[UPDATE] at 5:15 PM on 11-5-10 by Stephanie Salvatore
An FSU grad makes a sizable donation to the college of business.
Former marketing student Stephen Leonard gave 125 thousand dollars to the school to go towards an extreme makeover of their sales lab.
The existing labs will be expanded and renovated with a news recording system, and software upgrades, and the money will also help develop customized sales workshops.
"What he was interested in is making an impact. He's in the sames profession himself has been very successful in sales, and really understood the impact that a gift like that could make in our program," says dean of the College of Business, Karyn Beck-Dudley.
The dean says these new labs will give their already award winning sales team more experience in the classroom.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Sales Laboratory in the Florida State University College of Business is getting a makeover courtesy of a $125,000 gift from a former marketing student.
Stephen C. Leonard’s gift will establish the Stephen C. Leonard Sales Laboratory with an aim to create a world-class learning environment for the college’s award-winning sales team. The donation will fund the renovation of the current lab to provide state-of-the-art sales skills-assessment tools, including eight large role-play rooms; a cutting-edge recording system that allows for simultaneous live viewing and digital recording of sales role playing; and the development of customized sales workshops. The gift also will provide needed funds for annual software upgrades and license renewals.
“The Sales Lab funded by Mr. Leonard’s donation will enhance what is already one of the most advanced sales programs in the nation,” said Pat Pallentino, an associate in sales in the college’s Department of Marketing and director of the Professional Sales Program. “Not only will it have fully automated role-play studios, it will also have team sales role-play studios to allow our students to experience the more demanding elements of team selling and selling to a group.”
Leonard, who graduated with a degree in marketing from the FSU College of Business in 1979, is president of Team 1 Orthopaedics Inc., which markets, sells and distributes orthopedic medical supplied throughout Florida and Georgia. His business, based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., specializes in medical products directly related to sports injuries.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to give back to the FSU College of Business and the Professional Sales Program in particular,” Leonard said. “My entire career has been in sales and sales management, so I understand and appreciate the importance of learning and practicing successful sales fundamentals.
“In conjunction with the marketing department, Pat Pallentino and his team have done a fantastic job in developing and growing the professional sales major,” he said. “Their shared vision and desire is to offer the nation’s best professional sales major along with top-notch lab facilities. I’m extremely happy to be a very small part of that goal.”
Leonard began his career at Procter & Gamble after graduating from Florida State. Soon after, he found a niche as an orthopedic-products sales representative for several companies. Leonard eventually acquired his own Florida distributorship, which he successfully managed and later sold. He then founded his current company, Team 1 Orthopaedics. Leonard is married to Sherry Leonard, a 1977 Florida State alumna with a degree in nursing, and his son just completed his freshman year at Florida State.
“This gift comes on the heels of our professional sales students winning back-to-back national sales competitions,” said Caryn Beck-Dudley, dean of the College of Business. “Mr. Leonard’s gift will further enhance the quality of our sales program’s national recognition and conveys his high ideals of professionalism and ethics in the selling profession. His remarkable business success exemplifies the philosophy, techniques and entrepreneurial spirit that are at the core of our teaching in professional sales and marketing.”
The professional sales major is open to College of Business students who desire to excel in a professional selling environment. The program focuses on developing students into future business leaders who understand consultative selling. With a 100-percent placement rate, the Professional Sales Program boasts several national sales championships over the past two years.