Sales Advisory Board

Board members advise faculty on current issues in professional selling, assist in developing a plan for expanding employer partnerships, provide feedback on student preparation, and guide the design of employer outreach programs, as well as support student sales career education programming.


Board Chair


  • Tim Austin
  • Tim Austin

    Vice President, North American Sales
    Park Place Technologies

    Tim Austin is a sales and marketing professional with more than 25 years of experience. Mr. Austin has been involved with the sales program since its inception and graduated from Kent State University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in business management. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University in 2000.


Board Members


  • Member not pictured
  • Steve Beall

    VP - Sales & Marketing
    Landmark Plastic

     


  • Member not pictured
  • Chris Bernard

    CEO
    Dock 29

    Professional Activities and Memberships:

    • eMarketing Association
    • Ad Age
    • Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)
    • American Advertising Federation (AAF)

  • Kimberly Embick
  • Kimberly Embick

    University Recruiter
    Gartner

    Ms. Embick serves as a recruiter for the world’s leading research and advisory firm and has held roles in client services as well as global learning and development. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and holds a Master of Science in Management degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is passionate about offering career coaching and helping students learn about professional sales. 

     


  • Sam Hartsough
  • Sam Hartsough

    Organizational Development Specialist, Performance Coatings Group
    The Sherwin-Williams Company

    Ms. Hartsough is responsible for interviewing, recruiting, and hiring for all Early Talent Programs in the Performance Coatings Group, a division of Sherwin-Williams. She also recruits technical students for Research and Development internships and full-time roles. Ms. Hartsough obtained a bachelor’s degree, double majoring in sociology and psychology, and a master’s degree in sociology from Ohio University.


  • Eric Jones
  • Eric Jones

    Senior University Relations Manager
    Rock Central

    Mr. Jones is part of the University Relations team that focuses on university partnerships and recruiting the best talent from campus to Rocket Companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University.


  • Rachel Higgins
  • Rachel E. Higgins

    Director of Recruitment
    Northwestern Mutual 

    Ms. Higgins has held recruiting and human resources roles as well as serving as a staffing manager. She spent five years in recruiting sales, earning a million-dollar achievement and managing her own sales division. She graduated from Kent State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in business management and minor in human resource management.


  • Randall Keller
  • Randall J. Keller

    Lifetime Financial Growth

    Mr. Keller has been a financial advisor for more than a decade. He is a longtime entrepreneur, and in addition to his financial advising practice, he owns several other businesses and real estate investment properties. In 2008, he graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in business management.


  • Autumn Mickens
  • Autumn Mickens

    Talent Acquisition Specialist - Northern Ohio 

    Enterprise Holdings

    Ms. Mickens helps grow and maintain businesses and has several years of sales, marketing, recruiting, human resources, and management experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University.


  • Jennifer Nelli
  • Jennifer Nelli

    Early Talent Recruiter
    The Sherwin-Williams Company

    Ms. Nelli joined Sherwin-Williams in 2021 and currently recruits for the entry-level Management and Sales Training Program and Summer Management and Sales Internship Program for Early Talent. Prior to that, she spent five years with Eaton Corporation in interview scheduling and onboarding. She graduated from The Ohio State University where she studied marketing.

  • Forrest Palmer
  • Forrest Palmer

    City Manager, Cleveland South
    The Sherwin-Williams Company

    Forrest Palmer is a city manager for Sherwin Williams, covering the Akron and Youngstown markets. He is responsible for leading and developing employees in twenty stores to help reach sales and profit goals. Mr. Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Youngstown State University.


  • Board member not pictured
  • Molly Phelps

    Administration & Training
    Fastenal

    Ms. Phelps sources and selects outstanding talent for her organization. She graduated from Kent State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in managerial marketing. 

     


  • Jacquitta Pool
  • Jacquitta Pool

    Senior Campus Recruiter
    Liberty Mutual

    As Senior Campus Recruiter, Jacquitta Pool hires sales interns and entry-level candidates while building strategic relationships and brand recognition at universities across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. She also holds a leadership position within one of Liberty Mutual’s Employee Resource Groups, providing strategy on local programming that aligns with the company’s D&I framework. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan in May 2010 and began her recruiting career shortly after in Chicago, IL where she still resides.


  • Tara Seese
  • Tara Seese

    HCM Account Executive
    Paylocity

    Tara Seese is a major markets account executive with experience in business development, talent management, and strategic sales. She partners with organizations on human capital management, helping to streamline payroll and HR processes and providing expertise in attracting and retaining talent. Mrs. Seese has a bachelor of science in advertising with a minor in marketing from Kent State University. She was a founding father of Pi Sigma Epsilon at Kent State and piloted the first Advanced Selling class in her last semester. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Kent State Sales Advisory Board.


  • Board member is not pictured here.
  • Josh Smith

    Tom James Company 

    Mr. Smith graduated from Kent State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in business management. His career with custom clothing provider Tom James has spanned more than two decades.

  • Board member is not pictured here.
  • Andrew Trotter

    District Manager
    Fastenal

    Andrew Trotter is a District Manager for Fastenal Company covering the greater Northeast, Ohio market.  Andrew has worked for Fastenal for 15 years after starting in a part time sales support role.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a major in Communication and a minor in both Business and Economics.

  • Board member is not pictured here.
  • Darren Wolford

    Liberty Mutal Insurance
     

 

 


KSU Faculty & Staff


  • Ellen Daniels
  • Ellen Daniels 

    Sales Program Coordinator
    Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship


  • Dr. Groening
  • Christopher Groening, PH.D.

    Chair
    Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship


  • Kelly Blay
  •  Kelly Blay

    Lecturer
    Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship


  • Tom Hoffman
  • Tom Hoffman

    Senior Director of Advancement
    Kent State University College of Business Administration


  • Member not pictured
  • Eric Kennerk

    Adjunct Professor 
    Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship


  • Don Thacker
  • Don Thacker

    Senior Lecturer
    Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship



Interested in joining our Sales Advisory Board?

Please contact Ellen Daniels: edaniels@kent.edu