?

centered_dot_org3 karma

I'm not very informed on that subject.

CHWK7 karma

Have you approached or does Russell Wilson do any work with Centered?

He, as you, have a great testimony.

centered_dot_org12 karma

Eddie writing: We have not approached Russell. He does have a remarkable testimony that's captured beautifully by our friends over at Making of a Champion - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC1iD8yzndM. By the way, if you have any ideas on how to get this AMA going, let me know. It seems to be an uphill challenge.

OneLargePho6 karma

Hi Jack,

Vancouverite here, looking forward to having the first Nordstrom in Canada opening up downtown!

My question is what strategies do you have in place to be successful here against Hudson's Bay? How will you differentiate yourself? How will you avoid the same mistakes that Target made when they crossed the border? Why was Vancouver chosen?

Personally I love shopping at Nordstrom in the US. How will you make me love shopping at Nordstrom here?

centered_dot_org3 karma

Those are good questions. We've been looking at Vancouver, BC for many decades. It's an obvious city that bears a lot of similarities to Seattle. The buying practices and the people that are going to be part of running the story are for the most part Canadians who are trained in our Seattle stores. The merchandise will be some the same, some different, but our emphasis will as always be on exceptional customer service. We've competed with department stores in every place across the US. Canada, based some on our experience in Calgary, we think could be a very strong market opportunity.

mattro365 karma

Is there still acrimony between you/the original ownership group and Kenny Easley?

centered_dot_org6 karma

Kenny Easley was a great player, and he was so determined to be great that he took way too much medication and destroyed his kidneys, and I think he felt there should've been some oversight by the team about that. From our standpoint, we weren't aware that was going on. It was an unfortunate end to his career for such a great player, and I think time has modified his feelings as represented by his raising the 12th man flag twice now over the years.

Novh5 karma

[deleted]

centered_dot_org8 karma

We had a general manager, a director of college personnel, a director of pro personnel, and scouts that scout the entire country. We (the owners) used to go to the draft, but did not make any football related recommendations. We got the team in 1974 (it was an expansion team), and our expansion draft took place in 1976, the year we played our first game in the fall of 1976. Tampa bay and Seattle were expansion teams. We both sent representatives to New York to the NFL HQ. We were given lists from all the other teams available. Each team had to make 3 players available from their roster. Once again, our football experts made the choices and we were just observing. We created our first roster out of this expansion draft that was supplemented by the college draft of 1976. The best draft picks I've been a part of are Kenny Easley, a safety from UCLA, who in 1984 became the defensive player of the year in the NFL, and Cortez Kennedy, a defensive lineman from Miami, who's now in the Hall of Fame.

Novh3 karma

[deleted]

centered_dot_org3 karma

They could put up any three they wanted, but in fact, they would be their most marginal players with the exception of some veteran players who did not have many years left to play. We had a number of veterans who were good players but only had a year or two left in their useful NFL career, so the obvious consequence of that is the team is not giong to do very well in it's first few years. Tampa Bay won no games, and we won two in our first year.

aedeos5 karma

Jack, I'm intrigued by your story and goals. While not a person of faith, my fiancée is. I've signed up for your meet up lunch and am looking forward to meeting you.

Thank you for all you've done for this city. It will truly an honor to be able to meet you.

Where do you sit for hawks games? What's the most meaningful achievement in life?

centered_dot_org4 karma

A number of us from the ownership group still have a box that we utilize with family and friends.

When you get to my stage in life, I would say your relationships with family and with Jesus are the most the most meaningful part of your life. It's harder to see earlier in life how important those relationships are for many of us. The journey for whatever your goals happen to be can be exciting, but at the end of the day your personal relationships count the most. My personal relationship with Jesus is one the of the most lasting and richest benefits of my life. I look upon this relationship as a place to be blessed, find relief and peace from the cares of an aging life - the result is a joyful outlook on life that brings me to each day with an enthusiasm that makes this one of the most fulfilling times of my life.

aedeos1 karma

I've found growing up that the most important thing to me is community. As I'm up in Skagit, it's a much smaller area, but has very unique divides that define it. Building those bridges through faith, community, entertainment, social endeavors, and what have you are all big goals of mine. Both the hawks and faith are big components of those actions in this area, some I'm incredibly thankful for your work.

centered_dot_org2 karma

That's wonderful. Pursuing community is something that can take place any place. And those are the values that last a lifetime. Bless you!

cubiclejockey4 karma

What do you think is the most important local Seattle issue currently in our city that needs to be addressed?

