Michaela Gleed, Staff Writer
As David Riddering enters the position of marketing department chair at North Greenville University, he plans to not only teach marketing to students, but to execute effective marketing regarding the marketing department.
Riddering accepted the position of marketing department chair during July 2017, and he and his wife, Maria, made the move from Belhaven, Miss. to Greenville, S.C. in January 2018. Embarking on this new territory is an adventure for Riddering as he said this will be his first experience as the chair of a department. Riddering said that as he is "sold out for Christ," there is no way he could teach or lead in any institution other than where Christ could truly make the difference in his classrooms.
Junior marketing major Jaimie Shutt is enrolled in Ridderings spring semester 2018 Consumer Behavior course and said it is about time the department got a chair in place. "I believe I will gain a lot from him. He has a very interactive classroom which I really enjoy," said Shutt.
Riddering said his favorite way to run a class is through storytelling and making real-world connections for students. He enjoys teaching and his goal is "to inspire students educationally, of course, but also, and more importantly, I want to encourage students' spiritual growth," said Riddering.
Riddering wants it to be known that his life is dedicated to Christ and marketing is just what he spends his time doing. Marketing through the eyes of a believer in Christ is simply evangelism. Evangelism is defined by Bing as "the spreading of Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness." So as Jesus is the ultimate evangelist, then He, too, is the ultimate marketer. Riddering desires to inspire the students of NGU to market from the "pursuit of excellence that Christians are called to."
One thing Riddering is planning on inspiring is the growth of the Student Marketing Association (SMA) at North Greenville University. This is a student-led program where students attend workshops, listen to speakers and take field trips with the goals of building their professional network, growing their leadership skills and enriching their resumes. This program is a resource to enhance marketing majors' college experience and Riddering wants to tap into this gold mine. To do so, he plans to support and enable the SMA to create an environment in which it will flourish in the near future.
To further brand North Greenville University's Marketing Department, Riddering pulls from his past to see where there is room for growth. Riddering said that one of Maria and his favorite things to do is to jump in a car or on a plane and just go wherever it takes them. They have traveled all over the United States, islands of the Caribbean and much of South America.
A few highlights of his travels include Alaska, where he most enjoyed its unique wildlife; Singapore, where he and his wife have visited twice; and Puerto Rico, where he earned multiple degrees. He received a baccalaureate in English literature, a master's in business administration specialized in marketing and a doctorate degree in human resources and entrepreneurship.
Before becoming the academic that he is, he dropped out of college. With only 18 credit hours left in his baccalaureate studies, Riddering decided to take three years off and go evangelize in the Dominican Republic.
While there, he planted churches and learned a wealth of field experience. "I gained a good 20 years of knowledge by immersing myself in this business. But I also came to realize the importance of academic knowledge and training in business administration," said Riddering. So, he went back to finish the remaining 18 credits and continued to his higher educational studies.
Through his incredibly diverse exposure to various cultures, people, educational disciplines, and opportunities, he has come to intimately understand the importance of field experience paired with a well-rounded education. This personal life lesson is manifested in his desire to enhance the internship component of a Marketing major at North Greenville University.
Riddering is also invested in growing his professional network to be able to present students with ample opportunity for internships lending important field experience. "I want to meet all students, but I will start with the marketing students. I hope to inspire each of you educationally but more importantly spiritually," said Riddering.