Chair, Department of Marketing
Welcome to Iowa State University’s Marketing Department. Our group is fully committed to creating and sharing knowledge in the marketing field. We create knowledge by conducting cutting edge empirical research in areas such as 1) marketing strategy, 2) consumer behavior, 3) customer relationship marketing, and 4) sales, and we share that knowledge in a large array of courses at undergraduate and graduate (professional master and doctoral) levels. Our department teaches dozens of courses and regularly has the largest number of majors in the Ivy College of Business, and several of our group are also highly involved in assisting companies and organizations in Iowa and elsewhere solve important marketing problems and achieve marketing successes. In addition, our PhD Program courses and advising help to train marketing researchers and professors that extend the Iowa State tradition for excellence in research and teaching at other institutions.
Some areas of distinction for our marketing group include:
- High quality undergraduate sales instructions that leads a large number of Iowa and Midwest companies to recruit on campus.
- Faculty research and leadership in the Transformative Consumer Research initiative of the Association for Consumer Research.
- Commitment to diversity and inclusivity in research, teaching, and mentoring that has led to national and international recognition of group members.
- Research excellence awards from American Marketing Association, Academy of Marketing Science, Association for Consumer Research, and other national and international organizations.
Marketing affects every aspect of a company. Decisions include issues related to product design, pricing and market analysis, promotional planning, and selling strategies. Marketing students get real-world experience and have multiple opportunities to work with business professionals.
The marketing PhD program at ISU prepares a select group of students for their research and teaching careers in academia. Our program aspires to train students so that they are placed in research-oriented universities in the U.S. and abroad.
Marketing Department Executive Advisory Council
Ryan Benbo, Sr. Director of Marketing, Vermeer
Ryan Benbo is senior director of marketing for Vermeer Corporation, an agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturer based in Pella, Iowa. In this role, he has the opportunity to combine his passion for branding and storytelling with his love of farm and construction equipment.
He leads a global marketing and training team focused on equipping dealers with the expertise they need to support customers and helping the company share how its equipment makes a real impact on businesses, communities and families all around the world.
Ryan joined Vermeer in 2015 after serving as a senior vice president in the Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading public relations and branding firms. In his more than 12 years, he led strategic brand, marketing and communication initiatives for a variety of global clients in the defense, outdoor powersports, construction equipment and health care industries. He began his career with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture serving in a variety of communications roles. He holds a BA in Communications, as well as a Master’s in Theological studies from the University of Northwestern St. Paul.
Jerald Banwart, Executive Vice President of Retail Fulfillment, Wells Fargo
Jerald Banwart is the Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Fulfillment for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, one of the nation’s leading originators of residential mortgages. He is responsible for the overall direction, operational strategy, performance, and leadership for the Fulfillment teams supporting Retail and Home Equity.
Prior to that, Banwart led numerous Wells Fargo Home Lending Servicing organizations, including Servicing Operational Risk, Customer Operations, 3rd Party Vendor Management, and the oversight of operational aspects of regulatory programs and requirements.
Banwart joined Wells Fargo in 1999 and was previously with Neodata, the direct marketing services division of Electronic Data Systems (EDS), where he held roles of increasing responsibility, including general manager and director of client relations.
Banwart earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and his Master of Business Administration degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Pat Corbett, Sr. Vice President of Operations, Athene USA
She has responsibility for the new business, contracting and compensation functions for annuities. In addition, she oversees relationship management from an operations perspective with selected key distribution partners (KDPs).
She joined the company in December 2010 and has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry.
Prior to coming to Athene USA, Pat spent 23 years with ING where she held numerous leadership roles in finance and operations. She served as treasurer, director of annuity new business and director of business relationship management.
She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Iowa State University and is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
John Heller, Product Marketing, Vertex Software, LLC
Randy Hendricks, Senior Managing Director, Huron Consulting Group
Randy Hendricks is a highly accomplished and respected, C-Suite Executive with 30+ years of success in business leadership, IT Services and enterprise software. Randy is currently a Senior Managing Director at Huron Consulting Group, responsible for enhancing Huron’s capabilities for their Higher Education practice’s full range of management consulting and technology service offerings, delivering SaaS-based solutions, team mentorship and working with a set of strategic clients. Prior to joining Huron, Randy was the Education and Government Division President at Workday, reporting to the Founder and Chairman. At Workday, his responsibilities for the division included product strategy, sales leadership, professional services and alliances for human capital management, financial management, and student applications. Before Workday, Randy was a Managing Partner and General Manager within the Global Business Services business unit at IBM. He held senior leadership roles within IBM services, including General Manager, Public Sector and Healthcare for North America; General Manager, Southwest Europe, based in Madrid, Spain; and General Manager, Japan, based in Tokyo.
Prior to that, Randy held senior leadership positions at Unisys and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), where he was focused on leading business units that provided consulting, systems integration and outsourcing for clients globally.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Curvature, a global IT leader in independent, multi-vendor support, IT services and data center equipment. He has also served on the board of directors for other companies such as Sungard Availability Services.
Randy received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Administration and minor in Computer Science from Iowa State University.
Alician Heun, Director of Communications, Landus Cooperative
Alicia Heun is Director of Communications with Landus Cooperative, the largest farmer-owned cooperative in the state of Iowa. In her currently role, Alicia advocates on behalf of the cooperative’s 7,000 farmer-members to create marketing, communications and online tools and resources to assist their operations. Recently, the company launched a new customer portal and app resulting in an 400% increase in users as compared to the previous tool. She oversees a team responsible for internal communications, crisis communications, member relations, graphic design, fulfillment and social media strategy.