Also, do you read Seattlish.com?

centered_dot_org2 karma

I think the most important current issue is the traffic congestion as our city is going through a growth boom and our mass transit hasn't developed enough. We need to put a higher priority on moving people through our city and through the metropolitan Seattle streets.

I do not read Seattlish.com

CHWK3 karma

Is Centered Catholic focused or multi-/non-denominational?

centered_dot_org3 karma

Eddie Writing: It's Jesus-centered. We're not here to necessarily lay out our own catechism, but simply to point everything back to Jesus. John 5:39-40 speaks to how all scriptures testify to Jesus. John 17:3 speaks to eternal life as a relationship where you know the Father and the Son. This is not to say that doctrine isn't important, but for Centered specifically, we're not looking to make this a "you're in or you're out" endeavor but rather to simply lift up the name of Jesus and seek to follow Him as disciples.

From Jack: Catholics can love Jesus too.

tarantula133 karma

Seeing as you're still a lifelong hawks fan, do you have any regrets in selling the team? Being only 1 out of 8 owners, it must have been a hard collective decision to make.

centered_dot_org2 karma

It was definitely a hard decision to make. For one, we left a lot of money on the table compared to the price of NFL teams today. The reason we sold was because our main concern was the Nordstrom business, which has prospered in its own way. I would say that it's hard to put a monetary value on the time and attention we had to expend on the Seahawks as opposed to our primary business, Nordstrom.

After a number of years of ownership, it seemed the losses were more painful and the wins were less satisfying. A trip to the Superbowl would've solved all of that, but we were unable to do that in our time in ownership. It makes me feel tremendously proud to see what Paul Allen and his troops have done for the team and the city today.

CiscoCertified3 karma

I just want to say thank you to the Nordstrom family for everything that you do for the city of Seattle.

You have a sense of civic pride growing up in Seattle and you always want to give back to your community.

Thank you for continuing to make Seattle a world class city.

Sense I have to ask a question in here, what is the Nordstrom family and other wealthy Seattle families doing in this time of massive change to keep the same core values of our city in place? If those values that our city was brought on are not seen through, well the city we love will forever change.

Also visit us over in /r/Seahawks.

centered_dot_org3 karma

I can't speak for the other wealthy families. As part of the Nordstrom family speaking for myself, we all love Seattle and are committed to supporting various aspects of the community we hold dear, and I think that's a general feeling that most native Seattleites have. Some of the things that are coming about require some very careful handling and it's a subject that's too broad to generalize about. I know that each member of the Nordstrom is committed to doing all they can to keep Seattle the wonderful place it's been and hopefully always will be.

CHWK3 karma

Do you think it's possible to start making clothes in America again?

I know the wages (costs) went down from sending things overseas, but it doesn't seem that the prices did.

EDIT BTW, thanks for staying around so long.

centered_dot_org8 karma

The prices did go down for sending manufacturing overseas, and it's bounced from country to country as they start at a low price and as they come successful prices rise until they reach the next low wage country. It's gotten to the point where it can be competitive in certain categories and certain fashion expertises. Yes, there is an opportunity, but it's limited by our high cost of living, which by the way isn't growing much anymore - so the gap is closing as we speak.

PayMeNoAttention3 karma

Gentlemen, I have heard that many coaches have a harder time controlling the players in the NFL vs college. What did you and your coaches do to try to keep a handle on those players who may have had some over-inflated egos?

centered_dot_org5 karma

Remember we were an expansion team and we started with players that weren't stars at the time they came to Seattle for the most part. The thing that always impressed me about our players was that for the most part they were college graduates at that time. They were a very high quality, intelligent group of people. The common concept of dumb jock only applied to very few of the players I came to know. We didn't have the problem of over-inflated egos all too often. I don't have to name any names, but they've come and gone. That could be a problem with continued success. The fact that Superbowl winner often fail to win a playoff game the next year is in my mind evidence that the human condition is challenged by continued successes.

