Carol Jackson


Practicing business leadership since the age of 15

Carol Jackson is Chairman and CEO of HarbisonWalker International, a global manufacturer of world-class refractory products. She credits a lot of her success to her high school participation in Junior Achievement. She recalls the many events spent learning things like stock trading and creating new companies. “Junior Achievement inspired an early interest in business and helped me see the things that could be accomplished through industry,” says Carol. She also credits many mentors along the way.

The most rewarding aspect of her job is working with talented people who are passionate about the success of HarbisonWalker. “I’ve read many books about leadership, and a common thread runs through them: If you develop a strong team of people, who are very good at what they do, then your greatest responsibility as a leader is to break the tie when they disagree. Chances are, those are the really important decisions that must be made.”

Carol has been contributing to United Way her entire career. “Initially, I contributed because of peer pressure in a workplace campaign. But all it took was a small amount of education to appreciate that United Way is one of the more efficient ways to channel your philanthropic dollars. I served on the Allocations Committee and was able to directly influence which agencies got funding and why. I came to see that United Way was extremely judicious about how they spent people’s contributions. The money is put to very good use by agencies I helped choose years ago,” says Carol. As a Tocqueville member, she believes it is a responsibility to influence her own network and help spread the value and power of United Way.

In addition to United Way, Carol is involved with Junior Achievement. She is a longtime dog lover and supports Animal Friends and Paws for a Cause. She also serves on two public company boards, helping other business leaders achieve success. When she’s not giving back, she is on a journey to find more balance in her life… through art, music, cooking, and simply having fun.