2024 LSU Sales Symposium 

Optimizing Sales Excellence:
Harnessing AI Technologies for Peak Performance


THe symposium is sold out.

Sharpen your skills, dive into trends, and network at the LSU Sales Symposium.

The symposium will emphasize the pursuit of sales excellence through the strategic integration of artificial intelligence. Delving into the cutting edge of AI applications, the symposium will explore advanced techniques for sales optimization, with a focus on AI-driven sales forecasting, predictive analytics, and the transformative impact of automated lead generation. Participants will gain insights into leveraging AI technologies to achieve peak performance in the dynamic landscape of sales.

This event is ideal for business leaders, sales professionals, business owners, or anyone in a front-line decision-making position at a company. Attendees get the latest insights on sales methodologies, new and emerging roles in sales, and the technologies that support these roles.  



Date: April 26, 2024
Location: Lod Cook Alumni Center

The event has reached capacity. We cannot accommodate additional registrants.



Registration, Coffee, and Networking: 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.


Welcome: 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Roy Haggerty, LSU Executive Vice President & Provost
Greg Accardo, Director, LSU Professional Sales Institute

Session 1: 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
Conversations and CampAIgns: How AI is Igniting New and Timeless Ways to Get More Conversations and Customers While Building Your Brand's Value

Sonia Dumas
Founder of CampaignCoach.ai

Session 2: 9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
AI for B2B Sales: Selling Opportunities vs. Fear

Usman Sheikh
Founder & CEO of xiQ

Session 3: 10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Generative AI: Opportunities and Threats for the Next Evolution of Sales

Andrew Schwarz
Professor, LSU Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship & Information Systems

Lunch: 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
(Catered by Unique Cuisine)


Session 4: Keynote: 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Hyper-Personalized Selling Across the Customer Journey

Elay Cohen
CEO of SalesHood

Session 5: 1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Thriving in a Post Panic Phase: Reimagine Sales

Howard Dover
Clinical Professor
Director, Center for Professional Sales at UT Dallas

Session 6: 1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
How to Leverage Generative AI to Market Small Business on a Tight Budget

Kip Knight
Operating Partner of Thomvest Ventures

Session 7: 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Interactive Discussion Session

Henry Hays
CEO & Co-Founder of DisruptREADY

Session 8: 3:15 p.m. - till



Speaker Bios

Elay Cohen headshot

Elay Cohen is the CEO and co-founder of SalesHood and the former senior vice president, sales productivity at Salesforce. Under Cohen's leadership, Salesforce went from $300 million to $3 billion in revenue, and he was recognized as Salesforce's “executive of the year.” Cohen also created the partner relationship management category and product line at Salesforce.

Cohen is on a mission to replicate sales success at scale by delivering sales productivity breakthroughs in readiness, effectiveness, and execution. He is a world-renowned pioneer, leader, and author in the field of sales enablement. His latest book Enablement Mastery is a best seller. 

 He was born in Toronto and currently resides in San Francisco.


Howard Dover headshot

Howard Dover is a distinguished figure in the field of sales, bringing a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the University of Texas at Dallas as the director of the Center for Professional Sales and Clinical Professor of Marketing. With a focus on modern sales strategies and innovation, Dover consults with the center's partners to develop cutting-edge sales approaches that attract top talent from the emerging generation of business professionals.

As an Amazon Best Selling Author of "Sales Innovation Paradox,"  Dover's insights have garnered recognition and admiration. His areas of expertise include navigating the digital disruption of sales and marketing, implementing sales enablement strategies, leveraging social selling techniques, and enhancing sales effectiveness.

His reputation as an influential speaker has led him to present keynote addresses at renowned events such as Sales Enablement Experience, AA-ISP Digital Sales World, Sales 3.0, and CSO Summit. He is also recognized as the resident technology expert for Sales Educator's Academy and has been an invited speaker at numerous sales, sales educator, and marketing conferences.

Dover has also contributed extensively to academia, with research papers published in prestigious journals such as the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Research, and the Journal of Selling. Notably, many of his articles were the first in the sales enablement field, solidifying his position as a thought leader and pioneer.

Sonia Dumas headshot

Sonia Dumas is a sales copywriter who creates irresistible buying experiences for entrepreneurs and lifestyle businesses. She is the Co-Founder of CampaignCoach.ai. A leading edge app that helps business owners use AI to Amplify Influence, Accelerate Income, and Automate Innovation. She speaks frequently about AI for social media, sales, and marketing. 

Henry Hays headshot

Henry Hays, a visionary CEO and co-founder of DisruptREADY, spearheads a cutting-edge business intelligence firm focusing on emerging technologies, specifically Artificial Intelligence. As an adjunct instructor at LSU's Roger Ogden Honors College, he imparts his expertise by teaching courses on AI and LLMs, shaping the minds of future innovators. Globally sought after, he delivers keynote speeches on Disruptive Innovation and Implementing AI into Legacy Businesses. Before founding DisruptREADY, Hays played a pivotal role in developing the commercial facet of Avanir Pharmaceuticals, a company that was acquired for $3.5 billion in cash in 2014. His multifaceted experience and entrepreneurial leadership continue to fuel advancements in tech and business strategy.