Noahi13 karma

Do you like the CLink better than the Kingdome?

centered_dot_org7 karma

I love the Kingdome. In fact, I still call the Clink the Kingdome because of habit, but the Clink is clearly a better facility for today's football world. My favorite part of the Kingdome is the excitement an enclosed Kingdom generates that senior citizens can remember, but that's been wonderfully captured in the outdoor establishment that the Clink is. The excitement and the sense of togetherness that's developed around the 12th man is very exciting, a kind of unforeseen part of how the Seahawks have evolved.

dcpcreddit3 karma

What was your religious belief before finding Jesus? How has your view of life changed since then?

Thanks for your time, I cannot wait to attend a Seahawk's home game.

centered_dot_org4 karma

My religious belief before I found Jesus was that I was a churchgoer. I went to the Presbyterian church. I went to church because my wife and I wanted our five children to have spiritual values, but I didn't get the personal relationship part of understanding what Jesus is all about. Once I had the personal connection, my whole view changed in terms of the spiritual needs for myself and my family and for pursuing through prayer and scripture and connecting with fellow believers to know and love and follow Jesus Christ.

dcpcreddit3 karma

Ah, very intriguing! Thank you for the response. Follow up question, do you see the following of Jesus himself important, or the community that surrounds it?

centered_dot_org3 karma

I think they're both important. (Jack was a bit confused by your question)

Eddie Writing: Following Jesus incorporates living in community. If you take a look at Matthew 12:46-50 and John 17:20-23, you can see how following Jesus leads you into community as a family. He calls us his brothers and sisters and his desire is for us to live and do the same with one another. John 17:20-23 is Jesus's prayer where He emphasizes that "they may all be one, even as we are one, so that the world may know that You sent Me." Oneness with one another and with Jesus is a natural byproduct of the true church. Good question!

dcpcreddit3 karma

No problem, thank you for the detailed response. I am simply agnostic myself and always intrigued by others and the religions they follow. Have a good rest of the day :)

centered_dot_org3 karma

You too, friend!

IPAs_and_rain2 karma

What is/was your favorite pizza in Seattle?

centered_dot_org2 karma

The ones with everything on it. The more, the better. I don't have a particular favorite pizza shop.

dlcjr17752 karma

Seeing as the value of NFL franchises has continued to skyrocket, do you regret selling your share?

centered_dot_org3 karma

Reposting Jack's Response: It was definitely a hard decision to make. For one, we left a lot of money on the table compared to the price of NFL teams today. The reason we sold was because our main concern was the Nordstrom business, which has prospered in its own way. I would say that it's hard to put a monetary value on the time and attention we had to expend on the Seahawks as opposed to our primary business, Nordstrom.

After a number of years of ownership, it seemed the losses were more painful and the wins were less satisfying. A trip to the Superbowl would've solved all of that, but we were unable to do that in our time in ownership. It makes me feel tremendously proud to see what Paul Allen and his troops have done for the team and the city today.

meowsif_stalin2 karma

Seahawks question. When it comes to team organization, what do y'all think you've done best to get the Seahawks where they are today?

centered_dot_org3 karma

We tried to hire the best people to fill the roles a professional football team needs and get out of their way and let them do their job to the best of their ability and monitor their results. These are the same principles we used at Nordstrom. Paul Allen follows the same philosophy and has gotten results via Pete Carroll and John Schneider in a way that we never did, so I'm extremely pleased with the job he's done as the owner of the Seahawks.

uberlad2 karma

[deleted]

centered_dot_org3 karma

We've had some good ones. He's a great friend to Marshawn Lynch. I would hesitate to say he's the best ever, but he's certainly very good. My best life advice is find something you're passionate about and pursue it. My passions are my family, sports, retail, and faith.

