Contact: Stacey Anderson
Pictured is Dr. Russell Zwanka, associate professor of marketing, sitting at a laptop.

Dr. Russell Zwanka, associate professor of marketing.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Food Industry Research and Education Center (FIRE) at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business will offer professional training, education and category management certification for professionals in the consumer packaged goods and retail industries this fall. The program is in partnership with Learning Evolution (LE), a leader in online professional training and certification solutions.

The partnership combines the best of Western’s top-tier food marketing curriculum with the technology resources from LE. It will allow for customization of online and in-person training materials and WMU executive certificate programs for individuals and organizations worldwide. Both food marketing faculty and industry experts will develop the content and provide the instruction, under the guidance of the FIRE Center, at affordable prices that make the training an incredible value.

The first jointly developed training program is for a two-level Professional Category Management Certification. LE will develop, maintain and provide technical infrastructure for the certification curriculum.

“We are pumped about bringing this innovative, university-based program to partners in the food industry as well as to other universities with food marketing-focused programs,” says Dr. Russell Zwanka, associate professor. “This first offering with both a level one and level two Category Management Certification confirms and expands upon participant understanding of current category management theory and marketing principles. The training provides knowledge and tools for developing and implementing consumer-centric category strategies in the context of the global omni-channel markets for food and fast-moving consumer goods retail channels.” 

Sessions are offered on an ongoing basis and can begin anytime; the certification will help a variety of organizations ensure they achieve alignment and expertise around category management.

“As part of the premier university program for food marketing, the FIRE Center’s mission is to conduct relevant research and provide world-class education programs for students and industry professionals,” says Dr. Marcel Zondag, associate professor and director of the center. “Our partnership with LE fits these objectives ideally, offering a rigorous and highly applicable curriculum.”

LE welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with WMU due to its track record of success as a leading institution for higher education and research in food marketing.

“We are excited about this innovative partnership. The new program offers industry professionals a unique university-based opportunity for Professional Category Management Certification,” says Scott Matthews, LE’s CEO.

Visit the WMU Professional Category Management Certificate for more information or to register.

Questions? Contact Dr. Russell Zwanka, associate professor of marketing, at [email protected] or Scott Matthews, CEO, Learning Evolution, at [email protected]

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.