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March 9, 2015

Seufferlein Sales Program: New name, even bigger results



Luke and Chuck Seufferlein
Luke (left) and Chuck Seufferlein

The Professional Sales Program is one of the College of Business offerings that makes our University stand out from others and serves as a magnet for some of the campus’ most dynamic students. Students evolve from having an academic understanding of marketing to thriving in a competitive marketplace. A recent major gift from the Seufferlein family has helped raise our capacity for delivering this signature program and maximizing results.

Chuck Seufferlein (’74) started on his impressive career trajectory in the commercial real estate industry right after graduating from the CSU Chico’s College of Business. He is currently the President of the Western Region of Newmark Cornish & Carey.  While earning his degree Mr. Seufferlein met his wife Sylvia (‘75) at Chico State. His son Luke (’09) also became a proud Wildcat and College of Business graduate. Mr. Seufferlein has given back to the University as a loyal supporter of our success. He has returned as a guest lecturer (who had a line of interested students waiting after class) and was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus in 2004.

This February, Mr. Seufferlein decided to take his philanthropic support to a new level to elevate a program that reflects his professional passions. The remarkable generosity of the Seufferlein family merits recognition that will last in perpetuity. As such, Dean Judith Hennessey is honored to announce that henceforth the Professional Sales Program will be known as the Seufferlein Sales Program.

The next step towards solidifying the Seufferlein Sales Program’s reputation as the premier sales program on the west coast is to invest in cutting edge infrastructure. This summer the Seufferlein gift will support renovations in Glenn Hall to create a brand new centralized sales lab with two role-play rooms, conference space and work “pods,” a program director’s office, reception space and a control room to manage the integrated video and computer technologies.

While the need for professional sales talent is on the rise, most university programs neglect teaching students this fundamental skill. In fact, 50 percent of college graduates, regardless of major, start their careers in a sales position. The College of Business has differentiated itself from others with a focus on sales, and we are considered the only “mature” program on the west coast by the University Sales Education Foundation.

The Sales Certificate Program is currently serving over 100 students from various academic majors across campus. That number is expected to double in the next five years with more faculty and dedicated program space. Students have the opportunity to earn a 21-credit certificate or choose from an “a la carte” selection of sales courses. The combination of coursework plus training through role-play means that graduates have a conceptual understanding of sales techniques and the street smarts to close a deal in the real world.

Beyond the classroom, students develop their skills in a sales lab and compete in both local and national sales competitions. The Western States Collegiate Sales Competition, hosted by our campus each spring (this year on April 23 to 24), is already at full capacity with 16 participating universities and 22 corporate sponsors.

There are many metrics to herald in the Seufferlein Sales Program, but some of the best evidence of its impacts is the demand for the graduates. Besides selling the strength of our program, our graduates expertly sell themselves.