CHWK2 karma

Michael Robinson was equal with Mack Strong as the best Seattle Seahawk fullback ever. True or Truth?

centered_dot_org6 karma

Truth - though the fullback is used in such different ways in today's football as they were in the earlier days. They both certainly come to mind as two of the best. Nowadays, many NFL rosters don't even have a fullback.

slightlylessrandom2 karma

The Gates Foundation spends a lot of money internationally.

The Allen Foundation looks like it spends a mix internationally ($100M for Ebola) and in the PNW.

Living in Seattle (/Bainbridge), I see Nordstrom family name show up on a number of things locally - medical buildings, etc.

Do you have a preference for local over international (or vice versa) when it comes to spending on philanthropic goals?

centered_dot_org4 karma

Yes, I do. Number one: I like to give to things I'm involved in and have some role in - in that I know the details and the inner workings. Local is my number one priority, and as I mentioned earlier, spiritual and educational things are what I'm drawn to.

alent12342 karma

do you think the department store is going extinct in favor of smaller mall stores? i'm 40 and it's been years since i've been in one.

centered_dot_org2 karma

Well, the department stores which once dominated retailing (every city had a major department store) have all become Macy's. Nordstrom is a competitor but different in many respects. Our company is prospering even though bricks and mortar are threatened by the emergence of the internet. Our big thriving stores (what we call full-line stores) are doing the best and our smaller stores are the ones that tend to struggle more.

Brad30002 karma

As a prominent figure in retail, and also a Christian what are your thoughts on Walmart and the Walton family?

centered_dot_org1 karma

I think that Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, was one of the geniuses in retailing. The autobiography he wrote is something that everyone who's interested in retailing should read. Walmart has changed the face of retailing in America. They've put a lot of small mom and pop shops out of business and have accomplished some tremendous goals to become the largest retailer in the world. I have to respect that.

Their philosophy is to cut costs to the minimum and operate on an extremely low margin so that they can give value to the customer in their products. Those results have proven to be successful up to this point. Currently, they've had several down quarters from a profit standpoints and they're at a tipping point I believe. Where they go from here will be interesting to follow.

I don't necessarily criticize the way they compensate their employees because of the value they're seeking to pass on to their customers. It's hard to have it both ways.

gunny162 karma

Hi Jack - just curious on why did you guys sell the Seahawks?

Also, what church do you go to? I'm more curious about your testimony (I think I can read that on Change.org) and how the business-thinking change (if at all) after you met Christ.

Thanks for answering!

centered_dot_org3 karma

My wife and I are Catholic, and we go to a variety of Catholic parishes in the area. The Nordstrom management approach was always a team approach. My accepting Jesus gave me a different perspective on my role - the main point being, I was convinced to please God, rather than to please man - which had been more my focus for the first 44 years of my life. I sought to please God through my work by following the Golden Rule, being more open in my struggles with others, be guided in prayer and scripture for the direction that the Lord would like to see me take, and increased philanthropic work. I was on a number of boards including the American Cancer Society. I continue to support education and Jesus-related initiatives to this day. All that's blended with the personal relationships I've established over the years with all of our coworkers in the Nordstrom family.

If you'd like to hear more about my testimony, check out http://centered.org/stories/jack-mcmillan/. If you're in the area, feel free to join the meetup.com/centered-seattle community.

SanFranSeahawk2 karma

Who's gonna win this week: Patriots or Colts?

centered_dot_org2 karma

The Patriots have already pasted them once. They clobbered them in the first part of the season, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Andrew Luck is going to emerge as one of the best QBs in league history, and I'm tempted to pick the Colts, in fact, I will. Colts by a hair.

mateor2 karma

Matt Hasselbeck and Russel Wilson are in an ally each equipped with a knife. Who wins the fight?

centered_dot_org3 karma

Matt's bigger. Russel's younger. They're both tremendous people. I can't imagine them being in a knife fight. That'd be the last thing I could picture either of those two guys doing.

jackaltackle2 karma

I just want to say that I appreciate your doing this AMA. What a beautiful practical testimony...so simple and so profound, basically, a reminder to love the Lord your God, and love the people in your life. Thanks for sharing.

