RIC alum James White’s achievements span business, athletic arenas

Many times when looking at former Rhode Island College student-athletes, one tends to look at their years on campus as the be-all and end-all of their career. In reality, it is just a chapter as they each embark on their individual journey into their chosen profession after graduation.

From left to right: Tadashi Honkawa, former president of Hitachi High Technology and James White '74 pose with Yosuke Yamamoto, Hitachi director of procurement, and Yoshito Nejime, director of Hitachi DNA instruments.
As successful as alumnus James White ’74 was as a student-athlete, that was the just the start of a brilliant career that is still going strong, albeit some 3,000 miles away in California.

After graduating from Bristol High School, where he was selected into that institution’s Hall of Fame in 1997, White embarked on another HOF career as an Anchorman in the sports of soccer and baseball.

One of the truly great goalkeepers in RIC history, White posted 14 career shutouts and a solid 1.79 goals against average during his career. He co-captained the team to the program’s first-ever postseason berth as a senior in 1973 as the Anchormen took part in the NAIA District 32 Tournament. RIC recorded a 13-3 overall record, the best in school history at that time, as White allowed a mere 12 goals in 16 contests.

“We lost a lot of games during the 1972 season,” White recalled. “My teammates and I vowed the following season was not going to be the same! Steve Camargo, who was from Missouri, stayed in Rhode Island that summer and as co-captains of the ‘73 team, we got the entire fall squad to play together in a summer league. We organized the team and played through the summer and into the fall. We developed a winning strategy that summer. I learned many life lessons that year.”

White also excelled as a pitcher on the baseball team. As a junior in 1973, he set, and still holds, the RIC record for the lowest earned run average in a single season at 1.65. He is third all-time at RIC in career complete games (13) and fifth in ERA (3.19).

White received the John E. Hetherman Award in 1974, signifying him as RIC’s top male senior student-athlete, and was inducted into RIC’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. White's athletic career was also highlighted with invitations to tryouts with the Atlanta Braves and the R.I. Oceaneers of the American Soccer League. He continued to play several years later with the Oceaneers through their German American League affiliation in New York City.

“I learned several lessons from playing sports in college that I still use today,” White said. “The major ones are team building, being prepared at all levels, being competitive, developing a strategy and executing a plan to the best of your ability for the win. You have to learn lessons from past performances, correct them and move forward. Business life is also a game and you have to have fun with it.”

“RIC has continued to be a very influential part of my life. I want it to continue to be a part of my life and my family."
- James White
After leaving RIC and Rhode Island, White continued on a successful path in the business world.

He spent 10 years at Dixon Industries, a division of Bundy Corporation, leaving as the “Flow Controls Division” VP/National Sales Manager in 1982.

A year later, White moved to Cupertino, Calif., the heart of Silicon Valley. There he started JL White Technical Sales, Inc., a technical sales and marketing company specializing in advanced polymers and fluidic solutions for the high tech OEM’s in bio-tech, medical and semiconductor markets.

“As the director of sales, I had U.S. sales management responsibilities. I traveled quite frequently to the West Coast and saw that California living suited my active life style! Great weather paired with an exciting open and new business climate. I was able to play Senior League baseball up to 45 and sports year round. It was a calling to leave New England and spread my business wings and outlook on life. I have no regrets. Everyone should follow their dream and I encourage it!"

He sold his company to a venture capital firm (KRG Capital) to form a bio tech platform company (Scivex Inc.) in October 2001. As group president for Scivex, Inc., he contributed to their worldwide growth and success. He was instrumental in selling Scivex through Piper Jaffrey to IDEX Corporation three years later. IDEX is currently listed on the NYSE. After the successful sale of the company, White negotiated a buy-back with IDEX, Inc. to re-start the technical sales and marketing business.

Today, he is President of JL White LLC. White travels the world, consulting and selling advanced polymer materials and fluidic solutions to analytical and biotech customers such as Applied Bio Systems, Agilent, Hitachi, Life Technologies, Waters Inc. and Thermo Fisher etc.

Osamu Ohno, vice chairman of Hitachi China, and Tadashi Honkawa, former president of Hitachi High Technology, are pictured here with White.
“Realizing a dream and acting upon that dream is what I am most proud of in my professional life,” White said. “I was able to accomplish something I thought I never could. I had the courage and self-confidence to start a business in sales and marketing in California and successfully build that business around the world. I was then able to sell the business to a Fortune 1000 company and subsequently have grown my current business and company into an internationally known niche materials and fluidics solutions sales and marketing company.”

Today, White lives in Half Moon Bay, Calif., and is blessed with a great family. He has been married to his athletic and successful wife, Kate, for 21 years. Together they have two daughters: Darragh (16) and Tierney (10).

“RIC has continued to be a very influential part of my life. I want it to continue to be a part of my life and my family,” White said. “Athletic Director Don Tencher has been the motivator and conduit to the school and the athletic programs. He continues to reach out to me and my family on many occasions, which shows me the heart of the Anchormen family. He has created an environment that allows past athletes like me to want to come back to the school to see what a phenomenal improvement and impact has been made. What my family has given back to the school financially may never be enough to make up what RIC has given to me while in school and playing sports at RIC.”

Tencher was equal in praise for White: “Jim White is the consummate alumni student-athlete, but more importantly he is the classiest of acts. I hadn't been at RIC but a few months when Jim contacted me to communicate his support for my vision. His support has never waned, and though Jim is thousands of miles away physically, I know he is a phone call away if I need his advice. I am proud to call Jim a hall of fame friend!"

As for his future, White adds, “I think I am in the twilight of my business career, at least age wise. Success and growth for the company continue both nationally and internationally. Eventually, I want to ease back on the 'day to day' business agenda and spend more time with my family.”

“I will always be an Anchorman! Thanks RIC!”