Celebrating 50 years of Professional Sales Education
at Weber State University
In 1968, the Utah State Department of Higher Education asked Weber State College to start a two-year associate’s degree in Marketing, also called Distributive Education. Steven H. Eichmeier was hired to write a grant proposal to fund the new program, establish courses, prepare curriculum and recruit students. Classes began fall quarter 1968 with 15 students enrolled.
Spring quarter 1970, C. Daniel Litchford was hired as the second faculty member to teach alongside of Steven Eichmeier to accommodate the expanding program.
Carl Grunander entered the department as an assistant professor in 1979.
Professor Grunander, along with John Burkes, Lloyd Ott and Dan Litchford, together, grew and expanded the program to a bachelor’s degree in Technical Sales in 1985.The group consulted with industry and developed individual courses that were the foundation of the applied science program. Shortly there after, Professor Cooper-Larsen joined the team and helped implement a diverse curriculum.
The demand in the sales industry led to further expansion and the addition of professors Rick Dove, Vel Casler, Tim Border, and Jo Ellen Jonsson. Along with the founding faculty, all contributed to the curation of a world-class program in sales education.
The Alan E. Hall Center for Sales Excellence was formed from a generous endowment from Mr. Alan E. Hall and Aaron Hall was named director. Weber State Professional Sales was fully accredited with the University Sales Center Alliance and membership with the Sales Education Foundation. Additionally, a new name was approved by the Board of Regents and Technical Sales was officially renamed Professional Sales.
In 2014, further expansion led to the addition of more faculty members: Dr. Blake Nielson and Mikelle Barberi Weil as director. Innovations in sales technology curriculum saw the addition of Dr. Alex Lawrence and Professor Brock Adams.
Measurements in growth account for approximately 600+ declared sales majors and just under 200 annual graduates.
As Weber State University honors faculty members such as Dr. Steven Eichmeier as his career parallels the timeline of the historic Professional Sales Department, so do we honor the continued evolution of innovative sales curriculum and the students and graduates who span the world representing leadership in the practice of advanced selling.