Do you have any biography recommendations that may inspire young business students about how to succeed in business while keeping a balance in life with family and faith? (I currently have 2 kids who are business majors)

centered_dot_org2 karma

Eddie speaking: Jack doesn't have any biography recommendations off the top of his head. Shameless plug for Centered as a millennial-friendly resource for your kids. I'm 23 years old, so it's designed by a millennial with that audience in mind. 3-5 minute videos and mobile friendly with apps for iOS, Android, and WP. There'll be quite a large variety of biographies in short format with 1-2 stories released per month.

I am a big reader, but haven't read many in terms of biographies of business leaders. I'll recommend a few work/faith integration books I've liked: Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller & Why Business Matters to God by Jeff Van Duzer.

JOE6192 karma

Favorite Seahawks uniforms of all time?

centered_dot_org3 karma

I have a fondness for the original Seahawks uniform: http://www.uni-watch.com/2014/02/01/seahawks-uniform-history-1976-to-present/

Nick19902 karma

Hiya Jack, Seattle native here and current UW student.

What would you say to a 24 year old version of yourself, if you could give yourself three pieces of advice to ensure the success you have earned today?

Thanks again for introducing the Rack, I gotta say, as a college student, the discounts really help.

centered_dot_org4 karma

1 - Choose some long-term goals for yourself.

2 - Find the desires of your heart, so that you can be passionate about what you're trying to achieve.

3 - Remember the personal relationship component in the long-term. Strong people skills and relationships are what separate leaders from the pack.

The Rack is the fastest growing part of our business today and it's a pleasure to see the growth and acceptance of that division in our company.

mnpeanut2 karma

How did your experience at Nordstrom translate to running the Seahawks?

centered_dot_org2 karma

We used the same philosophy at the Seahawks that we used at Nordstrom. We wanted to hire the best possible person, have them establish some goals, and give them the backing and authority to carry out the goals, and then monitor the results. That's really what owners need to do, and then stop at that point. I'd say it translated 100%.

As a fan, it's often more emotional while as a more traditional business owner it's easier to make rational decisions. You can see in the various professional franchises emotional decisions that owners make that are not helpful to the franchise.

CHWK2 karma

Do you wear a jersey to the game (or at home, work, or anytime) and if so which jersey?

If not might I suggest a custom McMillan #76.

centered_dot_org2 karma

I don't wear a jersey to the game. I wear my regular casual clothes. I'm a tremendous fan, but I don't choose to advertise it, just my own personal style.

Kanuck_Kyle2 karma

Approximately how rich are you? And can you teach me your ways?

centered_dot_org6 karma

I got lucky. My objective was never to get rich, and the Seahawks have been fun, and Nordstrom has been fun. I've enjoyed doing it, and it's been very fulfilling, and the money comes along. Look for something you can be passionate about, and your passion will carry you.

Deeger2 karma

What are some of the day-to-day requirements of an NFL owner that might not be obvious to the outsiders?

centered_dot_org2 karma

I think that the most obvious requirement is for an owner not to be completely in the limelight and allow the expertise of each of the components of the team to speak for the team. In other words, keep your comments in-house and not run over the ability of the executives to do their work in the public eye. Make them accountable for their results.

TL;DR: Keep your mouth shut on a day to day basis.

Eternally652 karma

When you get tired of answering questions, it's customary here to edit your top comment box saying you are done and, if you want, saying how you felt about the experience. That way, people who come here late don't think you are just avoiding their question.

Or you can say, "So long, and thanks for all the fish"?

centered_dot_org2 karma

Eddie: we're still answering - if there's more that come in, I'll call Jack periodically and transcribe his responses.

Eternally652 karma

Just thought I'd keep you up to speed on Reddiquette. It can take a while to learn. But I think you guys did a great job. Thanks!

centered_dot_org1 karma

Eddie: Thanks Eternally65 - you were incredibly helpful today. Appreciate it!

awkwardnubbings2 karma

Welcome Mr. McMillan! I work in business strategy (corporate expansion, sales engagement, etc.) and quite intermediate in my career. I've been in many industries and seen from a corporate operational level how businesses choose to take risks or stay in mediocrity. It's such a broad field. The only thing I've been able to generalize is that it's the audacious outliers that prevail. Do you have any advice on what it takes to be an outlier in business strategy for any industry? Do you only think big? Why is taking the time to consider all the factors like falling down a rabbit hole?

