Q. Describe your background (where you grew up, college, etc.):
I grew up in a little town in Roger Mills County that had 36 people in it (there are about 14 people there today). My parents owned a little grocery store that was built in 1927 and it was one of those old timey buildings where the house was built onto the store, so I literally grew up in marketing. Because the house I grew up in was attached to the store, our customers were like family to us. In fact, growing up, I knew what a customer was before I knew what a cartoon was.
I went to college at Oklahoma State University.
Q. What about marketing piqued your interest?
I was always very entrepreneurial. I started my own auction business when I was 17 and got my real estate license by age 19. I always tried to network and to get as many mentors in business as possible, and the advice I got over and over again was to study marketing because the greatest idea in the world won’t go anywhere without marketing.
Q. What is your current job and what do you enjoy most about it?
I am a professor of marketing at Oklahoma Christian University. I most enjoy passing along the lessons I was taught by my marketing mentors to the next generation of marketers. I also really like being able to have so many marketers I look up to, most of whom I met through the AMA, come to my classes and pass along their wisdom directly to the students. I also speak and consult, and I do a lot of charity auctions, and those activities are fun because it usually involves getting to bring my family along.
Q. How long have you been a member of AMA and why did you join?
I attended my first meeting in October of 1994 (this month marks my 25th anniversary!) and I joined in March of 1995. What led me to join, and the reason I have yet to miss a meeting since first walking through the door that first time, is because there are always so many good ideas to be found for such a small investment and I don’t want to miss a single one of them. I’ve had to arrive late and leave early many times, but it’s always worth it to be there.
Another thing that got me to join was just the sense of community that was always there. I had the privilege of serving on the board with great marketers like Tim Berney and Debbie Dryden whose businesses were really accelerating and those relationships might never have been possible without the AMA.
Q. Why do you feel it’s important to stay up to date with new practices and tactics in the marketing world and how does it relate to your job?
Because the whirlwind of the pace of change in marketing approaches is just accelerating. To that I’d add, though, the basics of marketing are still valid and will be 100 years from now.
Q. What is the best piece of business advice that you’ve ever been given?
“The best way to get more business is to always do good business.”
Q. Do you have a favorite marketing publication, podcast, conference, etc. that you would recommend?
I still love the original 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout. Too many marketers I look up to still say that’s their favorite book, too.
Q. You’re a former AMA president. What did you take away from that experience? Any accomplishments you’re particularly proud of?
That experience was the best leadership and management experience I ever had, and I was only in my twenties at the time. As I mentioned earlier, what really added to the experience was the caliber of professionals I got to serve with on the board. Just getting to work with them each month was some incredible quality time. As a board we’d set a goal of winning a chapter excellence award and I was fortunate enough to be the president when we did. There have been a lot of chapter awards earned since then but we were the first. I am very proud to have been a part of that.
Q. You’ve written a book, “The Great Game of Networking”, which our members receive after joining. If you could pick one message from it to share with others, what would that be?
If you make a friend today, you’ll have a customer tomorrow.
Q. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I met my wife through the AMAOKC.