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Faculty: Tom Betts

Professor Betts has a passion for teaching and working with young people so he moved from working in the business sector and joined Calvin's staff full-time in 2010. But he could not give professional practice up fully, so still operates his own marketing and business consulting firm that brings strategy development, marketing planning, research expertise, and consumer-based decision making to a variety of business and nonprofit clients.

He is a collaborative leader who combines strong analytic skills with a creative mind to develop consumer-driven strategies and compelling marketing messages. He has a variety of marketing, leadership, sales, and business management experience over his 25 years in business. Before coming to Calvin he was Vice President of Marketing at Zondervan, an international leader in Christian communications (owned by HarperCollins/NewsCorp). During his 13 years at Zondervan, Tom lead multiple departments that handled strategic planning, research, market analysis, promotion planning, direct marketing, consumer databases, internet/web marketing, product development, trade show management, retailer relationships, and product category captain teams for Borders/Walden, Wal-Mart, and others. His work has been recognized with several industry awards.

Professional experience

  • Owner - Betts Marketing and Business Consulting
  • Vice President of Marketing - Consumer Relationships & Research at Zondervan
  • Sr. Director of Strategic Marketing - Zondervan
  • Marketing Director - Direct Marketing and Partnerships at Zondervan
  • Marketing Director – Research, Operations & Database at Zondervan
  • Marketing Manager- Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Business Manager - InterVarsity Press
  • Youth Director - Suburban Bible Church in Highland, IN
  • Account Manager - Financial Systems at NCR Corporation

For more information, go to

Educational Background

  • MBA (with honors) in Marketing-General Business
    Western Michigan University (1995)

  • BBA in Business-Marketing
    University of Michigan School of Business (1985)

Honors, Awards, and Publications

  • Effie Award for marketing The Bible Experience (honor the most significant achievements in the business of marketing communications: ideas that work), 2008
  • Audie Awards (2) for The Bible Experience (including 2007 Audiobook of the Year), 2008
  • Marketing Sherpa Silver Mouse Award (Best Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes), 2007
  • Trailblazer Award for Marketing Organization of the Year from the American Marketing Association—West Michigan,1996
  • Publication: 5 Kinds of Christians: Understanding the disparity of those who call themselves Christian in America. Leadership Journal, October 2007
  • The Future of the Industry. A joint presentation and panel discussion by industry experts. Presented at the Christian Booksellers Association Convention, July 2005
  • Member of Christian Booksellers Association Research and Point of Sales Tracking Committee, 2002-2008
  • Steering Committee Member of Book Industry Study Group's Product Coding and Research, 2006-2008.
  • Convention Director for the National Pastors Convention, 2007-2008.
  • Christian Booksellers Association Convention and Bible Steering Committees, 2006-2008.

Additional information

As a volunteer, Tom has spent countless hours coaching sports and teaching youth classes. He enjoys fishing, hunting, music, computers, and playing sports.

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Tom Betts

Tom Betts
Associate Professor
of Business

Email Professor Betts

Office: 184 North Hall
1740 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546


  • Marketing (BUS 380)
  • Consumer Behavior Theory and Practice (BUS 382)
  • Marketing Research