Stay warm and enjoy the sun today.

centered_dot_org3 karma

No, I think in terms of each individual customer that comes in our store. Our #1 goal is and has been customer service. The strategy for the most part flows from teh bottom. We have a strategic planning department, but the information flows up from the salesforce and buyers from the floor. Most of the key people come out of the merchandising division.

SanFranSeahawk2 karma

Do you think Russell Wilson will go down as the greatest QB to ever play? One of my boldest, and in the eyes of many, foolhardy predictions is that Russell Wilson will win 5 Super Bowls in his career. What do you think of that?

I actually have a few bets with my friends on this very prediction. I wagered $8,000 total on the 5 Super Bowls. That's how confident I am that he can achieve it.

centered_dot_org2 karma

I think Russell Wilson is an amazing quarterback as I think most Seattle fans do. He's perfect for the system that Pete Carroll operates. There are so many variables in an NFL career, but to say he'll be the greatest ever is definitely early. I personally think he's the most valuable quarterback in the NFL today, and given his durability and his smarts, could very easily take on that role as the most outstanding QB in the NFL of all time.

I hope you got some odds on that wager, but it's certainly possible in my eyes! I think if I'd made that bet, I'd want to get 5:1 odds at least.

j-aubry1 karma

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centered_dot_org2 karma

Not sure I understand that question. Could you elaborate?

j-aubry2 karma

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centered_dot_org3 karma

I've been to that suite many times. Lamar Hunt created it when he bought the Kansas City Chiefs. He's from Dallas, so it's a beautiful suite. Interestingly, he's rarely ever stayed there. He's gone now, but Lamar was an understated guy, and this suite was kind of a contrast to the way he was or the values he had. It was very impressive for guests such as ourselves to see the trappings they built into that stadium when they build that suite. I have fond memories of going to Kansas City and spending time with Lamar and his family.

FreshmanYo1 karma

Anychance I could work for you? Graduating Senior in Finance from top 50 school with 4.0 GPA

centered_dot_org2 karma

Well, yes, of course, those are great credentials. We hire individually at each of our stores unless you have a specific field like accounting, law, in which case you'd be best off to contact somebody in Seattle. The best approach is often just to go into the store and ask for the personnel department to start with.

FreshmanYo2 karma

Can I List you as an employee reference? I would love to work in corporate finance or as a financial analyst.

centered_dot_org3 karma

You are welcome to list me as a reference as someone who was encouraged by your audacity and academic excellence.

chesterjosiah1 karma

Hi Jack! What is your favorite memory of something that happened while you were at a Seahawks game?

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The first thing that comes to mind is a hit that Steve Largent made on Mike Harden, a Denver cornerback. Mike put a big hit on Steve, and Steve reversed the honors. It was perfect retribution for one of my all-time favorite players.

chesterjosiah3 karma

This? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKHKtkct5Hw

Wish I could have seen that in person! Awesome, thanks for responding!

Centered.org is interesting. Thanks for sharing info about it.

centered_dot_org4 karma

That's it! Thank you very much. I love reliving that.

LongHairedUnnamed1 karma

When the team got started, how important was marketing to Seattle hockey fans? Was there an active attempt to court Totems fans?

centered_dot_org2 karma

I don't know much about hockey. Sorry LongHairedUnnamed!

jackblack211 karma

So as a devout christian how do you feel about the whole "it is easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" thing?" When/Are you planning to give up all your worldly wealth and walk with Jesus?

centered_dot_org4 karma

I think the point of the camel walking through the needle touches on the call of worldly wealth which has a tendency to pull you away from godly values. As human beings, we're all drawn to that. It takes quite an effort to balance material wealth with spiritual growth.

I have no intention of giving up all my material wealth, but I give generously to the causes I support and I'm quite aware of the admonition from our Lord to give up all your worldly goods and follow Me. That exemplifies the tricky balance that brings about the camel/needle.

