Published on February 26, 2024 by Sofia Paglioni  
sales summit spring 2024

Samford University Brock School of Business hosted its inaugural Sales Summit on Feb. 23. Following opening remarks from Dean Chad Carson, the half day summit provided an opportunity for aspiring sales professionals to learn more about various types of sales careers, industry trends and best practices.

The summit offered an in-depth perspective into a salesperson’s role within each industry and offered opportunities for one-on-one connection with alumni and professionals in different areas of sales. Students learned about industry specific opportunities and challenges as well as selling and networking strategies. Various Brock School of Business alumni, industry leaders and professionals attended and offered key insights through individual presentations about their careers and question and answer segments.

Speakers included:

  • Stephen Stroud ’89, AbbVie Oncology, Medical Sales
  • Bear Burnett ’08, The Canvass Group, Commercial Real Estate Sales
  • Keith Kirkland ’88, Growth Lending LLC, International Lending
  • Caroline Jordan ’17, HighFive Healthcare, Health Care Sales
  • Jonathan McKinney, Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, Hospitality and Hotel Sales
  • Aubrey Kirkland ’22, Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, Hospitality and Hotel Sales
  • Michael O’Neal ’93, State Farm, Insurance Sales
  • Joe Ross Merritt ’07, Jemison Metals, Metals Industry Sales
  • Bryan Smith ’23, Strategic Financial Partners, Financial Planning and Sales
  • Susan Hamm ’11, Puma Biotechnology, Oncology Clinical Sales
  • Jake Wilks ’16, Firefly Recovery, Medical Athletic Recovery Devices

Clif Eason, Brock School of Business associate professor of marketing and coordinator of the professional sales concentration, commented on the summit, “We're blessed to have so many alumni in sales roles who can share their wisdom and mentor our professional sales students as they prepare for the transition from the classroom to the workforce. Our students are learning about careers in sales, but they're also getting advice for personal and professional success that is relevant to any career.”

Through active engagement in the summit, business students sharpened their communication skills, developed professional confidence and cultivated a robust network that can support their career growth and development in the energetic field of sales.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.