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CSU Creates Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence

$1 million gift creates academic and research center focused on sales education

Bernie Moreno

Cleveland State University will create the Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence, which will serve as a hub for innovative research and education in sales management and training, the University announced today.

The new center will be housed in the Monte Ahuja College of Business and is made possible thanks to a $1 million gift from Bernie Moreno, president of the Bernie Moreno Companies and chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. It will seek to enhance CSU’s efforts to promote community engagement, workforce development and engaged learning, while producing innovative curricula and training in the science of persuasion, consumer behavior and market analysis.

“CSU has a long history of providing career ready graduates who can meet the needs of industry. I am honored to be able to further that tradition through the creation of a state-of-the art hub for sales education and training that will serve as a national and international model,” Moreno says.

“Bernie Moreno is a leading business innovator and a dedicated proponent of the power of education to enhance social mobility and societal good,” says Ronald M. Berkman, president of Cleveland State University. “I want to personally thank him for all he has done for CSU and particularly for this generous donation, which will create a lasting educational legacy for our community.”

The Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence will feature an undergraduate certificate in professional sales, continuing education courses and a custom training program tailored to individual industry needs. It will also develop innovative coursework and programs in sales management and market analysis. In addition, the Center is actively seeking corporate collaborations to enhance curriculum development and training programs. Its growing list of corporate partners includes KeyBank, Oswald Companies, PNC and Swagelok Company.

“There has been a growing recognition in multiple industries regarding the need for more advanced educational programs in professional sales that provide the analytic skills, market knowledge and customer focus that are required for a successful career. The Bernie Moreno Center for Sales Excellence will meet this critical need,” adds Sanjay Putrevu, dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business. “Our ultimate goal is to produce career ready graduates who can drive future economic growth locally and nationally. We thank Bernie Moreno for this transformative gift and are excited to create this Center in the college.”

Bernie Moreno purchased his first auto dealership in 2005 and has grown the business into an impressive collection of luxury dealerships in Cleveland, Miami and the Greater Boston area. He was named the Hispanic Dealer of the Year at the 2015 Detroit International Auto Show and won the 2011 Midwest Region Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young. Moreno joined the CSU Board of Trustees in 2011 and has served as chair since 2016. He is also a member of the boards of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, Greater Cleveland Partnership and Destination Cleveland.