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 sponsors, 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 2022.
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
Sales Certificate Program
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.
- Sales jobs are plentiful and lucrative. Read this article to learn more.
RMU Sales Challenge - March 23, 2024
Contact Jill Kurp, Director for more information.
Jill A. Kurp (Maher), Ph.D.
Chief Academic Outreach & Impact Officer
University Professor of Marketing
Director, Center for Sales Excellence
6001 University Blvd.
Moon Township, PA 15108
- Fall 2023 Events
- "Ask Me Anything" Lunch - October 31, 2023
Tuesday, October 31, 2023 | 12:30-1:45pm | Ferry Room
- Open House With Bunzl - Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Sales Center, Massey Hall
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Learn about career opportunities
Network with Zach Watchous
- "Ask Me Anything" Lunch - October 31, 2023
- Celebration of Sales Week - Spring 2023
Monday: March 20, 2023
Nicole Barkey, Sales Director Pitt Ohio, 12pm-1:30pm
“A Career in Logistics Sales: What you Need to Know
Tuesday: March 21, 2023
Luke Mohamed, Senior Director of Partnership Sales, Pittsburgh Penguins – 11am-12:30pm
Wednesday: March 22, 2023 Amy Baudino, Vice President, Portfolio Management, Fisher Scientific North America “Science to Sales” 11:45-1:30 John Jay #280
Wednesday: March 22, 2023
Skylar Riddle, CFP®, and Cory Phillips, CFP®, CRPC™, Fort Pitt Capital
“Consultative Selling in Financial and Professional Services Firms”
Ferry Room Massey Hall
Thursday: March 23, 2023
“WinS: Women in Sales: Why the Shoe Fits Panel Discussion and Luncheon” 12-2pm
Susan Kinser, Executive Revenue Enablement Manager, Net Health
Samantha Blandina, FSOP Area Sales Manager, ABARTA Coca-Cola
Christina Sepic, Senior Sales Development Representative, Roadrunner Recycling
Kara Delewski, Customer Solutions Consultant, Fastenal,
Mackenzie Varga, Executive Sales Leader Thermo Fisher Scientific,
Ginny Ennis, Group Car Sales Manager, Enterprise Holdings
Annual Sales Recognition Dinner 5:30pm - 8:00pm
(by invitation only)
Friday: March 24, 2023
NetHealth Breakfast with Scholarship Winners and Interns 8am-9am
Career 1:1 Meetings with Industry Partners
Saturday, March 25, 2023 8am-3pm Fourth Annual RMU Sales Challenge
Robert Morris University
Point Park University
West Virginia University
Our sales challenge is a one-day, two-round role-play competition with cash prizes for the top three students (1st place $1,500.0, 2nd place $1,000.0, and 3rd place $500.0). The competition is tournament-style and the top-scoring participants advance to the final round. Students assume the role of a salesperson interacting with a potential buyer to uncover the needs and offer an appropriate solution.
Registered coaches and students will receive a case that provides general information about the prospect, company (and individual), current business situation, and other relevant information for the "sales encounter."
This is an in-person competition, and it will be held at RMU on Saturday, March 25, For more information, contact Dr. Jill Kurp at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2022 Events
Thursday, February 17, 2022 - Join us for a company information session as we welcome Alicia Berruti, National Speaker at BombBomb. BombBomb is the #1 provider of video email software. Come learn about the technological tools necessary for virtual selling. The first 20 attendees will be gifted a hot cocoa bomb, courtesy of the Center for Sales Excellence. Learn more about BombBomb.
- Celebration of Sales Week - 2022
Celebration of Sales Week - 2022
- Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - Luncheon and Keynote Speaker - sales student and members of the Society of Marketing Professional Services will hear about prospecting and lead generation using the latest technologies with our very own Dr. Gabriel Moreno. Specifically his talk titled "Strategic Business Development: Leveraging Data and Technology to Generate Predictable Revenue Growth" will address how market volatility, shifts in customer buying behavior, and shortages of top talent and resources are some of the challenges impacting the AEC industry today, undermining the ability to predict performance in a highly competitive environment.Consistent business growth through an effective business development strategy is a vital success factor for firms in the AEC industry that rely on strong professional relationships to expand. In the digital era, there are numerous opportunities to work smarter and improve the results of our business development practices by leveraging available data and technology to create a strategy that ensures predictable revenue growth.
- Tuesday, March 22, 2022 (5:00pm-6:00pm): Jim Ettamarna, Partner at SBI Growth Advisory will present “How to Sell: Best Practices from World-class Closers” sponsored by Pi Sigma Epsilon
- Wednesday March 23, 2022 (5:00pm-6:00pm) "Pay Day or Pay Dirt?: What you Need to Know about Sales Compensation" Hear about the ins and outs of sales compensation and the art of negotiation with Mike Fuchs, Vice President Commercial, Americas Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Dan Quinn, Director of Sales Compensation, Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Thursday, March 24, 2022 (5:00pm-6:00pm) - Net Health, Center for Sales Excellence Platinum Sponsor will host a panel discussion, "Think Differently, Win Differently: A Panel on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Sales Industry." Panelists will explore topics related to race, gender, ally-ship, and advocacy. " Colonial Theatre 5-6pm.
