Sept. 26: Power Breakfast to focus on the future of sales

A view of the Bellevue, Washington skyline looking out over the water.
Gain business insights at the WSU Carson College of Business Power Breakfast in Bellevue, Wash.

PULLMAN, Wash. – “Adapt, Integrate and Collaborate: The Future of Sales” will be the topic of the-annual Power Breakfast networking event hosted by the Washington State University Carson College of Business. 

The Power Breakfast is designed to inform, inspire and engage business leaders on contemporary business issues. The event is $55 and will be held 8-10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 at the Westin hotel in Bellevue. Participants may register online until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19. 

Panelists include:

Gautham Rao, divisional vice president of activity and merchandising strategy, REI 

Rao is a senior executive with more than 16 years of experience in retail, consumer goods and analytics. His expertise stems from previous roles at companies such as Nike and Target. During his tenure at Nike, he held leadership positions and played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s global strategy and North America merchandising. He also served as general manager of Nike Converse in greater China and Korea. Prior to his time at Nike, Gautham led the successful launch of new brands, drove innovation initiatives and orchestrated core profits and losses at Target in Minneapolis. Gautham earned a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s in economics from Murray State University.

Lisa Young, vice president of corporate partnerships, Seattle Seahawks 

Young (’02) is a marketing executive with more than 20 years of professional experience. She has been with the Seattle Seahawks since 2005 and has since worked her way up through the organization’s corporate partnerships department. She has served the Seahawks as an account executive, client services manager and in various roles within corporate partnerships before being promoted to vice president in May 2021. Young oversees all business operations including departmental sales, activation strategy and execution. Prior to the Seahawks, she spent six years working for the Seattle Sounders soccer club as an account executive and client services manager. She started her advertising career as an account executive at a boutique firm in San Diego.

Brad Johnson, national sales manager for Kenworth, PACCAR Parts 

Johnson (’88) is responsible for all aftermarket heavy duty parts sales activities for Kenworth dealers in the U.S. and Canada. He manages relationships with key dealership executives, administers parts and services programs and acts as an advisor on retail sales initiatives. In his 29 years with PACCAR, Johnson has held sales and sales management roles at PACCAR Parts, PACCAR Financial and Peterbilt Motors. PACCAR Inc. is a multinational company that designs and manufactures large commercial trucks through subsidiaries Kenworth, DAF and Peterbilt. PACCAR’s parts division distributes products under these subsidiary brands, alongside PACCAR Genuine, TRP and select OEM and aftermarket brands. Johnson earned an MBA from Old Dominion University.

Julie Nelsen, director of the Center for Professional Sales, WSU Carson College of Business

As an assistant professor of marketing at WSU Vancouver, Nelsen brings the business world to her classroom through guest lectures and hands-on learning opportunities. Her research focuses on sales and marketing pedagogy, business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Before her academic career, she spent 20 years working in entrepreneurial, corporate, nonprofit sales and marketing roles in the advertising, interior design and commercial furniture industries. She was president of the Marketing Educators’ Association and is a past-president of the American Marketing Association Phoenix Chapter. She earned her doctorate focused on strategic business communication from Marquette University, and an MBA from Arizona State University.

Debbie Compeau, Carson of Business College interim dean, will moderate the panel.

Sponsors include Alaska Airlines (crimson level); Sweeney Conrad and Unify Consulting (silver level); BECU, Boundless Learning, CBIZ Berntson Porter, Merrill, the MCNW Group, and Windy Point (bronze level).

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