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College of Business Alumni


Troy Christensen - Former CEO/CFO, Accolade Wines
BS Accountancy 1985

NIU alumnus Troy Christensen visited campus on October 7 as an Executive in Residence to participate in sales management classes. Christensen began his career as an accountant immediately after graduating from NIU in 1985. He soon realized that sales was where he could make the biggest impact. He encouraged students in Brian Vollmert’s Marketing 446 class to “take a leadership position in solving a customer problem to increase your career trajectory.” Employees should work together as a team and not blame “the other guy.” In addition, he stressed that students should know the company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to increase profitability.
It typically boils down to one of these three business strategies: product leadership, operation excellence or customer intimacy. “Selling,” he said, “is not always about personality.”

About the Executive in Residence Program

Successful alumni give back to NIU by getting involved in the "Executive in Residence" (EIR) Program. The purpose of the program is to encourage successful alumni and friends to share their experiences in the business environment with College of Business students, re-enforcing our positioning statement, “Where the Classroom Meets the Business World.” Enthusiastic and talented alumni tell real-life stories and give an insider's perspective of life outside the NIU campus. These EIR sessions equip our students with practical tools and mentorship to prepare them for life after graduation.

See entire Executive in Residence schedule.