ShockandSlaw1 karma

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centered_dot_org2 karma

I think he was largely responsible for the Sonics leaving. He could've done a better job of keeping the team in Seattle.

savethekittens1 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA. Two Questions:

  1. If you could give a teenage version of yourself some advice, what would it be?
  2. Will you let the finance kid use you as an employee reference?

centered_dot_org3 karma

  1. Well, as a teenager, it's a time when you're trying to figure out who you are. It's a difficult period in most people's life, as it was in mine. I was mixed up about what I wanted to do and what I wanted to become. If I could do it over again, I would not be as rebellious as I happened to be. I wasted a lot of time resisting authority when I could've been planning a collegiate or career course for myself. I think in high school. It's best to know that most high school students are going through the same stuff you are. It's a time to point yourself in the right direction and get through all the anxiety of being a teenager.

If I was to do it again, I would look for someone to model myself after and someone to talk to about all teh things i had locked up inside of me. My mother helped me to some extent, but having someone outside the family to speak who understood what was out there in the world and the need for goals/direction in your life would'v been very helpful. Having a sense of direction and work about yourself is also important.

  1. Sure thing!

fisch091 karma

I think you can tell a lot about a person by there favorite verse or book in the Bible. (I like Sirach) what's your favorite part?

centered_dot_org1 karma

The Book of John because it's the words of Jesus. John in particular, has got many of the words of Jesus that impacted me time and time again. I keep going back for a sense of who He was and how I might be more like Him.

dstrobe1 karma

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centered_dot_org1 karma

No I do not.

NotSoSuperMario1 karma

What do you make of the whole Mars Hill debacle?

centered_dot_org1 karma

I think it's very unfortunate. I knew Mark when he first got started. He and his friends were all very eager and effective and full of the right spirit and success changed him. There were a lot of unfortunate consequences around that.

awwc1 karma

As a Seahawks fan for thirty years, and a man looking to redefine and rediscover his personal relationship with Jesus, I very much appreciate the time and effort you are taking to share.

What do you feel is the difference in your relationship with Jesus now at 45, compared to a younger Jack?

Go Hawks!

centered_dot_org0 karma

First off, I'm 83. But to answer the question, the difference between Jack at 45 was a man who was aspiring to great things for Nordstrom and myself. I was driven by a need to prove myself at that age. Meeting Christ changed my focus to knowing Him and pleasing Him and following Him. That's been the theme for the last 38 years of my life, and it's brought me lots of joy.

If you have the time, feel free to come join me at Nordstrom for lunch in a few weeks. http://www.meetup.com/Centered-Seattle/events/219831383/

Thetmeister051 karma

I (as well as many WA natives I'm sure) was hoping this would take off a bit more but I suppose considering the limited outreach of the subject matter outside the region, this is actually doing alright. I appreciate you taking the time to do this regardless. Grew up in Spanaway and am currently stationed in Norfolk, VA and since moving away I've come to realize how much I value my roots (even considering how much I hated the area for it's crappy weather and worse drivers)

The biggest question I have, is how much effort was required to own both an NFL team as well as a publicly owned, multi-million(billion? sorry... not terribly aware of things like business standings) dollar corporation? I get you didn't own either outright or by yourself, but in some ways, I tend to think that almost is MORE difficult once you get past a number of 3 "owners"

centered_dot_org2 karma

Well, our first priority was always the store. I remember at one point we were tearing up our Nordstrom credit card because the team wasn't doing well. it was difficult, and it wasn't as much the time it took up with the football team as much as all the emotional fans the baggage and in our own minds we would get our morale built up or torn up depending on how the team did.

cainebourne0 karma

How much do you think the packers are going to beat the Seahawks by ?

centered_dot_org1 karma

I don't think the Packers are going to be the Seahawks. it's very hard to beat us in the Seahawks in our stadium and I'd suspect we'd be about a touchdown winner.

SeattleJoel-4 karma

Do you have an extra ticket to Sunday's game or know someone who does?

centered_dot_org5 karma

In my experience over the years, if you're in the right place at the right time, there are tickets available. The right place being Century Link Field.