LSBE Welcomes New Professional Sales Program Director

Sep 8, 2021

Jessica Gardner is the new director of LSBE's Professional Sales Program.

Gardner has over 20 years of experience in the sales industry and higher education. She previously worked on Johnson & Johnson’s sales team and then joined academia, working at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire in career and employment. From there Gardner transitioned into teaching for the University of Wisconsin’s Stout and Eau Claire campuses. She taught sales and marketing courses, coached collegiate teams for competitions, and oversaw the Professional Sales Internship Program. Gardner holds a marketing degree from Wisconsin School of Business and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. 

“Jessica brings a wealth of experience in sales and sales education leadership. She is perfectly positioned to continue building LSBE’s Professional Sales Program into one of the best in the country,” said Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Marketing department head.

“My focus will be on providing sales students with the best real-world experiences possible to prepare them for their future careers,” said Gardner. “A big part of this will be driven by valuable relationships with company representatives, alumni, educators, and other sales experts.

“To build on the success of LSBE’s Professional Sales Program, my goal in the first year is to be nationally recognized by becoming an associate member of University Sales Center Alliance (USCA).”

LSBE added a Professional Sales major in 2019, making UMD the only public university in Minnesota to offer one. In addition, LSBE is one of only 14 universities nationwide to be designated a 3M Frontline Program school, which provides immersive internship experiences for sales students. With the hiring of a new director, plans are underway to add a sales minor and establish an integrated sales center that will provide students with more rigorous experiential opportunities for careers in sales.