Center for Sales Excellence

The mission of the Center for Sales Excellence is to prepare students to have a sales mindset as adaptive problem-solvers and relationship builders.

With the collaboration of corporate partners, the center provides premier sales education, a linkage between the sales profession and academia, and a resource to companies and sales professionals. The Sales Education Foundation has named RMU to its Top Universities for Professional Sales Education 2021.

The Center for Sales Excellence in the School of Business at RMU is a stand-alone entity that focuses on initiatives such as:

  • Development and constant improvement of Sales Curriculum
  • Cultivating sales learning partner relationships       
  • Awarding student sales excellence 
  • Supporting student travel to sales competitions 
  • Developing industry supported student workshop series 
  • Conducting student sales simulations
  • Hosting sales symposiums and competitions

USCA             SEF-Sales-Icon


Sales Certificate Program

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The Sales Certificate program was developed to meet the needs of industry. It is a cutting edge 15 credit program designed to provide students with the necessary skill sets to be successful in a sales and/or sales management positions. The certificate program specifically exposes students to various aspects of sales terminology, the psychology behind sales and its impact on sales personnel, management of brands/categories of products, sales analytics, consultation and relationship building, and entrepreneurial thinking. This certificate is for anyone who wants to develop specialized knowledge and skills in sales and can provide 

There are additional employment opportunities when combined with many different majors.  Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for entry-level sales positions in a B2C or B2B industry equipped with the tools necessary for success.

Related News

Past Events

Celebration of Sales Week at RMU

Professional Selling is an exciting and dynamic field. The Center for Sales Excellence is happy to celebrate this field with the first annual Celebration of Sales Week, March 22-27, 2021.

The week’s virtual events include:

Tuesday, March 23: Shared Experiences:  What to Expect from Internships and Mentorships

  • Dave Miller (’02 RMU Grad), W.K. Merriman
  • Caitlyn Boring, AWS Mentee
  • Zackary Kutchma, AWS Mentee

Wednesday, March 24: Shared Professional Experiences: What We’ve Learned in Sales

  • Fred Byer- National Sales Manager Eastern US Gorilla Glue Company
  • Joe Mannix- National Sales Manager Western US Gorilla Glue Company
  • Al Pasquarelli- Direct Public Sector Waste Management (‘87 RMU Grad)

Saturday, March 27: Center for Sales Excellence Annual Collegiate Sales Competition, sponsored by PITT OHIO

Keaton JenningsReasons to Celebrate

Keaton Jennings

Keaton Jennings, a Marketing and Sales Certificate student represented RMU's sales program extraordinarily well during the 2021 WVU Sales Challenge on October 16, 2021. He placed 2nd out of 28 students who competed in the event.

Keaton was the best in his group in round one and advanced to round two as one of the four finalists.

We are very proud of Keaton. We also want to also thank and congratulate Dr. Gabriel Moreno who coached three RMU students in total and helped them prepare for the competition. His guidance and expertise were invaluable to our RMU participants. Thank you so much Dr. Moreno!

Madison Heidenreich

Madison Heidenreich

RMU Student Madison Heidenreich Wins Second Annual Sales Challenge

The Second Annual Sales Challenge, sponsored by the Center for Sales Excellence at Robert Morris University and PITT-OHIO was held on March 27, 2021

The Second Annual Sales Challenge was a one-day, two-round sales role-play competition open to undergraduate students from universities in the region. The schools that participated in the challenge were Robert Morris University, The University of Dayton, Slippery Rock University,  West Virginia University, and Old Dominion University. 

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Meet the Director

Jill KurpMeet Jill A. Kurp (Maher), Ph.D., Director of the Center for Sales Excellence 

Jill is a University Professor of Marketing and received her Ph.D. in marketing from Kent State University.  She worked in sales as a Sales Manager for Bank One, Akron, NA where she managed the sales process for over 60 bank branches for traditional retail bank products and investments.  She developed promotional sales programs and incentive packages and initiated marketing and advertising plans to promote market presence and increased sales. She implemented a sales investment program resulting in a 37.5% growth rate within the first eight months. She has experience conducting direct marketing and sales training courses.

Jill publishes consumer-oriented research in peer reviewed journals and presents her research at academic conferences both nationally and internationally.  As Director of the Sales Center, she oversees sales curriculum, manages industry partner outreach and organizes sales events. Her goal is to insure the integration of state-of-the-art sales curriculum with real-life experiences for in order to develop students both personally and professionally, while producing sales talent for industry partners and the community.

Meet the Faculty

The teaching faculty consists of the director and two other full-time faculty members.

James R Shock, DBA

Dr. Shock brings a wide variety of business experience to RMU. Early on in his marketing career, he was responsible for OEM sales of medical products. Throughout his marketing career, selling was an integral part of his everyday business, selling new product ideas to management, going through a selling situation with customers on new products, or as part of a team selling situation to large buyers.

His corporate experience was also global in nature, dealing with selling situations in other cultures. As part of his multi-cultural background, Dr. Shock lived in Switzerland for a few years and received his doctorate in business administration from the Grenoble Ḗcole de Management in Grenoble, France.

Dr. Shock currently teaches two courses as part of the Certificate in Sales: Managing and Selling of Brands, and Consultative Selling.

Gabriel Moreno, Ph.D.

Dr. Gabriel Moreno joins the faculty for the 2021-22 academic year. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering, MBA, and Ph.D. in Marketing from The University of Texas at El Paso. He worked in the high-tech industry in several functional areas, including operations, project management, and sales. His research focuses on salespeople’s behaviors, sales performance and efficiency, and marketing strategy in the business-to-business segment. He holds a secondary research interest that revolves around measurement theory, multivariate data analyses, and research methods. 

Advisory Board

The external advisory board has 14 members, a number of whom are alumni of the university.

Sharjeel Farooq
Regional Vice President
Oracle Cloud Sales

Kevin F. Bove
Financial Advisor
HB Retirement

Paul Trunzo
Senior VP Sales
Hussey Copper

Chris D. Manna
Account Executive West PA/NY
Konica Minolta Healthcare
DR/US Imaging

Charlie Foy
President/Sales Director
Hytorc Penn Ohio

Mike Cunningham
Customer Solutions Manager
Fastenal Co.

Scott King
District Manager; Western PA/Eastern OH

Samantha Blandina
FSOP Area Sales Manager
ABARTA Coca-Cola Beverages

Rachel Rzymek
Business Development Associate
AE Works

Natalie Miller
Group Talent Acquisition Manager
Enterprise Holdings

Michael J. Ceravolo
Chief Commercial Officer
Beemac Logistics, LLC

Gregory McDonald
Sales Director
Business Sales
FedEx Services

Mark Carlisle
Industry Marketing Manager – Construction Products
United States Steel Corporation

Dean Manna, Ph.D.
Robert Morris University, Retired
Former Director, RMU Center for Sales Excellence


Platinum Sponsor:  Deepest level of engagement with sales program and sales students. Exclusive programming partner. Limited to one.

Gold Sponsor:  A highly visible and attractive level of sponsorship with opportunities for sales program involvement and sales student interaction. Limited to two.

Silver Sponsor:  An attractive level of sponsorship with involvement in sales classes and sales student interaction. Limited to four.

Bronze Sponsor:  Sponsorship providing sales student interaction. Limited to eight.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Dr. Jill Kurp 412-397-6365.