Indiana State University Newsroom

Sales expert, author to speak at Indiana State

February 27, 2012

A prominent sales expert and author will discuss how to ethically accomplish success in sales when he visits Indiana State University next month.

Tom Black, author of "The Boxcar Millionaire," will present "Achieving Sales Success Ethically" at 5:30 p.m. on March 27 in Hulman Memorial Student Union, Dede II and III. The event costs $40 for community members to attend, which will also include dinner and a reception, where people can meet with Black prior to his speech. The event is sponsored by State Farm.

"... A lot of people are trying to get into sales and make their big name in the field," said Garrett Hamblen, an MBA student at ISU who works with the Sales and Negotiations Center, which is organizing the event. "He's someone who's actually done it, so he can give them real experience, real tips. On top of that, he'll help them do it ethically, which is important in business."

The first 100 people to register and pay the $40 to attend also will receive a free copy of "The Boxcar Millionaire," which details Black's life from an impoverished youth to success in sales. The evening will begin with a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., before dinner. The presentation will begin at 7:45 p.m.

Black's presentation will have wide appeal, given not only the presentation, but also given the speaker's background, said Jon Hawes, director of the Sales and Negotiations Center.

"He shares a background that a lot of our students can relate to and understand. While very few of our students grew up in that poor of a humble beginning, nevertheless a lot of our students do come from a very modest background and aspire to greatness," Hawes said. "... We hope to send the message that anybody can succeed by developing sales skills."

The presentation will be one of the premiere events during Ethics Week at Indiana State. Additional programming will include the annual ethics conference, which is organized by students in the Networks Professional Development Program.

The presentation is also the first event as part of the State Farm Circle of Influence speaker series.

"I think it sets a good tone, knowing that we have such a great speaker to start the series," Hamblen said. "It lets us know that in the future, we're also going to have great speakers."

Seating to Tom Black's presentation is limited, and registration is required. For questions or to make reservations, contact Jon Hawes at 812-870-0214 or at

Contact: Jon Hawes, director, Sales and Negotiations Center, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University, 812-237-2286 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or