Christopher R. Plouffe has been appointed to the new Gary W. Rollins Endowed Chair in Sales in the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Plouffe is the first appointment to the Sales Chair position which was established as part of the historic $40 million gift made by Gary W. and Kathleen Rollins to the college in 2018. In this role, Plouffe will engage with the business sales community and develop the RCOB’s sales program and its sales curriculum and courses. Importantly, he will also mentor and guide students as they consider a sales career. Plouffe will serve as a tenured faculty member in the Marketing & Entrepreneurship Department, teaching sales and marketing courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. In this exciting new role, Dr. Plouffe will leverage his nearly 20 years’ experience initiating, growing, and governing leading Sales Centers and Institutes around the country at Universities such as the University of Georgia, Washington State, Florida State, and the University of Akron in Ohio. Plouffe most recently served as Professor and the Robin T. Peterson Endowed Chair in Marketing at New Mexico State University.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Plouffe to the college and UTC,” said Robert Dooley, Dean of the Rollins College of Business. “We know he will continue to build the reputation of the Rollins College of Business and expand its programming, high-level research, and community outreach.”
In the first part of his career, Plouffe spent a number of years in the high-tech industry at Hewlett-Packard (HP) (Canada) Ltd., initially in marketing and public relations. He later transitioned to sales and business development at HP, selling mainframe-class commercial and technical super-computers to a wide variety of industry verticals. Plouffe’s insights have been quoted or mentioned in both Fortune and BusinessWeek. He also serves as a consultant and sales trainer with a number of leading firms including UPS, Eli Lilly, Bank of Montreal, Davey Tree Co., Bell Canada (BCE), the Home Depot, and others.
“I am both humbled and excited to serve as the first-ever Rollins Chair in Sales. In making his generous gift, I found it profound and a huge draw to the position that the RCOB’s benefactor, Gary W. Rollins, specifically identified sales as a focal point for the college to pursue in terms of future emphasis and strategy. To me, that spoke volumes. My singular focus will be to bring to bear all my accrued experiences building and governing sales programs around the country to UTC, to build something special we can all be proud of.”
A winner of multiple teaching awards (e.g., the “Student’s Award for Teaching Excellence” in 2005/06 at Washington State), Chris’s research has been cited over 2,350 times (per Google Scholar) and primarily focuses on sales, sales performance, and managing the sales function. His research appears in the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Personnel Psychology, Information Systems Research, and other elite outlets. He also currently serves on the Editorial Review Board for several prominent academic journals including the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, Industrial Marketing Management, and the Journal of Business Research.
A native of Canada, Plouffe has been a proud U.S. Citizen for a number of years now. He originally earned his B.A. in sociology and an MBA with a marketing concentration from Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada). He completed his Ph.D. in business administration with a marketing concentration at Western University’s Ivey Business School (London, Canada).