SOURCE: Vector Marketing

August 31, 2009 10:00 ET

AMA Honors Professor for 'Excellence in Marketing Education,' Affiliation With Vector Marketing

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - August 31, 2009) - Dr. Derek Hassay, assistant professor of marketing at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, was recently honored by the American Marketing Association for his "Selling Smiles 101" curriculum, an experiential learning program that involves selling Cutco Cutlery, with proceeds going to the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada.

Hassay was presented with the "Pearson-Prentice Hall's Solomon-Marshall Stuart Award for Innovative Excellence in Marketing Education" at the recent conference held in Chicago. Two of Hassay's senior-level sales management classes participate in this unique program that focuses on sales training.

For several years, Hassay has partnered with Vector Marketing, Cutco's direct sales division, which trains students to sell high-end cutlery through in-home personal demonstrations. In just 5 terms, the Selling Smiles 101 program has raised more than $100,000 for the Alberta Chapter of the Children's Wish Foundation and in the process helped numerous Calgary-area children receive a variety of wishes.

"It is an honor to be presented with this award," said Hassay, "but the real winners are my students and the children they have helped during the last few years. By aligning with Cutco Cutlery and its sales division, Vector Marketing, we are giving our students the opportunity to find out what it is like to take the theory from the classroom and apply it to a real-world sales environment.

"Our students found the skills acquired in this course to be extremely valuable for both personal growth and career preparation. But just as rewarding was our participation with the Children's Wish Foundation. We're thrilled to be able to donate this amount to such an important charity that helps so many young people. Aligning with this charity was an incentive for our students to sell and give back."

Cutco Cutlery, based in Olean, New York, is the largest kitchen cutlery manufacturer in North America. Founded 60 years ago, Cutco sells its products through a network of college students in Canada and the United States. Vector Marketing offers a sales training program that teaches students a wide range of skills, including time management, making presentations, lead generation, customer service and how to work in a commission-structured environment.

"Professor Hassay's program has been a model of how academic and career training can come together and prepare students for the workplace after graduation," said Sarah Baker Andrus, Director, External Relations & Academic Programs for Vector Marketing. "It is very rewarding to see his students implement our sales programs while helping less fortunate children in Alberta."

Students, according to Hassay, aren't graded on actual sales, but rather on how they manage the process. "Basically, we're creating a corporate sales department," he said. "Students are required to develop a marketing strategy, make sales presentations, create sales reports, and then critique themselves after each demonstration."

About Cutco Cutlery and Vector Marketing

Cutco Cutlery is a 60-year-old company with headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Olean, New York. Vector Marketing is the company's sales division, coordinating all sales for Cutco Cutlery through a national network of college students who sell products through in-home personal demonstrations. The company's sales force is made up of approximately 40,000 students. More than 13 million US households have a Cutco product.

About Children's Wish Foundation of Canada

The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada is dedicated to fulfilling a favorite wish for children diagnosed with a high-risk, life-threatening illness. The Foundation is the only all-Canadian organization with offices from coast-to-coast, granting wishes for these special children. This year marks 25 years and 15,000 wishes for the Foundation. To contact The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada, call 1-800-267-9474 or visit www.childrenswish.ca.

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