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August 2016

Taylor Davis Earns Northwestern Mutual Top 75 Summer Internship Award

Taylor Davis

Marketing senior Taylor Davis, from Hebron, Ky., is well on his way to a stellar career. With December graduation just a few months away, his hard work over the summer has earned top honors with one of the nation's top insurance and investment firms - Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Northwestern Mutual was founded in 1857, has over $200 billion in assets, $27 billion in revenue and ranks 100 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list with 4.4 million clients.

Through Northwestern Mutual's internship program in their Lexington office, Davis earned his licensing in life, health, disability, annuities and more. Meeting with clients of all ages every day, he helps clients achieve their investment and life goals through full picture financial planning. By this fall, Davis plans to be Series 7 and 66 licensed, which means that he can directly manage investments for his clients.

It's no surprise that Davis is one of Northwestern Mutual's top 75 college interns in the south and qualified for Summer Camp - a special October training meet-up of all of the top college interns. Davis is already on track to achieve his next goal - Winter Camp. According to his Lexington supervisor, Madalyn Collins"...there are no signs of him slowing down in any way. His activity is spectacular for an intern, he's got great presence with clients."

Davis credits his work ethic to his parents, Jim and Jamie Davis, “I was raised by two entrepreneurial EKU alums who revert a lot of their success back to the little southern college town where big things happen."

Tom Martin, Executive Director of CEDET, said, "He worked for me last semester – Taylor was a motivated self-starter who needed little instruction or supervision. He always wanted to know what else he could be doing. And in those downtimes when he could be studying or taking selfies for Snapchat - Taylor was studying. Part of Taylor’s success hinges on the fact that he knows in order to succeed at whatever you want to accomplish in life, it takes effort – and he is in no short supply of that.

Davis first heard of the Northwestern Mutual opportunity from Dr. Karen Hood Hopkins' in a marketing class presentation from company Business Developer, Chris Brice. Dr. Hood said, "Chris Brice from the Louisville office of Northwestern Mutual visited our sales class and discussed leadership and working styles with the students. His presentation helped students really see themselves in successful sales roles. From that discussion, Taylor decided to give it a try as an intern, and everything clicked for him. It’s valuable to have professionals visit the classroom so that students gain that perspective."

Davis continues, “The thing that prepared me so well for this internship was the number of professors at EKU who had successful careers in elite business positions who were then able to teach me the processes, skills and strategies needed. People like Dr. Easterling, two decades in global supply chain, Dr. Hood, 15 years in executive roles, Dr. Boutin, 15 years in corporate marketing, and the list goes on. Most people would think those are good people to learn from throughout 4 years of college, but that was just last semester for me. The training through Northwestern Mutual's college program is world class and client focused. That's where I get my sales language from. My drive, ambition, and assertiveness, that comes from my Father, Jim. My ability to talk to people, my personality, and my wit, that comes from my Grandfather, James Davis. He passed away my sophomore year and as much as it still hurts, I enjoy seeing how his tactics of dealing with, relating to, and developing rapport with people, carry on in my business today."

Now, carving out his own path, Davis said, "I’m really proud to become a second generation EKU alum."

Hood-Hopkins Leads Workshop on Marketing to Millennials

Dr. Karen Hood Hopkins (photo credit: Jason Burt)

Dr. Karen Hood Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Marketing, knows what millennials want. Her expertise has garnered an invitation from Kentucky Farm Bureau to lead a workshop at their annual meeting on Sept 21st at Belterra Resort in Florence, Ind. For nearly one hundred years, Kentucky Farm Bureau has served as the "Voice of Kentucky Agriculture," representing the interests of agricultural producers and rural communities. Founded in 1919, KFB now has nearly 500,000 members and is one of the largest Farm Bureaus in the nation.

According to Hopkins, "Marketers are always looking at trends in the different market segments, especially how differences between generations affect the marketplace. Trends in technology, home ownership, employment, and other aspects of lifestyles are having a significant impact on the insurance and financial services markets. It's important for salespeople to understand not only their clients' lifestyle and decision making process, but also to understand their own orientation toward those decisions based on which generation they're from."

She continues, "For example, the baby boomers segment has a distinct set of attitudes and behaviors toward home ownership. As they were growing up, owning a home was an early life goal, and owning other things like cars, vacation homes and other recreational equipment was seen as a status symbol. It's much more common in today's sharing economy to rent or share those things in order to have the same experience without having the commitment or responsibility for them."

As quickly as baby boomers became a dominating factor in the workforce, they are now retiring in record numbers - creating a greater need for sales people to fill their shoes. Hopkins observes that scholars use research and teaching to engage with the business community. "It's through this kind of engagement that we stay in touch with current issues and concerns of practitioners. The ability to understand the millennial generation extends beyond reaching them as a target market for products and services. Companies are finding it challenging to find a sufficient number of millennials who are candidates for sales positions, for example, especially in the insurance and risk management segment."

Additionally, studies reveal that more than 60 percent of all students in business majors will enter the workforce in a sales or sales-related position. In response to this and industry demand, EKU's Department of Management, Marketing and International Business created a Certificate in Professional Sales. At the end of the spring semester 2017, the first students will graduate with the Certificate, which includes 12 hours of marketing and sales-specific coursework. According to Hopkins, "The Personal Selling course has increased its enrollment more than 50 percent in two years, and faculty are exploring ways to increase course offerings and create more skill development opportunities for students."

MMIB Welcomes New Faculty

l-r: Oh, Martin, King, and Cumiskey (not pictured: Allison)

The Department of Management, Marketing and International Business is pleased to welcome five new faculty for the 2016-17 academic year. These individuals possess impressive credentials and are excited to begin engaging School of Business students as the school year begins.

Dr. Lee Allison, Assistant Professor of Marketing - PhD, Oklahoma State University.

Teaching Interests:  Professional Selling, Sales Management, Strategic Managerial Marketing

Research interests:  Drivers of Brand Identification, Salesperson Brand Attachment, Gender and Obstacles to Growth:  Evidence from Emerging Markets, When Suppliers Take on Category Management for Small Retailers

Dr. Kristen King, Assistant Professor of Corporation Communication & Technology - DBA, Louisiana Tech University

Teaching interests:  Introduction to Business, Professional Communication, Technology, and Social Media

Research interests:  Knowledge Management, Social Networking, Developing Technical Skills

Dr. Tom Martin, Assistant Professor of Management - PhD, University of Kentucky

Teaching interests:  Entrepreneurship, Principles of Management

Research interests:  Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Solving Problems through Innovation

Dr. Jae-Young Oh, Assistant Professor of Management - PhD, University of Kentucky

Teaching interests:  Supply-Chain Management, Operations, Procurement

Research interests:  Multichannel Relationship Coordination, New Product Development in Global Supply Chains, Knowledge Management and Collaborations within Supply Chains

Kevin Cumiskey, Visiting Instructor of Marketing - MBA, Kansas State

Teaching interests:  Sports Marketing, Services Marketing, Principles of Marketing

EKU Alum Qualified and Competes in 2016 PGA Professional Championship

Martin with the PGA Professional Championship trophy

The summer of 2016 provided a first for the EKU PGA Golf Management Program. Alex Martin, a 2011 graduate, qualified for and competed in the 2016 PGA Professional Championship held at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y. 

The 49th PGA Professional Championship featured 312 PGA members from across the country and is the highlight of the tournament calendar for PGA Professionals. “I qualified for the PNC through the KPGA Section Championship at Olde Stone Country Club in Bowling Green, Ky., in September, 2015,” said Martin.  While his spot was not guaranteed, Martin was able to secure the first alternate spot for Kentucky after two days of solid play.


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