Faculty Q&A: Roger Beahm

Roger Beahm, Babcock Graduate School of Management Visiting Professor of Practice, is the faculty advisor to the Wake Forest Marketing Summit, which will be held Feb. 6-8. He is chairman of CoyneBeahmShouse, a Greensboro-based marketing and advertising agency he helped found in 1988. He served as president and CEO of the agency, which is one of the Triad’s largest, for 17 years. Prior to forming the agency, he spent his career in brand management and marketing management, primarily with two major consumer packaged goods companies, Procter & Gamble and the Clorox Co.

What exactly is the Marketing Summit?

The Marketing Summit is a three-day event held annually and completely run by our MBA students. At its center is a case competition in which teams from leading schools around the country spend an intense 36 hours developing a specific strategic marketing opportunity for the event’s sponsor. Additionally, the Marketing Summit brings together business executives, students, faculty and alumni to network and share ideas in marketing.

What’s different about this year’s summit?

It is the first time in the event’s 19-year history that we have announced the summit sponsor in advance. In the past, the sponsor has remained a secret until the event kick-off. Because we believe it’s important to build awareness and interest in the Marketing Summit, and to recognize the sponsor’s contributions, this year we have been pleased to announce that PepsiCo, a long-standing supporter of Wake Forest University and our business schools in particular, is sponsoring the 2009 Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit.

In addition, thanks to PepsiCo’s sponsorship, we have raised the first place award for the MBA case competition from a historical $5,000 level to a record $50,000. The combination of these two factors has helped increase the number of teams applying for the very limited number of invitations, to over 110. With this many applications, we increased the number of undergraduate invitations from four to six, while holding the number of MBA teams invited to our traditional limit of eight.

Finally, for the first time in the event’s 19-year history we are opening a portion of the event to the public. On Friday night, February 6, the Marketing Summit is presenting “A Conversation with Indra Nooyi,” hosted by Maria Bartiromo, at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel. Ms. Nooyi is chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and one of the most influential women in American business. Ms. Bartiromo is business news anchor at CNBC. This event is free and open to the public.

What schools are competing this year?

In the MBA case competition, teams are from Harvard, University of Chicago, University of California at Berkeley, Ohio State, Notre Dame, University of Virginia, University of Washington and our own Wake Forest University. Teams competing in the undergraduate competition are from Boston College, Brandeis, University of Maryland, University of Pennsylvania, Brigham Young University and Wake Forest.

Who runs the Marketing Summit?

The Marketing Summit is, and always has been, completely student run. Three MBA student co-chairs divide overall leadership responsibility for the summit, with an Executive Committee of fellow students selected by them to oversee and manage specific events held during this annual three-day event. The Executive Committee, in turn, recruits student volunteers to help them execute each of the numerous events during Marketing Summit. Over 70 percent of the full-time MBA students (over 100 in total) are involved one way or another in helping run this event.

What kind of sponsor has PepsiCo been?

I would have to say they’ve been a “dream” sponsor. PepsiCo has provided enormous support to our students and to the event. From providing the financial support needed to host an event like this, making people available for the student co-chairs to work through in getting the MBA and undergraduate cases written and materials produced, to having over 20 executives from PepsiCo attend the summit itself. These executives serve as judges for the case competitions, participants in faculty/executive roundtables, speakers for special lunches and dinners, and especially, as resources for our students to network with and gain insights as they prepare for their own careers in business.

Obviously our schools of business have a great history with PepsiCo, not only with Wayne Calloway, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo from 1986-96, but through our present dean, Steve Reinemund, immediate past chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. The support that PepsiCo has made to the 2009 Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit demonstrates an on-going commitment to our University and our schools of business. For that we are most appreciative.

Categories: Faculty, School of Business