- Thursday, March 24, 2022 - Celebration Dinner, honoring our top students, our sales center sponsors, and board of advisors.
- Saturday, March 26, 2022 - Third Annual Sales Challenge - multi-university sales competition, hosted by Net Health. For more information, contact Dr. Jill Kurp, Director, email@example.com
- Celebration of Sales Week - 2021
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
Reasons to Celebrate
Mackenna Dragojevich finishes 6th nationally at the National Collegiate Sports Sales Competition
Mackenna Dragojevich finishes 6th nationally at the National Collegiate Sports Sales Competition, standing out among 160+ students from 48 universities.
RMU at the University of Toledo's Invitational Sales Competition Feb 22-24, 2024
RMU Sales students, Mackenna Dragojevich, Chris Kowalski, and Aaron Frier proudly represented RMU at the University of Toledo's Invitational Sales Competition Feb 22-24, 2024.
Aaron Frier, who secured third place in the Junior Bronze division and overall, RMU placed 17th out of 39 universities, a commendable feat for our first competition entry.
2023 WVU Sales Competition
Kudos to our RMU sales team for their stellar performance in the 2023 WVU Sales Competition. Congratulations to Senior, Caleigh McGowan for advancing through phases one and two. Applause for Senior, Mackenna Dragojevich and Junior, John Betz for ranking in the top ten out of 48 students, and a special cheer for John’s award-winning LinkedIn Message in phase one. Your accomplishments make us very proud. Well done, team!
Congratulations to our Sales Graduates!
- Reasons To Celebrate 2022-2023
Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 RMU Center for Sales Excellence Challenge, sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific
1srt Place - Andrew Arrigo, RMU 2nd Place - Abby Mele, Duquesne 3rd Place - Candance Moses, RMU
Wishing Andrew Arrigo, (Senior Sales student) the best of luck in the 2023 NCSSM Sales Competition.
Congratulations to our first Net Health Scholarship Winners
Aaron Frier Natalie Pinchok Sarah Parry Lauren Chappell
- Reasons To Celebrate 2021-2022
Congratulations to Keaton Jennings, 2021-2022 Sales Student of the Year
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!
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.
Pi Sigma Epsilon
Congratulations to Pi Sigma Epsilon, national co-ed professional fraternity in sales and marketing. The RMU Chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon was recognized as the Marvin D. Loos Top New Chapter for 2022 at the National Convention in Minneapolis. Lauren Chappell, Jeffrey Remark, and Anthony Locante represented RMU. The top new chapter award recognizes outstanding development of a chapter in the areas of chapter operations, programming, recruitment, and communication during its charter year.
Congratulations to Jeffrey Remark, the RMU Pi Sigma Epsilon Chapter President competed in the Mutual of Omaha Interview Competition and finished in the top 15 at the National 2022 National Convention.
Congratulations to Lauren Chappell, rising Senior was named to the National Council of Pi Sigma Epsilon as the Collegiate Vice President, the highest-level PSE student position within the fraternity.
- Meet the Director
Meet 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.
Artemisia Apostolopoulou, Ph.D.
Artemisia Apostolopoulou is a University Professor in the Departments of Sport Management and Marketing at Robert Morris University. She holds a Ph.D. in Sport Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focuses on brand extension strategies of sport organizations, sport sponsorship, and the consumption and value of licensed products. Dr. Apostolopoulou’s work has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals including European Sport Management Quarterly, Journal of Brand Management, Journal of Marketing Communications and Sport Marketing Quarterly. She also served as research analyst for the NBA’s developmental league (2001-2003) and as consultant in the e-marketing department of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers (2005). In her Sport Marketing courses, Dr. Apostolopoulou teaches fundamentals of sport sales including most commonly used sales approaches and concepts like relationship marketing, benefit selling, and customer lifetime value. In addition, she coordinates an annual professional development and networking event for undergraduate Sport Management students that includes sales executives from sport properties from around the United States.
- Advisory Board
The external advisory board has 14 members, a number of whom are alumni of the university.
Regional Vice President
Oracle Cloud Sales
Kevin F. Bove
Senior VP Sales
Chris D. Manna
Account Executive West PA/NY
Konica Minolta Healthcare
Hytorc Penn Ohio
Customer Solutions Manager
District Manager; Western PA/Eastern OH
FSOP Area Sales Manager
ABARTA Coca-Cola Beverages
Business Development Associate
Group Talent Acquisition Manager
Michael J. Ceravolo
Chief Commercial Officer
Beemac Logistics, LLC
Industry Marketing Manager – Construction Products
United States Steel Corporation
Dean Manna, Ph.D.
Robert Morris University, Retired
Former Director, RMU Center for Sales Excellence
- Gold Plus Sponsor: All the benefits of a Gold Sponsor plus Sales Competition Sponsorship. 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 Plus Sponsor: All the benefits of a Bronze Sponsorship plus Special Event Sponsorship. Limited to one.
Bronze Sponsor: Sponsorship providing sales student interaction. Limited to eight.
Research and Sales Training Sponsorship:
For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Dr. Jill Kurp 412-397-6365.