After working his entire career in the beverage industry, Dave Yantes ’81 is sharing his knowledge with the next generation of marketing and sales professionals.
After an almost 30 year career working for Coca-Cola and Viking Coca-Cola, Yantes decided to find a new path in teaching.
Yantes is serving as the Herberger Business School first Executive in Residence. Yantes began his residence teaching four classes in fall 2017.
“I can bring the practical experiences I’ve had to them,” Yantes said of his students. “I still have great networks of contacts across a lot of different businesses and industries and I can set up networks for them.”
The Executive in Residence program was developed to create learning partnerships between St. Cloud State students and business executives who can then mentor students and guide them as they prepare for a career in business, said Professor Denny Bristow, chair of the marketing department. Executives in the program have at least 20 years of success in a specific industry.
“I try to give students an opportunity to be creative and experience things that they would use in the real world,” Yantes said. “I’m giving them the opportunity to unleash their potential and creativity in real world environments.”
This fall in his electronic marketing class, Yantes set up a project for students to work in teams creating electronic, social media and Google AdWords marketing campaigns for real companies.
One of his students propelled that experience into an independent consultant position and is continuing to work with small companies building landing pages and Facebook advertisements for an insurance company since graduating in December.
In addition to teaching, Yantes is working to recruit students, mentor students and help guide students as they seek to make connections in industry.
“I have a strong passion to have St. Cloud State be successful, and I want to be a strong advocate to recruit students here and bring positive energy when the dialogue comes up around St. Cloud State,” he said.
He is also an advocate for St. Cloud State University within the community and is a board member for the Boys and Girls Club of the North Star. Yantes is looking forward to getting involved with the Herberger Business School’s highly-successful Professional Selling Specialization program and helping prepare students for the Professional Sales Competition.
— David Yantes, Heberger Business School Executive in Residence
His experience and expertise dovetails nicely with the Professional Selling Specialization’s partnerships with firms such as Northwestern Mutual, Penske, Anderson Trucking, Cintas, Hubbard Radio, Microsoft, Sherwin Williams, Marco, Viking Coca-Cola and more.
“I love that there’s all these extracurricular opportunities,” he said. “I want students to take advantage of them and be involved and be engaged and end up having this great experience here while they go to school.”
Yantes began his career in the soft drink business as a sales representative. In 1989 he started working for Coca-Cola as a sales representative and stayed with the company later becoming a sales manager, branch manager, area vice president and eventually becoming vice president of on premise sales in Chicago where he oversaw on premise sales for 12 states.
He returned to Minnesota in 2011 as director of on premise sales for Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Company in St. Cloud and later as the company’s vice president of sales and marketing.