Kip Knight headshot

Kip Knight is an Operating Partner at Thomvest, a $500 million VC fund based in the Bay Area. He is also a board member at Netbase Quid, a leading consumer analytics company. 

Knight has worked in over 60 countries. He began his career at P&G in brand management and went on to hold numerous senior executive roles at PepsiCo, YUM Brands, eBay and H&R Block, including CMO at Taco Bell and president of H&R Block. 

He is founder of the U.S. Marketing Communication College, dedicated to teaching communication strategy to diplomats in the State Department.  In addition, he’s founder and CEO of CMO Coaches, a national coaching network for senior marketing executives. 

Knight is co-author of Crafting Persuasion: A Leader’s Handbook to Change Minds and Influence Behavior and author of Learn to Leap: How Leaders Turn Risk into Opportunities. He earned his B.S. degree from LSU in marketing and his MBA from the University of Cincinnati.  He is also a 2023 recipient of the LSU College of Business Hall of Distinction award. 

Kip and Peggy Day live in Southern California and have been married for over 40 years. They have two sons (Tom and Chris) and two grandsons. 

Andrew Schwarz headshot

Andrew Schwarz is a professor of Information Systems and holds the E. J. Ourso Professorship in ISDS #2 in the E. J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University. In his 20 years at LSU, Schwarz has published over 30 articles in top tier journals and has been recognized both locally, receiving recognition as one of the top 40 business leaders under the age of 40, and internationally, being honored with a legacy award (termed ATLAS Award) by the Association for Information Systems. Recently, Schwarz was named as an AIS Distinguished Member-Cum Laude and is one of less than 200 professors globally to hold this designation.

At LSU, Schwarz’s teaching focuses on the Flores MBA Program in the area of IT strategy. He teaches across all three programs, including daytime, weekend, and online. In 2017, Dr. Schwarz received the Tiger Athletic Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award in the E. J. Ourso College of Business. This award recognizes 
tenured faculty who strive for high levels of teaching and recognizes professors who receive consistently high teaching evaluations.

Schwarz was one of the lead architects of the Flores Online MBA program and has delivered multiple courses within this program. As one of the chief architects of the program, he was responsible for helping to design the curriculum for the program and is one of the three professors who deliver the first set of courses in the program. This placement recognizes his innovation and forward-thinking approach to the future of the classroom by the administrators in the college. Finally, Schwarz is the doctoral coordinator for the Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship and Information Systems, where he oversees the Entrepreneurship and Information Systems PhD program. 

Beyond the university classroom,  Schwarz teaches for LSU Executive Education, offering outreach classes in the area of IT strategy to the local Baton Rouge community. He is a frequent speaker at local community events within the area of IT, being invited to deliver keynote addresses to multiple groups including the Our Lady of the Lake Executive Committee retreat, the Project Management local chapter, and others.

Schwarz has served the academic community in many capacities including editorial roles at leading scientific journals, organizing and chairing academic conferences, and serving on the scientific committees for dozens of conferences. He was the first vice president of technology for the Association for Information Systems, where he modernized the architecture for the association during his time in office. He is the past editor-in-chief of DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems and, during his tenure at the journal, was able to increase the intellectual impact of the journal. He chaired the largest Information Systems conference in the Americas (AMCIS 2018 in New Orleans), with the conference being the second most attended in the history of the conference and will be the conference chair for the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) in 2024. This is the premier conference for the IS field and serving in this capacity will enable him to be named as a Senior Scholar within the IS community.

Usman Sheikh headshot

Usman Sheikh is a pioneer of Personality-Driven Engagement (PDE) and he is the founder and CEO of xiQ, a SaaS B2B company revolutionizing the industry with its proprietary Personality-Driven Sales and Marketing Platform™.

Usman’s innovations include xiQ’s award-winning technology that combines behavioral science and AI to understand the mindset of buyers’ and execute personality-driven sales and marketing strategies for every buyer at every stage of the buying process. In addition, xiQ’s personality-driven Smart Content Engine™ uses AI to curate market news and high-performing sales content into highly contextually relevant "briefings" that engage their target audiences more than 10 times better than traditional marketing channels. 

Prior to founding xiQ, Usman served as SAP’s vice president for corporate development, product management, sales enablement, and digital commerce globally. He is a guest speaker and lecturer at the Universities of Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana State University and Clemson. A graduate of University of Michigan, Usman is an ardent fan of squash and hiking, a huge fan of Michigan football, and loves architecture and design. He resides in Silicon Valley.

For more information on the 2024 LSU Sales Symposium, email Greg Accardo, director of the LSU Professional Sales Institute.