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Beyond Business and the Classroom: Tom Marchese

Wednesday, December 5 2018 11:45am

Professor Tom Marchese’s passion is his motivation.

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By Taylor Uden

Everyone knows Tom Marchese. He is the professor you recognize around the entire OHIO campus. His passionate voice and lively laugh are two things that cannot be forgotten, and these same traits are seen in his teaching and life pursuits.

As an alumnus of Pennsylvania State University, Marchese and his wife Lori are avid football fanatics and carry a love for the Nittany Lions. The two met on the State College campus and have been football season ticket holders for the past 30 years. They have even passed along their affinity for Penn State into their three children. Seems crazy, right? No way. After completing both his undergraduate degree and MBA at PSU, the town feels like home. Although, he says nothing is quite like his OHIO family here in Athens, where he has learned to embrace life and started a new journey.

Marchese wears a lot of hats in the OHIO College of Business. He is the director of the Professional MBA program and has transitioned in to teaching in the One-Year MBA program, along with undergraduate marketing courses. The executive-in-residence has a great depth of experience in the marketing industry and brings a unique background and wealth of knowledge to all of his students.

Scrolling through his resume, you will see Marchese has held high-level positions at some of the world’s top companies and brands. Prior to joining OHIO, he served as the vice president of marketing and R&D for Papa Murphy’s Pizza, vice president of marketing and innovation for Bob Evans, and vice president of national marketing for KFC/YUM Brands, among others.

“I’ve always wanted [to teach], but not right away. It was in my plans from college on to eventually come back and teach,” he said.

Marchese found his spot on campus via guest lecturing, where he noticed the transformative culture within the College of Business. After three years, guest lecturing turned into a full time position in Athens, and he carried his passion for marketing over into academia.

“I want my students to set high goals that lead to aggressive action and results,” Marchese said.

This is directly seen in his teaching style. Under Marchese’s guidance, the full-time MBA class is currently working on a consulting project with a local dairy processing company, Snowville Creamery. Developing throughout the semester, the project has allowed students to turn their textbook learning into practical application. With presentations to the live client on the horizon, the MBA class is finishing up their final edits before providing an assertive and strategic path to help the client achieve new goals.

“He has so much knowledge of the industry,” One-Year MBA student Johnny Galvin said. “Every day we come into to class, he is able to use his real life experiences to help us better learn the concepts.”

And while these real-world client projects give students a hands-on learning experiences, Marchese also realizes these projects can have a great impact on organizations and the local community.

“If [Snowville] takes these concepts, it can totally change the projection of the company,” he said.

However, it’s not only the recommendation that has a meaningful impact. Throughout the semester, students were required to link up their small groups to present as a class. Uniting as 40 people is no small feat.

“It was a little chaotic at first, especially as the semester was starting and we were getting to know each other.” Amanda Wolfert, Dual MBA and Master of Sport Administration student, said. “It really forced us to group up as an entire unit and created some great camaraderie within the class. 

It is clear Marchese reached his goal. He says he loves teaching and is grateful that he was able to return to the academic world after his time in workforce. His students and love for marketing excite him daily and continue to be noticed by all those within the College of Business.

“I am most proud of the relationships and mentors from my past that have gone and succeeded in their careers,” Marchese said.