Thomas DeCarlo, selected to fill the Ben. S. Weil Endowed Chair of Industrial Distribution in the School of Business, will begin work here this month.

DeCarlo comes to UAB from Iowa State University (ISU), where he was an associate professor of marketing and the ISU Business Analysis Lab Faculty Scholar. He is co-author of a leading academic sales management textbook, Dalrymple’s Sales Management.

Dean Robert Holmes called DeCarlo an incredible find and said his 13 years at ISU prepared him well for the UAB position. “He is one of the leading experts in the country,” said Holmes.

UAB’s Industrial Distribution (ID) program is the only degree-granting program of its type in the Southeast, said Robert Robicheaux, executive director of Marketing and Industrial Distribution. It is a joint degree program between the schools of Business and Engineering. The ID program prepares its students for professional sales, marketing, operations and mid-management positions with manufacturers, contractors, wholesalers, industrial distributors and many other end users of industrial products.

“We’re very confident that the students are going to relate well to Tom,” Robicheaux said. “He is one of the most energetic, bright, young rising superstars in our business.”

That the program is the only one of its kind in a radius of several states attracted DeCarlo. “What makes it unique is that it provides students with a holistic understanding of the functional aspects that affect a distribution business – everything from engineering processes to customer relationship management,” DeCarlo said. “This type of learning experience gives students a tremendous advantage in the marketplace.”

The biggest challenge the ID program has now is meeting the demand that the industry has for program graduates. On average, UAB ID students graduate with three job offers.  “While this is a great situation for the students, it suggests that there is a lot of room for growing the program’s enrollment,” DeCarlo said.

DeCarlo replaces Jay Smith, who retired in August 2005. DeCarlo praised the work begun by Smith and his colleagues.

“I am fortunate to be coming into a program with a tradition of extremely satisfied, loyal graduates and industry supporters,” DeCarlo said.