July 31, 2018: Marketing & Sales Special Interest Group - New format!

Jul 31, 2018 -

Everyone at the research park welcomed!

SIGs provide a venue to discuss leading-edge topics, the latest tools, industry best practices and builds professional relationships all while educating, motivating and exchanging energizing ideas and perspectives with other professionals.

Hosted by:
Roanoke - Blacksburg Technology Council


Stephanie Smith, Ph.D., APR
Partner, The Prime Factory and Assistant Professor of Communication at Virginia Tech

Panel members:
Tom England, Consultant for Voice Of Customer (VOC) techniques
Jenna Lazenby, B2C Enterprises
Ron Poff, Mar-Bal

  • Location:
    Concept Conference Room, 1880 Pratt Drive
  • Schedule:
    7:30 a.m. - Meet your host and grab your complimentary breakfast
    7:45 – 8:45 a.m. - Presentation begins

For employees of the research park only.




Tom England: Tom spent 35 years in industrial automation with a focus on motion control. As VP of Market Development with Kollmorgen, he led growth in a diverse set of markets including semiconductor, food & beverage, medical imaging, and oil/gas. An Electrical Engineer by training (Virginia Tech) he has a keen interest in both technical and commercial aspects of marketing and sales. After retiring from Kollmorgen in 2014, he has continued with his consulting business focused on Voice Of Customer (VOC) techniques to understand what is most important to a customer. He has a passion for teaching the importance of relationships for leaders.

Jenna Lazenby: Jenna is a marketing strategist and business development liaison for B2C Enterprises, a full-service marketing and advertising agency in Roanoke. In her role, Jenna oversees the marketing and brand strategy for a wide range of clients in healthcare, technology, non-profit, financial, and retail. Jenna has extensive experience working closely with sales teams to support strategic objectives and drive growth.

Jenna chairs the marketing committee for the Ridge and Valley Chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the community service committee for Leadership Roanoke Valley Alumni Association, is a member of the planning committee for Senator Warner’s Annual Women’s Conference, and a member of the business development committee for the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council. She also founded Blue Ridge Rocks, a live music website and blog highlighting the music industry in the region. Jenna holds a bachelor’s degree from Hollins University and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech in Communication Studies.

Stephanie Smith: Stephanie ensures a mutually beneficial partnership between our clients and the agency. Additionally, Stephanie is an expert at content writing, digital storytelling, press coverage and brand development. Stephanie joined The PRIME Factory in January 2018. Stephanie holds a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor of public relations at Virginia Tech. She is passionate about bridging the gap between the study of PR and the practice of PR, as well as preparing students for fulfilling careers in communication.

Education: B.A. Communication, DePaul University; M.S. Communication, Northwestern University; Ph.D. Communication, The University of Arizona

Ron Poff: Ron Poff serves as Industry Director and Director of Global Marketing for Mar-Bal, Inc., the leading integrated compounder and molder of thermoset composites.  Based in Blacksburg, Virginia at Mar-Bal’s Global Marketing Office, Ron is responsible for corporate marketing activities including communications, brand development and product management. In addition, Ron leads the global sales and new business development within Mar-Bal’s proprietary product lines and key OEM accounts in electrical, construction, industrial and rail markets. 

Prior to joining Mar-Bal in 2008, Ron led global sourcing activities in support of new product development at Pfizer, Spectrum Brands and Newell-Rubbermaid. Serving as an entrepreneur and small business owner, Ron is the Co-Founder and Advising Partner for The PRIME Factory, a marketing and public relations agency, based in Blacksburg, Virginia at The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.  

Ron has over 25 years of new product development and global business development experience including strong global marketing skills and achieving professional recognition by The Institute for Supply Management® (ISM) as a Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM). He currently serves as a Professional Vice-President and Secretary on the National Council for Pi Sigma Epsilon; serves on the Board of Directors for the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoset Division. 

In February 2017, Mr. Poff was recognized as a Distinguished Marketing Sales Award (DMSA) honoree by the Sales and Marketing Executives (SME) organization in Cleveland.

Ron also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Virginia Tech where he teaches an introductory business course in management and courses in entrepreneurship in the Pamplin School of Business. He was recently recognized in April of this year, by the Division of Student Affairs, as a ‘Favorite Faculty’ nominee.  

Ron holds an M.S. in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University, a Graduate Certificate in eMarketing from The University of Virginia and a B.S. in Business Management from University of Phoenix. Ron is a veteran of the US Navy and Reserves (1989-1999).

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