Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Founder of ChannelNet, Paula Tompkins, to speak at her alma mater Oct. 31

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Paula Tompkins, a Marshall University alumna and CEO/founder of the marketing and sales firm ChannelNet, will speak on the Huntington campus Thursday, Oct. 31. Her presentation, which will take place at 5 p.m. at Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, is titled “Energy, Empowerment and Enterprise.”

“This will be an interesting and enlightening presentation about the incredible success of an alumna from Marshall,” said Dr. Ronald G. Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation Inc. “Paula will be very entertaining, for sure.”

ChannelNet, founded in 1985, specializes in multichannel marketing and sales solutions based on Internet technology. The company’s client list includes automobile companies such as Ford, GM and Toyota; technology companies such as IBM and Intel; retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s; and other consumer retailers such as Coca Cola, La-Z-Boy and Benjamin Moore Paints.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required by Saturday, Oct. 19, by calling 304-696-3321 or e-mailing Dress is business and light refreshments will be served.

Tompkins, who was a business major at Marshall, is an acknowledged pioneer in using technology to facilitate multichannel sales and service. In the past 25 years, she has helped a multitude of the world’s leading companies use technology to sell their products and build customer relationships. She began her career working in sales and marketing at 3M, General Electric, and several technology start-ups. Among other achievements, she was instrumental in the design and marketing of early personal computers, including the Actrix and Grid, the first true portable computers. She also invented Skytray, an interactive electronic advertising medium targeted to airline passengers, for Altus Corporation.

Her early foray into interactive selling fueled her belief that the personal computer was a persuasive communication platform for selling and buying. Since founding ChannelNet (formerly The SoftAd Group) in 1985, she has led the company to create multichannel marketplace solutions based on the best available technologies — from early iterations of multimedia, through CD-ROM and client/server technology, and on to the Internet.

As an expert in using technology to improve sales and service processes, Tompkins is a much sought-after resource for journalists and authors, and as a conference panelist and keynote speaker. She has appeared on television in Tom Peters' "Thriving on Chaos" and PBS' "The Nightly Business Report," as well as on National Public Radio's "Money Talks."

She has lectured at Columbia University's School of Business, the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and Stanford University.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197