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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Berry reflects on groundbreaking marketing career

Photo by Courtesy
Professor Leonard Berry

With 50 years of experience in the field, distinguished professor of marketing Leonard Berry has become the second person in history to receive the ‘Big 4’ national marketing awards for his work and research. 

The four awards honor Berry’s contributions to the field of marketing throughout his career. His most recent award, the Sheth Foundation Medal for Exceptional Contribution to Marketing and Practice, was given to Berry in August for his work in healthcare, his academic research done in relevance to scholarship and the practical applications of marketing in the industry. 

“In 2001, I took a faculty development leave to study healthcare services that I haven’t studied before,” Berry said. “I focused on that because it is one of our most important and biggest services in the economy and I knew very little about it. I went to the Mayo clinic for my leave and I became fascinated by healthcare services.” 

Berry said he didn’t start his academic career focusing on marketing, but as he continued in his studies, it became a good outlet for what he was interested in. 

“I had a dual major in sociology and economics,” Berry said. “I went on to get an MBA and my marketing course was a good one and showed me a way to apply my interest in behavioral science, and that led me to pursue a doctorate in marketing.” 

Working with the Mayo Clinic, Berry said his time on leave was to help make a change in people’s lives through his research.

“I found it unusually interesting and also services that I felt like I could make a contribution to improving the delivery of them and improving the service quality in,” Berry said. “I came back to the university in 2002 from my sabbatical and I was committed to applying my career work as a services researcher to the context of healthcare and see if I could improve the service of healthcare and I’ve been doing it now, in a very focused way, for the past 18 years.”

When Berry was told he had received the Sheth Foundation Meal, he was surprised because he didn’t know he was nominated for the award. 

“It’s not in my nature to seek out these awards or strive for them,” Berry said. “The Sheth award was a complete surprise to me in that the first time that I actually heard I was selected it was the first time I heard that I was even under consideration. For me to be selected- and given how many people I think deserve these kinds of recognitions, it’s really quite humbling to me.” 

Davis Scott, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Houston-Downtown, worked with Berry as a master’s and Ph.D. student and said the work Berry not only pushes marketing research forward but also pushes Davis to be a better professor.

Dr. Berry taught me about curiosity, compassion, integrity and loyalty with a humble confidence that inspires me every day to be a better professor,” Davis said. “If I make a small fraction of his impact on students, businesses, communities and consumers, I will have done well.” 

David Griffith, the marketing department head at Mays Business School, said that he has known about Berry his entire academic career and his work has been important across the whole field of marketing.

“His work has been groundbreaking,” Griffith said. “He has expanded into the realm of healthcare and that is one of our grand challenges at the Mays school. We focus on encouraging our department to focus on substantive issues and I think that most recently professor Berry has done that with the Sheth Foundation medal.”

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