Prior to joining Landus Cooperative, Alicia worked for Renewable Energy Group in corporate and legislative affairs, internal communications and sales and marketing.
Alicia earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in in journalism and mass communications and public service and administration in agriculture from Iowa State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University. She also earned her Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America.
Jay Larsen, Vice President of P & C Distribution Sales Solutions, Nationwide
Jay joined Nationwide Insurance in 1997 and spent the first decade of his career in the commercial and farm underwriting disciplines in the Western Regional Operations. He has also held a variety of sales leadership roles including the Southeastern Region as well as serving as the Vice President of Sales for Nationwide’s independent channel operations. Jay played a key role in the review and acquisition of Harleysville Insurance and subsequently became Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer of Harleysville Insurance during its integration into Nationwide. Jay has also served as the Regional Vice President of the Southeastern Regional Office and lead the combined Midwest P & C operations. Jay now leads the property and casualty sales and distribution design strategies for Nationwide.
Jay holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University of Sacramento, and he carries the Associates in Loss Control Management ALCM and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters CPCU designations.
When not at work, Jay is active in the community serving on boards for the Youth Emergency Services & Shelter of Iowa (YESS), the Iowa State University Marketing Advisory Council, and the Greater Des Moines Partnership financial services committee. He and his wife Caroline are hometown sweethearts from the Napa Valley and they enjoy spending time with their son Raymond who attends college at Iowa State University. Go Cyclones!
Kevin Morris, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Retirement and Income Solutions, Principal Financial Group
Kevin J. Morris is Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Retirement and Income Solutions for Principal Financial Group®. Principal is a Fortune 500 company that helps individuals and business owners with best in class retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management services.
Morris joined the company in 1992 and served in a variety of roles across the globe supporting the retirement business. In 2000, he became a project manager at Principal International in Adelaide, Australia. Morris later held roles in product development and marketing, and in 2008 became the head of marketing for Principal Funds and was based in El Dorado Hills, Calif. Morris returned to Des Moines in 2015 and assumed his position of vice president and chief marketing officer Full-Service Accumulation – Retirement and Investor Services. He assumed his current position in January 2018.
A native of Des Moines, Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Kevin is a member of the Principal Financial Advisors Board since 2015.
Scott Mortimer, Vice President and Group Publisher, Meredith Corporation
Scott Mortimer is a Vice President & Group Publisher at Meredith Corporation where he is responsible for the overall strategic direction and corporate financial contributions of Meredith Agrimedia, the Meredith Special Interest Media (SIM) portfolio and the WOOD brand.
All of the businesses under Mortimer’s leadership have deeply committed audiences and strong consumer connections. They are all rooted in a passion for content and an enthusiasm for their hobbies and businesses. In 2019 the Meredith SIM portfolio will sell over 20 million magazines at retail. The group’s other core products include digital, mobile, market research, custom publishing, e-marketing, television, database, radio and events.
Mortimer joined Meredith in 1992 as a Sales Executive for Successful Farming magazine. He was named National Sales Manager in 2001 and promoted to Publisher in 2006. He assumed oversight of the SIM portfolio in 2015.
A native of Dallas Center, Iowa, Mortimer is a 1987 graduate of Iowa State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business. He served on the Iowa 4-H Foundation board of directors, including a year as president. Mortimer was named Iowa State University’s Agricultural Business Club Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. He currently serves on the National FFA Foundation Sponsors board.
Brad Olson, Vice President, Two Rivers MarketingWith more than 25 years as a marketing professional, Brad brings a wide variety of marketing expertise to Two Rivers Marketing clients and has supported many leading global brands.
As vice president, Brad leads an agency of talented marketing professionals from a variety of disciplines. His primary focus is on growing our agency by serving, supporting, and developing Two Rivers Marketing’s talented associates so we continue to implement creative, market-driven strategies that drive business for our clients. With 18 years at Two Rivers Marketing, Brad has held leadership positions as an account group leader, executive director, and vice president.
Two Rivers Marketing is a leading full service, integrated business-to-business agency with a primary focus of supporting the marketing and communication efforts for companies that build, power, fuel, and feed the modern world.
Brad graduated from Iowa State University School of Design with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree in 1991.
Jon Scharingson (Chairperson), Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, Renewable Energy Group
Jon Scharingson is the Executive Director, Sales and Marketing for Renewable Energy Group (REG), REG is the nation’s leading producer and marketer of biodiesel selling over 500 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in 2018.
As Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, Scharingson oversees the company’s marketing activities and is responsible for business development with fleets in the public and private sectors.
Prior to joining REG, Mr. Scharingson spent 17 years in the seeds, crop protection and the agriculture biotechnology industries, having worked for Imperial Chemical Industries, AstraZeneca and Syngenta. He held several senior management roles in business strategy, business development and marketing.
Mr. Scharingson has a BBA in Management and an MBA in Marketing from Iowa State University.
Stuart Taylor, Vice President of Business Insights and Analytics, Kum & Go
After spending five years in data products and consulting in the electric and gas utility industries, Stuart moved to Nielsen where he spent over 20 years in various roles including custom analytics, client management and analytical application development. These roles allowed Stuart and his family to live in different parts of the US and to serve client needs around the world. He did leave Nielsen for a stint to lead the Insights department for Kimberly-Clark’s North Atlantic Consumer Products division, a role that oversaw consumer research, shopper insights, marketplace analytics and various analytical capabilities, including ground-breaking work in virtual reality research for consumer products, specifically in the shopper insights practice. Stuart now leads the Business Insights and Analytics group for Kum & Go, a privately held convenience chain based in Des Moines, IA. In this role Stuart oversees custom research, business analytics and analytics specific to Kum & Go’s real estate strategies, in addition to the supporting data and architecture needs that support this work.